To explore women's fears during pregnancy following conception via assisted reproductive technology (ART).
19 expectant first-time mothers were interviewed during the third trimester of pregnancy using a semi-structured schedule. Perceptions of and feelings about pregnancy were assessed. Content analysis was used to identify themes and subthemes.
Four overarching themes emerged: the baby's survival, the health of the baby, the efficacy of the mother and childbirth. Of these, the most commonly reported fears were related to miscarriage or fetal death, and the baby being born with an abnormality.
Conclusions and implications
In addition to fears that are experienced by some women who conceived spontaneously, the women in this study who conceived via ART reported other fears, such as miscarriage or fetal death, that are more specific to this context. This suggests that these concerns should be taken into consideration when providing psychological support for ART mothers.
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