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Women's lived experience of fear of childbirth
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Health Sciences and Social Work.
University College of Borås.
2009 (English)In: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 25, no 2, p. e1-e9Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: to describe women’s lived experience of fear of childbirth.

Design: a qualitative study using a phenomenological approach and a lifeworld perspective. Data were collected via tape-recorded interviews.

Setting: Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Go¨teborg, Sweden in 2003.

Participants: eight pregnant women (24–37 gestational weeks) seeking help within an outpatient clinic for women with severe fear of childbirth. Two of the women were primiparous.

Findings: four constituents were identified: feeling of danger that threatens and appeals; feeling trapped; feeling like an inferior mother-to-be and on your own. The essential structure was described as ‘to lose oneself as a woman into loneliness’.

Key conclusions: fear of childbirth affects women in such a way that they start to doubt themselves and feel uncertain of their ability to bear and give birth to a child. Previous birth experience was central to the multiparous women. They described their experiences of suffering in relation to the care they received during childbirth. This mainly concerned pain and negative experiences with staff.

Implications for practice: pregnant women who fear childbirth are an exposed group in need of much support during pregnancy and childbirth. The encounter between the woman and the midwife can be a way of breaking down the feeling of loneliness and restoring the woman’s trust in herself as a childbearing woman.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 25, no 2, p. e1-e9
Keywords [en]
Fear of childbirth, Maternity care, Self-esteem, Suffering
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-3139DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2007.01.017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-3139DiVA, id: diva2:203095
Available from: 2008-01-07 Created: 2008-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Förlossningsrädsla: med fokus på kvinnors upplevelser av att föda barn
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Förlossningsrädsla: med fokus på kvinnors upplevelser av att föda barn
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Fear of childbirth : with a focus on women´s experiences of giving birth
Abstract [en]

Aim: The overall aim of this study is to describe experiences of, and the association between, fear of childbirth and birth experiences of women with fear ofchildbirth.

Methods: In studies I, II, and IV, a reflective lifeworld approach based on phenomenological philosophy was used to describe women’s experiences of fear of childbirth (I), previous birth experiences (II), and fear of childbirth and of birth experience in a long-term perspective (IV). In study III, differences between women who reported fear of childbirth and those who did not were calculated using risk ratios with a 95 % confidence interval and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Data were collected from interviews with eight (I) and nine (II) pregnant women with intense fear of childbirth, and with six women who had sought care for intense fear of childbirth 7 to 11 years prior to the interview (IV), and via questionnaire from a sample of 763 women during pregnancy and again one year following birth (III).

Findings: Fear of childbirth was described as “to lose oneself as a woman into loneliness” (I). Previous birth experience was described as “a sense of not being present in the delivery room and an incomplete childbirth experience” (II). Fear of childbirth was associated with a previous negative birth experience and a previous emergency caesarean section (III). From a long-term perspective, fear of childbirth and birth experience was described as “an effort to make all the pieces come together” (IV).

Conclusions: This thesis generates evidence on the importance of previous birth experience for women with fear of childbirth, from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. These perspectives illustrate the complexity where women´s experiences in the delivery room are central. To avoid creating fear of childbirth, it is important that maternity care services focus on women’s birth experiences and critically evaluate care in relation to childbirth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö, Kalmar: Linnaeus University Press, 2012. p. 76
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 92/2012
Keywords
Fear of childbirth, Negative birth experience, Phenomenology, Childbirth, Birth trauma, Suffering, Midwifery, Support, Long-term, Birth narrative, Lived experice
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18750 (URN)978-91-86983-65-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-06-08, Myrdal, Växjö, 10:30 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-11-08 Created: 2012-05-22 Last updated: 2017-02-14Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Christina

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