Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women with a fear of childbirth endure a longer labor, finds new research

Date:
June 27, 2012
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Women who have a fear of childbirth spend longer in labor than women who have no such fear, suggests new research.

Women who have a fear of childbirth spend longer in labour than women who have no such fear, suggests new research published June 27 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Between 5 and 20% of pregnant women have a fear of childbirth. Various factors have been associated with increased prevalence of fear of childbirth, including young maternal age, being a first-time mother, pre-existing psychological problems, lack of social support and a history of abuse or adverse obstetric events.

This Norwegian study looked at 2206 women with a singleton pregnancy who intended to deliver vaginally.

Fear of childbirth was assessed by the Wijma Delivery Expectancy Questionnaire (W-DEQ), a validated psychometric instrument designed to measure fear of childbirth. Women undertook the questionnaire at 32 weeks gestation and fear of childbirth was defined as a score of more than 85. Out of the total number, 165 (7.5%) women scored more than 85.

Labour duration was defined as 3-4 centimetres cervical dilatation and 3 uterine contractions per 10 minutes, until delivery of the child.

The average age of the participants at delivery was 30.9 years and 50.5% (1113 women) were first time mothers. Average labour duration was 8.22 hours for first-time mothers, and it was 4.91 hours for parous women.

The researchers found that women with a fear of childbirth spent one hour and 32 minutes longer in labour than women with no such fear. After adjustment for other factors associated with labour duration, such as parity, epidural analgesia, instrumental vaginal delivery and labour induction, the difference was still significant at 47 minutes.

Average labour duration was 8 hours for women with fear of childbirth compared to 6.46 hours (which equals 6 hours and 28 minutes) for women without fear.

The study also found that women with fear of childbirth more often delivered by instrumental vaginal delivery (17.0% versus 10.6%) or emergency caesarean delivery (10.9% versus 6.8%) as compared to women without fear of childbirth.

In total, 25.5% (42 women) of women with fear of childbirth and 44.4% (906 women) of women without fear of childbirth had a vaginal delivery without any obstetric interventions.

However, despite increased labour duration for women with a fear of childbirth, a large proportion of women achieved a vaginal delivery which was their intention compared to women with no fear (89.1% versus 93.2%).

Samantha Salvesen Adams, Health Services Research Centre, Akershus University Hospital, University of Oslo, Norway and co-author of the research said:

"Fear of childbirth seems to be an increasingly important issue in obstetric care. Our finding of longer duration of labour in women who fear childbirth is a new piece in the puzzle within this intersection between psychology and obstetrics.

"We found a link between fear of childbirth and longer duration of labour. Generally, longer labour duration increases the risk of instrumental vaginal delivery and emergency caesarean section. However, it is important to note that a large proportion of women with a fear of childbirth successfully had a vaginal delivery and therefore elective caesarean delivery should not be routinely recommended."

John Thorp, BJOG Deputy-Editor-in-Chief added:

"There are a number of reasons why women may develop a fear of childbirth. This research shows that women with fear of childbirth are more likely to need obstetric intervention and this needs to be explored further so that obstetricians and midwives can provide the appropriate support and advice."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. SS Adams, M Eberhard-Gran, A Eskild. Fear of childbirth and duration of labour: a study of 2206 women with intended vaginal delivery. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03433.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Women with a fear of childbirth endure a longer labor, finds new research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120627092204.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2012, June 27). Women with a fear of childbirth endure a longer labor, finds new research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120627092204.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Women with a fear of childbirth endure a longer labor, finds new research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120627092204.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins