This systematic review summarises the findings of studies looking at possible causes and outcomes of fear of childbirth for childbearing women.
Five databases were searched in March 2015 for studies on causes/predisposing factors and outcomes of fear of childbirth, as measured during pregnancy and postpartum. Causes were grouped into population characteristics, mood-related aspects, and pregnancy and birth-related aspects. Outcomes were defined as mood-related or pregnancy and birth-related aspects.
The review concludes that stress, anxiety, depression and lack of social support are associated with fear during pregnancy. The need for psychiatric care and the presence of traumatic stress symptoms are reported outcomes, together with prolonged labour, longer labours, and use of epidural and obstetric complications. Findings also demonstrate the need for creating woman-centred birthing environments where women can feel free and secure with low risk of negative or traumatic birth experiences and consequent fear.
Causes and outcomes in studies of fear of childbirth: A systematic review by A Dencker, C Begley, E Jangsten, M Mollberg, C Nilsson, H Patel, H Wigert, E Hessman, H Sjoblom, C Sparud-Lundin. Published online, 13 August 2018 in Women and Birth: Journal of the Australian College of Midwives. Links to the abstract and further details can be found here
P154 Fear of childbirth/tokophobia (Abstracts – 233) £9.95*
This month’s search pack features articles on fear of giving birth, including causes and consequences, treatments and coping methods, and the role of and association with anxiety and depression.
MIDIRS offers literature search packs on a wide range of maternity care topics. Each pack contains multiple article references, helping to support you further in your midwifery training and development.