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Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Nov;94(5 Pt 1):679-82.

Factors associated with fear of delivery in second pregnancies.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify factors associated with fear of childbirth during and after first labor.

METHODS:

We analyzed first deliveries of 100 primiparas who reported severe fear of vaginal childbirth during their second pregnancies and 200 age- and parity-matched controls who reported no later fear of delivery. The main outcome measures were previous miscarriages, participation in birth-education classes, support during labor, length of first delivery, pain relief, obstetric complications, welfare of the newborn, and time between deliveries.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of emergency cesarean (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 26.9, confidence interval [CI] 11.9, 61.1) and vacuum extraction (adjusted OR 4.5, CI 2.2, 9.3) during first delivery was much higher in subjects than controls. Labor lasted longer in cases than in controls during the first (10.5 hours versus 7.8 hours, P = .016) and second stages (62 minutes versus 47 minutes, P = .002). They received epidural analgesia more often, but its timing and the amount used were not different between groups. Of the group with fear, 44% could not define any specific cause for fear and regarded the entire delivery as frightening.

CONCLUSION:

Emergency cesarean and vacuum extraction during first deliveries were associated with secondary fear of delivery. Emergency obstetric procedures cannot be avoided, so prevention of fear might require more education on causes and consequences of cesarean or vacuum extraction, eg, in birth classes and at postpartum visits.

PMID:
10546709
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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