Fears Associated With Pregnancy And Childbirth

Fears Associated With Pregnancy And Childbirth Melender, H. S. Lauri, S. (1999). Fears associated with pregnancy and childbirth-Experiences of women who have recently given birth Midwifery, 15(3), 178-183.

This descriptive study was undertaken to describe fears associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Also to see whether women who have recently given birth feel that their fears were justified. A convenience sample of 20 women, 10 primipare and 10 multiparae were interviewed in the maternity units of two university hospitals in Finland. A qualitative study was used, and data were collected by semi-structured interviews held 2 or 3 days after childbirth. Data interpretation was based on the method of content analysis.

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The authors found that the most common fears associated with pregnancy and childbirth were concerns with the baby’s well-being, the course of pregnancy, and childbirth. The fears found expression in different kinds of behaviors, emotions and physical sensations. Many of the participants felt that their fears had not been justified, but some maintained that their fears had been justifiable. The authors conclude that there was much inter-individual variation in the fears associated with pregnancy and childbirth. The findings further verify the importance that diagnosis during pregnancy is undertaken sensitively and that the care-giver remember that pregnant women may have very serious fears associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Critique: This study is timely, and in general, well done. The sample size was small, therefore, generalizations to an entire population cannot be made.

The authors have done an adequate job of explaining their findings in understandable terms and document their rationale with a concise literature review. They give an appropriate rational for the convenience sampling of the Finnish women. The discussion is clearly written. The conclusions the authors draw are consistent with the data presented, and they conclude with a well defined point that it may not be essential to try to protect women against these fears, but to give every pregnant women the opportunity to deal with her own fears and to obtain the help she needs in her situation. Medicine.


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