+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Does fear of childbirth or family history affect whether pregnant Dutch women prefer a home- or hospital birth?



Does fear of childbirth or family history affect whether pregnant Dutch women prefer a home- or hospital birth?



Midwifery 31(12): 1143-1148



It is a generally accepted idea that women who give birth at home are less fearful of giving birth than women who give birth in a hospital. We explored fear of childbirth (FOC) in relation to preferred and actual place of birth. Since the Netherlands has a long history of home birthing, we also examined how the place where a pregnant woman׳s mother or sisters gave birth related to the preferred place of birth. A prospective cohort study. Five midwifery practises in the region Leiden/Haarlem, the Netherlands. 104 low risk nulliparous and parous women. Questionnaires were completed in gestation week 30 (T1) and six weeks post partum (T2). No significant differences were found in antepartum FOC between those who preferred a home or a hospital birth. Women with a strong preference for either home or hospital had lower FOC (mean W-DEQ=60.3) than those with a weak preference (mean W-DEQ=71.0), t (102)=-2.60, p=0.01. The place of birth of close family members predicted a higher chance (OR 3.8) of the same place being preferred by the pregnant woman. Pre- to postpartum FOC increased in women preferring home- but having hospital birth. The idea that FOC is related to the choice of place of birth was not true for this low risk cohort. Women in both preference groups (home and hospital) made their decisions based on negative and positive motivations. Mentally adjusting to a different environment than that preferred, apart from the medical complications, can cause more FOC post partum. The decreasing number of home births in the Netherlands will probably be a self-reinforcing effect, so in future, pregnant women will be less likely to feel supported by their family or society to give birth at home. Special attention should be given to the psychological condition of women who were referred to a place of birth and caregiver they did not prefer, by means of evaluation of the delivery and being alert to anxiety or other stress symptoms after childbirth. These women have higher chance of fear post partum which is related to a higher risk of psychiatric problems.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 057652442

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26320703

DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2015.08.002


Related references

The OptiMUM-study: EMDR therapy in pregnant women with posttraumatic stress disorder after previous childbirth and pregnant women with fear of childbirth: design of a multicentre randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Psychotraumatology 8(1): 1293315, 2017

No relationship between fear of childbirth and pregnancy-/delivery-outcome in a low-risk Dutch pregnancy cohort delivering at home or in hospital. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology 33(3): 99, 2012

The characteristics of women who birth at home, in a birth centre or in a hospital labour ward: A study of a nationally-representative sample of 1835 pregnant women. Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare 6(3): 132-137, 2015

Are non-pregnant women afraid of childbirth? Prevalence and predictors of fear of childbirth in students. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology 40(3): 226-231, 2019

Validation of the Childbirth Attitudes Questionnaire in Greek and psychosocial characteristics of pregnant women with fear of childbirth. Women and Birth 28(3): E44-E51, 2015

Nulliparous pregnant women's narratives of imminent childbirth before and after internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy for severe fear of childbirth: a qualitative study. Bjog 122(9): 1259-1265, 2015

Pregnant women's thoughts when assessing fear of birth on the Fear of Birth Scale. Women and Birth 29(3): E44-E49, 2016

'I've Changed My Mind', Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) for pregnant women with a high level of fear of childbirth and their partners: study protocol of the quasi-experimental controlled trial. Bmc Psychiatry 16(1): 377, 2016

Fear of childbirth and risk for birth complications in nulliparous women in the Danish National Birth Cohort. Bjog 116(10): 1350-1355, 2009

Vicarious birth experiences and childbirth fear: does it matter how young canadian women learn about birth?. Journal of Perinatal Education 22(4): 226-233, 2013

Changing childbirth: Family birth in the hospital: by Diony Young Childbirth Graphics Ltd., Rochester, NY, 1982. Early Human Development 8(2): 181-183, 1983

Why Do Some Pregnant Women Prefer Cesarean? The Influence of Parity, Delivery Experiences, and Fear. Obstetric Anesthesia Digest 32(2): 93-94, 2012

Why do some pregnant women prefer cesarean? The influence of parity, delivery experiences, and fear. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 205(1): 45.E1-9, 2011

Fear of childbirth and associated factors among low-risk pregnant women. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 39(6): 763-767, 2019

Self-efficacy in pregnant women with severe fear of childbirth. Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing 42(2): 191-202, 2013