Identifying and explaining experiences of fear of childbirth and coping strategies: A qualitative study


1MSc, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Islamic Azad University Zanjan Branch, Zanjan, Iran


Background and Objectives: Fear of childbirth is a natural response that helps women prepare for childbirth. However, if fear is increased, it can lead to physical and emotional disabilities. This study aims to explain the experiences of fear of childbirth and, consequently, present a model for reducing such fears.
Methods: A phenomenological approach was used in this study. The participants were selected from among primigravida (women who were pregnant for the first time) through purposeful sampling, and the data were collected through open and unstructured interviews. Besides, the collected data were analyzed using Colaizzi’s nine-stage method.
Results: Different types of fear of childbirth identified in this study were harmful to maternal and neonatal health, normal childbirth, the feeling of inability, and cesarean section. Besides, the reasons behind fear of childbirth were inadequate awareness, lack of trust in medical staff, negative experiences from information sources, and the environment of the maternity center. Finally, the most important strategies to deal with the fear of childbirth were faith in God, feeling confident, receiving support, raising awareness, and positive thinking which were used to design the model.
Conclusion: The findings of the study showed that women's self-confidence plays a key role in decreasing fear of childbirth. Therefore, effective measures should be taken to increase women's sense of self-confidence to reduce their fear of childbirth.


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