Fear Childbirth! You May Have Longer Labor Finds Study

Fear of labor

Fear of childbirth makes labor longer.

A new Norwegian study finds that women who are scared of childbirth may be in labor for longer time reports New York Times. Even though the exact reason for the longer labor has not been found, the research team puts forth two theories,

  1. Women who are scared of the childbirth process may be in stress with high levels of stress hormones. Increased stress hormones may reduce power of uterus to contract.
  2. Women who fear childbirth may communicate with health care professionals in ways different from normal during pregnancy and this could bring about delays in a quick delivery.

Samantha Salvesen Adams, researcher at Akershus University Hospital, Lorenskog, Norway and team, conducted the study. They assessed fear of childbirth by asking women in their 32nd week of gestation to fill out a questionnaire. Women with multiple pregnancies, breech presentation, elective Caesareans, preterm deliveries were excluded from the study. The cohort study included 2,206 women.

  • Most of the participants shared common fears,
    • First baby
    • Use of drugs for speeding labor
    • Previous vaginal delivery using instruments
    • Results of the study show that, women who were ranked in the upper half of fear-of-childbirth had 47 minutes longer labor than women in the lower half.

The study has since been published in the journal BJOG.

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