June 14th, 2021

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Perceived Professional Support During Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Postpartum Among Women Reporting Severe Fear of Childbirth Postpartum
Authors:  Hanna Grundström, R.M., R.N., Ph.D., Klara Stenberg, M.S.-IV, Anna Malmquist, Ph.D., Tova Roos, M.S.-IV, and Katri Nieminen, M.D., Ph.D.
  OBJECTIVE: To describe how women with severe fear of childbirth postpartum recall the professional support they received before, during, and after childbirth.

STUDY DESIGN: This is a qualitative study based on telephone interviews with 10 women reporting fear of childbirth postpartum and who had given birth in 2018. They were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic analysis according to Braun and Clarke.

RESULTS: The results showed that most women expressed satisfaction with the support they received from the healthcare professionals before, during, and after childbirth, and most of them could not identify any lacking support. The experiences were categorized into 3 themes: “validation and trust,” “guidance,” and “being in control.”

CONCLUSION: In summary, the women’s reported fear of childbirth postpartum did not seem related to any perceived lack of professional support. The supposed association between fear of childbirth, negative child-birth experiences, and perceived support may need further illumination.
Keywords:  anxiety; childbirth; delivery, obstetric/psychology; fear of childbirth; labor, obstetric; maternity experiences survey; midwifery; patient satisfaction; pregnancy; pregnancy outcome; prenatal care; professional support
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