The Influence of fear on childbirth

The Influence of fear on childbirth


This morning, while I was driving to a woman in labour I heard a radio commercial, which made my hairs stand on end. In the commercial they talked about a new establishment to conduct a research about pregnancies and childbirth that didn’t end well. It’s very good that there is more research conducted in this field, but the commercial really played on sentiment, and especially on the fearfulness of pregnant women.

Why can’t we leave pregnant women alone for a bit? We keep pressing their noses on the dangers that might be lurking around the corner. I see so many pregnant women in my clientele who let themselves become easily frightened by all kinds of different messages. I often ask myself what kind of influence that stress has on the baby in the belly. That’s why I will talk about the influence of fear on the childbirth in this blog.

Research on the influence of fear on the pain experience of pregnant women

There have been a couple of interesting researches on the influence of fear on the experience of pain. In one of the research, two groups of women (not pregnant) were told they would get a small surge. One group was told they wouldn’t really feel much of it, the other group was told that it would hurt tremendously. After the small surge the women who were frightened said they felt a lot of pain, while the other group said they didn’t feel a lot of pain.

In another research, two other groups of women got a small surge. One group had brought along their partners who talked lovingly to them. They were in a cosy room with nice music. The other group was alone in an empty room without any music. It turned out that the women who were treated lovingly reported less pain than the women who were alone.

Tips to get rid of fear and pain during childbirth:

  • Do not get easily scared. Try to keep the frightening news far away from you. Ask your family and friends to keep their ‘unpleasant’ stories to themselves.
  • Make sure you have someone who can say good things and who will care for you during childbirth. If you do not have someone like that, use the Doula-app, in which I will lovingly talk you through your pains.
  • Go into labor in a nice, calm and warm room. Buy a soft jug, a nice big shawl, and soft and thick socks. Pick out music that you like and find relaxing.

And me, what can I do as midwife? I’m going to call those people from that establishment and give them a piece of my mind. I want to get that radio commercial off the radio and the money saved from it should go in conducting researches, for example on the influence of fear on childbirth.