oa Professional Nursing Today - Facing birth fears



Most mothers are anxious, and even afraid, to give birth. Midwives need to understand the motivating factors if they are to truly help women face their fears. Although birth anxiety is often dismissed as nothing more than fear of the unknown, it has a direct physiological effect on a woman. The evidence suggests that fear may cause the onset of active labour to be delayed, increase the amount of pain felt by the mother, and can even lead to higher rates of elective Caesarean, pre- or post-term delivery, low birth weight babies or neonatal breathing difficulties. And yet midwives can make a tremendous difference. By addressing the root of the fear itself, you can help mothers to achieve a better, faster, less painful and more empowering birth experience.


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