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Wrap up for Fear of Childbirth

Thank you for exploring the concept of fear of childbirth with me.  My personal understanding of childbirth fear has changed in the 15 years I have been working with expectant women.  Fear of childbirth is a more complex experience than natural childbirth theories I learned so long ago seem to accept.Even so, I have been […]

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Fear of childbirth and Guilt

As I researched for this series, I was struck by Fisher’s (2006) paper on the social context of fear.  The thesis of this study was the social context of childbirth influences how women understand childbirth, and this impacts how they experience it on an individual level. In the discussion of prospective fear, Fisher discusses prior […]

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“Ignoring” fear of childbirth

This week we’ve been looking at ways childbirth educators think about managing women’s fear of childbirth.  We talked about education and relaxation, but today I want to talk about ignoring the fear. If you can’t think of any natural childbirth theories that support the use of ignoring fear, it is because there are not any. […]

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“Relaxing” the fear of childbirth away

Earlier this week we looked at research that both supported and refuted the idea that you could teach away the fear of childbirth. Today I want to focus on another tactic for managing fear of childbirth, relaxation.  This discussion is a little more theoretical, a little more about defining what things mean than the last […]

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“Teaching” away fear of childbirth

We’ve been talking about fear of childbirth, and last week we spent some time in the research looking at sources of fear.  Today I’d like to change gears and begin looking at ways childbirth professionals think about dealing with women’s fears. First method to review — education. The concept that you can teach away childbirth […]

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Fear, Pain, and Childbirth

Last week I introduced you to the idea of the value of perfect health.  If you remember, a physician places a higher value on perfect health than the general public; the general public puts a higher value on avoiding a condition than the people who live with that condition.  This comes from economic research into what […]

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Childbirth Fear: Family or Media?

When I began working in the birth world I was told women were afraid of childbirth because of the media portrayal of birth. Television, movies, and magazines were teaching women to be afraid by their unrealistic labors and horror stories. So, is this true?  Maybe, but maybe not. Stoll’s (2014) survey of college students found […]

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How common is fear of childbirth?

It turns out that isn’t an easy question to answer.  To prepare for a recent study on the effects of fear on the childbirth experience, the researchers found between 5 and 40 percent of women fear childbirth.  The number varies based on many things like the women’s ages, the cultural perspectives, and what list of […]

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Global Perspective on Childbirth Fear

Before I became involved in global health, the idea that fear of childbirth was about anything other than fear of pain was basically an afterthought.  Sure women used to die in childbirth, but that was long ago and didn’t really affect women’s views today.  Sure some babies die, but not many so that didn’t really […]

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Childbirth Fear is about “Pain”

So far we have explored the idea that fear of childbirth is normal, and that fear of childbirth is taught.  Today, we will explore the idea that fear of childbirth is driven by fear of pain.  What do we assume if we hold this belief, and what might we be missing? My original training as […]

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