Fear makes childbirth longer


Fear Makes Labor Longer, Study Finds


Women who fear childbirth have longer labor than those who do not, a new study has found.

Norwegian researchers assessed fear of childbirth with a 33-item questionnaire filled out at 32 weeks of gestation. After excluding those with a multiple pregnancy, breech presentation, preterm delivery or elective Caesareans, they were left with 2,206 women for the study, published online last week in the journal BJOG.

Some factors were more common in women who feared labor — for example, never having had a baby before, using drugs to speed labor, and having had a previous vaginal delivery using instruments. But even after adjusting for these and other factors, women who ranked in the upper half on the fear-of-childbirth scale had an average labor 47 minutes longer than those in the lower half. Fear of childbirth was itself an independent predictor of longer labor.

Why does this happen? “We don’t know for sure,” said the lead author, Samantha Salvesen Adams, a researcher at Akershus University Hospital in Lorenskog, Norway. “But there are two theories.

“First, stressed women have higher stress hormones during pregnancy, and high stress hormones may weaken the power of the uterus to contract. And second, we think that women who fear childbirth may communicate in different ways with health care professionals during pregnancy” — perhaps delaying measures that could speed delivery.


Announcing the Publication of my New Book

NEWS FLASH!!!! New book out from Sarah Goldstein available on Amazon.com

IN THIS CAPTIVATING chronicle of a doula, Sarah Goldstein reminisces about being on call to serve women before, during and after labor. There are no breaks or time off in this profession, especially while having attended over 1500 births!  It is a memoir that both the novice and the informed will be unable to put down. Often torn between her life’s calling, and her family, Sarah is further challenged by being in a ‘sandwich generation’.  She is raising six children while caring for her degenerating Alzheimer’s mother. Yet with family support at the most trying of times, she experiences both the trials and triumphs of facilitating mothers in bringing their newborns into the world.


Whether this is your first birth or whether you have B”H given birth many times before, the emotional, physical and informational support that you will receive from having a doula with you during labor is immeasurable. Doulas are available to you throughout your pregnancy – providing information and emotional support. Come and explore the site to find out more about how you can make your birth experience pleasantly memorable.