Fear of childbirth: midwives help

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A midwife helps to overcome the fear of childbirth

Many women are afraid of giving birth and therefore opt for a caesarean section. Nevertheless, fear of childbirth is considered a taboo subject and is often played down. Intensive conversations can remove most of the fears. When a midwife takes care of pregnant women, in most cases they are not only more relaxed about giving birth, but also have a lower risk of premature birth, according to a meta study by British researchers from King’s College in London.

A midwife can take care of the pregnant woman before the birth. Many pregnant women are very afraid of the birth. Loss of control, fear of pain and concern for the child are often in the foreground. That is why some women opt for a caesarean section, even if nothing stands in the way of a natural birth from a medical point of view. From her experience with pregnant women, midwife Katharina Helms told Spiegel Online that many women would not dare to endure the pain during childbirth, or feared "that they could not give birth to a healthy child" it happens again and again that expectant mothers would opt for a caesarean section out of fear, but mostly medical reasons would be put forward. According to Helms, however, open discussions are important in order to get the fear under control to have a midwife take care of the birth.

If a natural birth succeeds, that gives the women a lot of strength, reports the obstetrician. “That's why I try to encourage anxious women to do so. I respect it, however, if they decide differently, ”says Helms.

Coping with fear of childbirth through conversations and relaxation methods "Fears of childbirth are normal and understandable," explains Corinna Reck, psychologist at the Center for Psychosocial Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital, to the magazine. "After all, childbirth is a borderline experience between life and death. " Up to 30 percent of mothers suffered from symptoms of trauma after childbirth. “Some then think: I don't want to experience that again. Then forget it again, that's what biology has set up, "says the psychologist. Around one percent of women experience a permanent post-traumatic stress disorder that needs to be treated. The fear of some women is even so great that it causes a phobia Victims of abuse or violence are particularly susceptible to childbirth anxiety. "Losing control of your own body as during childbirth is often hard to bear for such women," explains Reck.

It has to be found out in individual cases what helps a pregnant woman to overcome the fears. "In addition to discussions, there are hypnotherapeutic relaxation methods with which we achieve good results," says the psychologist.

Mother and child benefit from midwifery care As part of a meta-study that analyzed patient data from more than 16,000 women from 13 examinations, Jane Sandall from King's College in London and her colleagues concluded that pregnant women were significantly affected by regular care a midwife benefit. According to this, women who were looked after by a midwife before birth need less local anesthesia (epidural anesthesia) and an episiotomy. In addition, rare obstetrical instruments had to be used during childbirth.

The researchers found that the risk of premature birth also decreased. Women who were looked after by a midwife also had fewer child deaths before the 24th week of pregnancy. After the 24th week, there was no difference in the child's death rate compared to women who were not given midwifery care.

The women who were cared for had a natural vaginal birth more often and were generally happier, according to some studies. The better well-being of women could reduce the health costs for childbirth, the researchers write and advise pregnant women to be looked after by a midwife. Ultimately, mother and child benefited from this. (ag)

Image: Katrin Schindler / pixelio.de

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