|A study found the average duration of labour was eight hours for women with fear of childbirth, compared with six hours and 28 minutes for women without fear. (Shutterstock) |
Women afraid of childbirth spent 47 minutes more in labour, researchers in Norway have found.
In a study involving more than 2,000 women, about 7.5% were found to have a fear of childbirth - defined by the researchers as a score of more than 85 out of 165 on a questionnaire the expectant moms completed 32 weeks into their pregnancy.
When the women gave birth - all between 2008 and 2010 - the average duration of labour was eight hours for women with fear of childbirth, compared with six hours and 28 minutes for women without fear, a difference of one hour and 32 minutes. After adjusting for other factors that could affect the duration of labour, the difference was 47 minutes.
Aside from the continued discomfort, longer labour also increases the chances women will need some kind of medical intervention to complete the delivery, such as emergency C-section.
Even so, a large proportion of the anxious women (89.1%) were able to have a vaginal delivery as they'd intended, despite the fear and longer labour.
The findings were published this week in BJOG, the journal of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the U.K.
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