Fear of childbirth increases risk for dystocia, emergency C-section

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link

Nulliparous women who fear childbirth during pregnancy are at increased risk for dystocia and emergency cesarean section but not fetal distress ...

“Fear and anxiety activate a hormonal stress response in pregnant and laboring women, which can result in dystocia or protracted labor,” ...

Fear of childbirth in early (16 weeks) and late (31 weeks) pregnancy was associated with emergency cesarean section, with corresponding odds ratios (ORs) of 1.23 and 1.32. When fear of childbirth was present in both early and late pregnancy, the OR increased to 1.43.

... women who feared childbirth ... had an increased risk for dystocia, but not fetal distress (OR = 1.33 and 0.94, respectively).

They recommend optimal support during labor to reduce the risk for emergency cesarean section.

It would be interesting to see a comparison study between midwifery-led care and obstetric-led care in terms of women's perceived anxiety at the end of pregnancy and subsequent caesarean rates for dystocia.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448