BackgroundLittle is known about the psychological status of partners of women with severe fear of childbirth (FOC). In this longitudinal study from Helsinki University Central Hospital, we investigated FOC, depression, and posttraumatic stress in the partners of women with severe FOC, and possible effects of group psychoeducation and mode of birth.Methods: During pregnancy, 250 partners of nulliparous women with severe FOC participated, 93 in the intervention group and 157 in the control group. At 3months postpartum, 52 partners in the intervention group and 93 in the control group participated. Both the partners and the childbearing women filled in the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale mid-pregnancy as well as 3months postpartum, when they also filled in the Traumatic Event Scale.
ResultsPartners of women with severe FOC reported less antenatal and postnatal FOC and fewer depressive symptoms than the childbearing women. No partner reached the threshold of severe FOC. No partner reported a possible posttraumatic stress disorder. Group psychoeducation with relaxation was not associated with better or worse psychological well-being of the partners. An emergency cesarean delivery was associated with a more fearful delivery experience in the partners.
ConclusionPartners of nulliparous women with severe FOC neither seem to suffer from severe FOC nor reported posttraumatic stress symptoms after childbirth. They reported better psychological well-being than the mothers both during pregnancy and after delivery. An unexpected cesarean may be a negative experience even for partners of childbearing women.
- 515 Psykologi
- 3123 Kvinno- och barnsjukdomar