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Internet-Based CBT Helps Women With Fear of Childbirth

After therapy, women have more realistic attitude toward childbirth, more self-confidence

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) — An Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) program can improve attitudes among nulliparous women with severe fear of childbirth, according to a study published online March 27 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Katri Nieminen, Ph.D., from Linköping University in Sweden, and colleagues describe the expectations concerning imminent childbirth before and after eight weeks of ICBT. Fifteen nulliparous pregnant Swedish women with severe fear of childbirth participated in an ICBT program and completed a semi-structured questionnaire before and after ICBT. Participants’ narratives pertaining to five different scenarios during labor and delivery were assessed before and after ICBT.

The researchers found that participants described a more realistic attitude toward childbirth after therapy, displaying more self-confidence and more active coping strategies. Participants perceived their partners and staff as more supportive, and when giving birth, they were more aware of the approaching meeting with their baby.

“Following the ICBT program, participants changed their attitude towards imminent childbirth from negative to more positive,” the authors write. “This was manifested in positive and more realistic expectations regarding themselves, their partner, and the staff that would look after them.”

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