So you just found out you're pregnant. A million thoughts flash quickly through your head. Is this for real!? You text your sister a photo ... "is there actually a second line!?" You wonder how you should tell the other half. You start planning the gender reveal in your head. You're relieved that you know what all those weird symptoms were about. You want to tell EVERYBODY! But as time moves along and you adapt to the changes you're experiencing, it starts to dawn on you...you're going to have a baby. You're going to give birth to a baby! As you get closer to the big day, fear and uncertainty can set in. Friends and relatives are regaling you with tales of how horrible labor and birth were for them. You begin to think about how you will manage the pain. You become afraid of the pain. You have a hundred different suggestions coming at you from all different directions, and you don't know what to do. This can be an incredibly scary time for a pregnant woman. For some, it goes beyond that.
I have agreed to help with recruitment for a Childbirth Fear Study, being conducted by Dr. Nichole Fairbrother and a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia's Department of Psychiatry.
"The purpose of this new study is to find out if our new measure can help us to identify women experiencing clinically significant fear of childbirth. To do this, we are asking pregnant women to complete the online Childbirth Fear Questionnaire and a very brief interview to assess clinically significant fear of childbirth.
In our study, we are also looking at how childbirth fears relate to pregnant women’s birth preferences, mental health, and history of sexual abuse and symptoms of posttraumatic stress. This is an important topic because we know that women with mental health problems, or a history of sexual assault or trauma may find childbirth more challenging. We also understand that this is a sensitive topic.
This research is appropriate for women who are pregnant and 18 years or older. Please note that we would like to hear from ALL pregnant women (those who are fearful of childbirth and those who are not)."