International Journal of
Nursing and Midwifery

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Nurs. Midwifery
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2456
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJNM
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 213

Full Length Research Paper

What helps? A description of experiences of support among primiparous women with fear of childbirth: An interview study

Mårtensson Lena
  • Mårtensson Lena
  • School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
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Mogren Lisa
  • Mogren Lisa
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, Sweden.
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Lindbom Emma
  • Lindbom Emma
  • Södra Älvsborg Hospital, Borås, Sweden.
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Thorstensson Stina*
  • Thorstensson Stina*
  • School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
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  •  Received: 01 August 2014
  •  Accepted: 24 August 2014
  •  Published: 30 September 2014



Fear of childbirth is described as a major problem for many women as this has a negative effect for both the women and the babies. Health care professionals need to be able to offer these women adequate support which could be important for primiparous women. The aim of this study was to describe what primiparous women experience as support in coping with their fear of childbirth. A qualitative, inductive approach was used. Data was collected at two hospitals in Southwestern Sweden. Five primiparous women with fear of childbirth were included after a purposive, snowball sampling technique. Data were analyzed with qualitative content analysis. Findings are described through the main theme support adapted to the needs of the individual woman and of three categories: (1) the importance of receiving reassurance; (2) increased knowledge and understanding and; (3) combining all kinds of support. The conclusion of this study is that women’s fear could rapidly shift focus and individualized support sensitive to these shifts was important to increase primiparous women’s coping capacity. Support should include; reassurance, improved knowledge and understanding.  


Key words: Women's experiences, primiparous, fear of childbirth, social support, professional support, women’s health, life change events.