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Does a traumatic birth experience have an impact on future reproduction?

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To investigate whether women's experiences of their first birth affects future reproduction. Design

Prospective cohort study. Setting

South Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Population

Six hundred and seventeen women who gave birth to their first child 1989–1992. Methods

A global measure of women's experiences of their first birth, assessed two months postpartum, was available from a birth centre trial, together with information on a range of background variables. This information was linked to the Swedish Medical Birth Register, which included information on the number of subsequent births during the following 8–10 years. Main Outcome Measures

Number of births (0 or ≥1) following the first birth. Results

Women with a negative experience of their first birth had fewer subsequent children and a longer interval to the second baby (RR 1.7, 95% CI 1.3–2.3). Being 35 years and older (RR 2.6, 95% CI 1.6–3.7), or single (RR 2.6, 95% CI 1.7–3.9) was also associated with subsequent infertility. Conclusion

A negative birth experience was associated with subsequent infertility, and women's experiences should therefore be considered seriously in the provision of maternity care.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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