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Vicarious Birth Experiences and Childbirth Fear: Does It Matter How Young Canadian Women Learn About Birth?

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Abstract:

In our secondary analysis of a cross-sectional survey, we explored predictors of childbirth fear for young women (n = 2,676). Young women whose attitudes toward pregnancy and birth were shaped by the media were 1.5 times more likely to report childbirth fear. Three factors that were associated with reduced fear of birth were women’s confidence in reproductive knowledge, witnessing a birth, and learning about pregnancy and birth through friends. Offering age-appropriate birth education during primary and secondary education, as an alternative to mass-mediated information about birth, can be evaluated as an approach to reduce young women’s childbirth fear.

Keywords: birth in the media; fear of birth; survey; young women

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/1058-1243.22.4.226

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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