Does Antenatal Fear of Childbirth Predict Postnatal Fear of Childbirth? A Study of Japanese Women


The study aimed to determine whether antenatal fear of childbirth (expectation) could predict postnatal fear of childbirth (experience) by taking account of other antenatal psychological variables (anxiety and depression) as well as birth outcomes in Japanese women. A longitudinal observational study was conducted at a clinic in Tokyo, Japan, in 2011. Self-report questionnaires were distributed to 240 Japanese women at 37 gestational weeks (Time 1) and on the second day after delivery (Time 2). Regression analyses by means of structural equation modelling were conducted in both the primiparous and the multiparous group. The models exhibited good fit (chisquare value/degree of freedom = 1.10 - 1.62, comparative fit index = 0.92 - 0.99 and root mean square error of approximation = 0.03 - 0.07). Antenatal fear of childbirth was the most predictive variable of postnatal fear of childbirth in both the primiparous (β = 0.58, p = 0.002) and the multiparous group (β = 0.62, p < 0.001). In conclusion, antenatal fear of childbirth was a significant predictor of postnatal fear of childbirth when other antenatal psychological variables and birth outcomes were taken into account. Pregnant women who are strongly afraid of childbirth need special attention before and after delivery.

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Takegata, M. , Haruna, M. , Matsuzaki, M. , Shiraishi, M. , Okano, T. and Severinsson, E. (2015) Does Antenatal Fear of Childbirth Predict Postnatal Fear of Childbirth? A Study of Japanese Women. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 144-152. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.52017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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