The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-018-1997-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Malin Eberhard-Gran and Susan Garthus-Niegel contributed equally to this work.
Fear of childbirth (FOC) could have significant impact on women’s childbearing choices and experience. Culture affects the way women conceptualize childbirth, influencing the fears and expectations they may hold in relation to it. In the current study, we examined differences in childbirth preferences of cesarean section and use of epidural analgesia between Norwegian and Israeli pregnant women. Later, we used the Norwegian six-factor solution of the widely-used Wijma Delivery Expectancy Questionnaire (W-DEQ-A) to compare levels of the different FOC factors. Finally, we investigated differences in the associations between FOC and childbirth preferences between the two countries.
Secondary analysis of two large surveys. Women from Israel (n = 490) and Norway (n = 2918) were recruited during prenatal check-ups in community clinics and a university hospital. At around 32 weeks of gestation, all participants filled out questionnaires, including the W-DEQ-A. Statistical analysis included exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, M/ANOVA, Spearman’s Rho and Fisher’s Z tests for the significance of the difference between independent correlations.
The Norwegian six-factor solution of the W-DEQ fit well with the Israeli data. Norwegian women were more concerned about loneliness, feeling less self-efficacy, negatively appraising birth, and lacking positive anticipation. Israeli women were more concerned about negative outcomes for the child and experienced greater general fear and fear of pain. Norwegian women preferred more cesarean sections compared to Israeli women, who preferred more epidural use than Norwegians. FOC factors were more strongly related to childbirth preferences among Norwegians.
Cultural differences between Israel and Norway are reflected by the differences seen in the levels of fear reported across the six factors. In Israel, birth culture is very medicalized, motherhood is highly revered, and there is an emphasis on having “perfect babies”. In contrast, Norwegian women have fewer children, and birth is considered more natural. This could explain why Israeli women were more concerned that their child might be harmed during birth, while Norwegian women were more concerned with the physical and emotional expectations of birth.
Anim Somuah M, Smyth RM, Jones L. Epidural versus non‐epidural or no analgesia in labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011(12).
Holan S, Mathiesen M, Petersen K. A National Clinical Guideline for Antenatal Care. Short version: Oslo. Norway: Directorate for Health and Social Affairs; 2005.
Zeitlin J, Mohangoo A, Delnord M. European perinatal health report. The health and care of pregnant women and babies in Europe in 2010. Euro Peristat: Paris; 2013.
Norwegian Institute of Public Health: Medical birth registry and Abortion registry. Available at: http://statistikkbank.fhi.no/mfr/ (Accessed 7 Nov 2017).
OECD. Total fertility rate, 1970, 1995 and 2015. Available at: http://www.oecd.org/els/family/SF_2_1_Fertility_rates.pdf. (Accessed 12 May 2017).
Morgenstern-Leissner O. Hospital birth, military service and the ties that bind them: the case of Israel. Nashim. 2006;12:203–41.
Remennick L. The quest for the perfect baby: why do Israeli women seek prenatal genetic testing? Sociol Health Illn. 2006;28(1):21–53. PubMed
Hashiloni-Dolev Y. Between mothers, fetuses and society: reproductive genetics in the Israeli-Jewish context. Nashim. 2006;12(1):129–50.
Aviram A. Obstetrics in Israel: Report of 2014. Ramat Gan: Proceeding of the annual conference of the Israeli maternal-fetal Society; 2015.
Gibbons L, Belizán JM, Lauer JA, Betrán AP, Merialdi M, Althabe F. The global numbers and costs of additionally needed and unnecessary caesarean sections performed per year: overuse as a barrier to universal coverage. World Health Rep. 2010;30:1–31.
Fenaroli V, Saita E. Fear of childbirth: a contribution to the validation of the Italian version of the Wijma delivery expectancy/experience questionnaire (WDEQ). TPM Test Psychom Methodol Appl Psychol. 2013;20(2):131–54.
IBM Corp. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 24.0. 2016.
Arbuckle JL. AMOS (version 23.0). Chicago: IBM SPSS; 2014.
Hayton JC, Allen DG, Scarpello V. Factor retention decisions in exploratory factor analysis: a tutorial on parallel analysis. Organ Res Methods. 2004;7(2):191–205. CrossRef
Israeli Ministry of Health. Natural childbirth in Hospitals 2017.
Kolås T, Hofoss D, Daltveit AK, Nilsen ST, Henriksen T, Häger R, Ingemarsson I, Øian P. Indications for cesarean deliveries in Norway. Obstet Gynecol. 2003;188(4):864–70.
- Childbirth preferences and related fears - comparison between Norway and Israel
- BioMed Central
Neu im Fachgebiet Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe
Meistgelesene Bücher aus dem Fachgebiet
Mail Icon II