Predictors of Fear of Childbirth in Late Pregnancy: Spiritual Well-Being, Religious Attitude and Religious Coping

Author/s: Fatma Uslu-Sahan, Ceren Ercevik, Tulay Yıldız, Gulten Koc


Year: 2023 Vol: 8 Number: 3


Many studies have emphasized that birth and pregnancy are spiritual experiences, and spiritual and religious beliefs can help pregnant women prepare for childbirth and overcome the fear of the process. In this study, we investigated the effects of spiritual well-being, religious attitudes, and religious coping styles of pregnant women on fear of childbirth. We conducted this descriptive and cross-sectional study with 111 pregnant women in the last three months of pregnancy who applied to the gynecology and obstetrics outpatient clinic of a university hospital in Turkey. The data were collected using a personal information form, Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire-A, the Spiritual Well-Being Scale, the Religious Attitude Scale, and the Religious Coping Scale. We conducted ANOVA, t-tests, Pearson’s correlation, and hierarchical linear regression analysis to analyze the data. We found that the level of fear related to childbirth among pregnant women differed based on some socio-demographic characteristics (including employment status, income level, gestational week, and number of pregnancies) (p < 0.05). We found that 54.1% of pregnant women had low fear of childbirth, but 1.8% had clinical fear of childbirth. The fear of childbirth was negatively correlated with spiritual well-being, religious attitude, and positive religious coping. The employment status, income level, gestational week, number of pregnancies, and spiritual well-being were significant predictors of fear of childbirth (p < 0.05). These variables explained 59% of the total variance in the data on the fear of childbirth. Understanding how spirituality, religious attitudes, and religious coping affect the fear of childbirth and planning care accordingly may help pregnant women experience a more positive pregnancy and birth process and guide interventions to reduce the fear of childbirth.

Spirituality • Religious Attitude • Religious Coping • Fear of Childbirth • Pregnancy