A1 Journal article – refereed
Changes in emotions and personal goals in primiparous pregnant women during group intervention for fear of childbirth

List of Authors: Airo (Toivanen) R., Korja R., Saisto T., Rouhe H., Muotka J., Salmela–Aro K.
Publisher: Routledge
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Journal name in source: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
ISSN: 0264-6838
eISSN: 1469-672X


The changes in emotions, subjective fear of childbirth, and personal goals were examined during a group intervention to treat fear of childbirth (FOC). The objective was to gain a more detailed understanding of the changes occurring during the group intervention of FOC. The changes in emotions, subjective FOC, and personal goals were studied in primiparous pregnant women with severe FOC participating in a group intervention (n = 105). The group intervention contained six sessions during pregnancy and one after childbirth. At every session, the participants filled in a questionnaire regarding their experiences of current positive and negative emotions and the subjective FOC. The participants also set and reported their personal goals in their preparation for childbirth and parenthood. The negative emotions decreased from the beginning of the intervention. The change became significant after the fourth session. The amount of positive emotions increased but became statistically significant only after the delivery. The subjective FOC decreased significantly from the beginning of the intervention. Personal goals shifted from being mainly self-related to being mostly related to parenthood. The group intervention decreased FOC and promoted changes in emotions and personal goals that foster emotional preparedness for childbirth. It seems that the decrease in FOC was made possible through gaining a better capacity to regulate emotions, especially negative emotions. As negative emotions and fear decreased, personal goals simultaneously changed in the direction known to be adaptive for the new life situation as a parent of a newborn.

Internal Authors/Editors

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 22:42