WG-5-2 on the Pyschology of Childbirth

aidan´s birth
Aidan´s Birth


Working group 5-2 has focused on researching women´s lived experience of physiological childbirth. Meeting the emotional and psychosocial needs of labouring women requires a deep understanding of the psychological aspects of physiologic childbirth by midwives and other health care professionals. However, knowledge on psychological or emotional experiences of women during childbirth remains limited.

What could hinder the psychological process of labor? Do all women go through the similar or common mental stages intrapartum? How common is that labour starts with a doubt: (Am in labour?) followed by excitement (I am in labour!), fear or even panic? The well known “transition” stage, does it come with a typical altered stated of mind, where time and perception may be experienced qualitatively different and if so how important is it not to disrupt it? Is the fetus ejection reflex always accompanied by an intense fear of death? How common are the feelings of shock and estrangement once the baby is out  ? Are relief and joy the most common psychological emotions after delivery or are they just another reflection of the cultural idealization of motherhood?

The protocol of our study has been accepted for publication and will come out in the next edition of the International Journal of Childbirth:

  • The Psychological Experience of Physiological Childbirth: A Protocol for a Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies. Leahy-Warren, P., Nieuwenhuijze, M., Maria Kazmierczak, Yael Benyamini, Margaret Murphy, Esther Crespo-Mirasol, Andria Spyridou, Sigridur Sia Jonsdóttir, Lea Tackas, Ibone Olza.

During our recent meeting in Crete we discussed the themes and subthemes coming from our analysis.We are now in the final stages of this work and soon we will be able to offer some answers to this indeed very fascinating questions!






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