The association of a past childbirth experience with a variety of early physical and mental symptoms in subsequent pregnancies

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Background: Some women have a perceived negative experience of childbirth due to various reasonse.g., obstetric complications or the feeling of loss of control. We do not know enough about the effects of a perceived negative experience of a childbirth on a woman's subsequent pregnancies. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a previously perceived negative childbirth experience affects a woman's physical and mental well-being in a later pregnancy. Methods: A prospective cohort study in Danish general practice, based on information about women's childbirth experiences from the Pregnancy Health Record filled in by the general practitioner (GP) and data from an electronic questionnaire completed by the women. Results: A total of 1288 women were included in the analysis. Women who had given birth before were found to have a significantly higher risk of experiencing nausea, varicose veins and uterine contractions, and a lower risk of pelvic cavity pain in the current pregnancy. Women having given birth before were significantly more likely to assess their physical fitness as poor and to experience poor well-being. Women with a perceived negative experience of childbirth had more sleep problems and a higher prevalence of poor self-rated health than women with unproblematic childbirth experience. Conclusion: This study showed that women with a previously perceived negative experience of childbirth are affected according to their mental health in their subsequent pregnancy (c) 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( )

Original languageEnglish
Article number103406
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • Childbirth experience, Pregnancy, Self -rated health, Sleep, Pregnancy symptoms, SELF-RATED HEALTH, BIRTH EXPERIENCE, RISK-FACTORS, TRAUMATIC BIRTH, WOMENS, SLEEP, POSTPARTUM, IMPACT, FEAR

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