Fear and Anxiety Disorders Related to Childbirth: Epidemiological and Therapeutic Issues

  • Alexandra BadaouiEmail author
  • Sandra Abou Kassm
  • Wadih Naja
Anxiety Disorders (A Pelissolo, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Anxiety Disorders


Purpose of Review

This paper seeks to identify the risk factors of fear of childbirth (FOC) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to birth and reviews the efficacy of their respective screening tools and therapeutic interventions.

Recent Findings

Biofeedback, hypnosis, internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy, and antenatal education are promising treatments for FOC. Training midwives to address traumatic birth experiences could help in preventing PTSD. A shorter more pragmatic screening tool for FOC than the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire (WDEQ) is needed. Women with PTSD attributed a mismatch between the expected mode of delivery (MOD) and the actual MOD as the cause of their trauma.


A history of mental health disorders, lack of social support, previous negative birth experiences, and MOD are correlated to FOC and postpartum PTSD. Psycho-education and CBT-based treatments have been found to reduce levels of FOC and PTSD.


Fear of childbirth Postpartum PTSD Tokophobia Pregnancy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Badaoui
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sandra Abou Kassm
    • 1
  • Wadih Naja
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Medical Sciences, Department of PsychiatryLebanese UniversityBeirutLebanon

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