The effect of pregnancy Pilates-assisted childbirth preparation training on childbirth fear and neonatal outcomes: a quasi-experimental/quantitative research


This research aims to determine the effect pregnancy Pilates-assisted childbirth preparation training for primiparous women has on the fear of childbirth and neonatal outcomes. Fear of childbirth is very common among women and has negative effects on the birth process and neonatal outcomes. The study was designed as quasi-experimental/non-randomised/quantitative and prospective. Primiparous women presenting to the antenatal clinic of a hospital between 27.2.2015 and 01.03.2016 constituted the study population (reached 149 women). The study sample included 108 women, 54 of whom were in the experimental group and 54 of whom were in the control group. The sample had agreed to participate in the study and had met the sample criteria. In collecting the data, the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire Version A, the birth outcomes data collection form were used. The data were analyzed using means calculation, Fisher’s Exact Test, Pearson’s Chi Square Test and T Test. The study found that the experimental group had a moderate level of childbirth fear prior to the training and a low level of childbirth fear following the training (p < 0.05). The study was determined that the experimental group, as compared to the control group, was positively affected by the training, in terms of childbirth fear, mode of the birth, planned or unplanned cesarean birth, the Apgar score and body weight of the newborn, and problems in the development of the newborn, the first contact time with newborn, and the first time breastfeeding (p < 0.05). The childbirth preparation program had a positive effect on fear of childbirth and neonatal outcomes.

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The researchers acknowledge Associate Professor Doctor Özgür Tosun for his guidance and contribution to the statistical analysis of this study.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dilek Sarpkaya Güder.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Appendix: The characteristics of the childbirth preparation program implemented in context of this study

Appendix: The characteristics of the childbirth preparation program implemented in context of this study

Childbirth preparation training methods/philosophical notions/activities employed in the study

  • Dick Read (the cycle of fear, tension and pain; the importance of exercise in pregnancy).

  • Lamaze (breathing techniques).

  • Hypno-Birthing (positive thinking and relaxing exercises).

  • Active birth (change of position during delivery, freedom of movement, the importance of exercise in pregnancy).

  • Pregnancy Pilates (Pilates mat work, using ball and band).

Teaching and training principles, methods and techniques used in the study

  • Adult instruction principles.

  • Narration, discussion, teaching by example, video presentation, individual study methods.

  • Brainstorming, question and answer, show, implementation, group work, educational playing techniques.

The period, frequency and group characteristics of the training, in addition to the numbers of participants and trainers

  • Twice a week; 2 h each day.

  • One hour of theoretical education; 45 min of pregnancy Pilates; 15 min of breathing exercises.

  • Eight weeks in total; 8 h of theoretical education; 16 h of pregnancy Pilates and breathing exercises.

  • Closed group training; 10 groups of 4–8 individuals.

  • Only one trainer.

The subjects included in the training content

  • The formation and effects of childbirth fear; the importance of pregnancy Pilates-aided childbirth preparation training; the changes and discomfort observed in the final trimester, and recommendations for them; coping strategies for delivery, and the hormones and contractions occurring during delivery (breathing and massage techniques, change of position, walking and using a birthing ball); interventions in childbirth, and cesarean section; the very first introduction to the infant; commitment; breast milk, and breastfeeding techniques.

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Sarpkaya Güder, D., Yalvaç, M. & Vural, G. The effect of pregnancy Pilates-assisted childbirth preparation training on childbirth fear and neonatal outcomes: a quasi-experimental/quantitative research. Qual Quant 52, 2667–2679 (2018).

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  • Childbirth fear
  • Neonatal
  • Nursing
  • Pilates
  • Pregnant women
  • Prenatal education