Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background: Childbirth can be a very painful experience as it brings a lot of physiological and psychological changes in women’s lives. The literature demonstrates that anxiety and fear during the birthing process is related to a woman’s ability to give birth safely; fear can lead to complications such as emergency caesarean section and a reduced ability to tolerate pain. Therefore, health care professionals need to explore fears and educate expectant mothers, most especially primi gravidas, about the birthing process.
Method: A qualitative descriptive exploratory design was used to investigate fears about childbirth. Purposive sampling was used to recruit a heterogeneous sample of 20 Pakistani first time mothers who gave birth at a secondary hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
Results: The major theme of fear was divided into four categories: fear related to the onset of labour pains; fear of death during delivery, fear of Cesarean Section, and fear about the health and gender of the unborn child.
Conclusion: Primi gravidas experience fear about several aspects of the birthing process that could be reduced with appropriate information and support from health professionals. Health education sessions for pregnant women should be part of maternity care. Nurses and midwives are ideal professionals to provide such sessions.