Maternal and fetal Doppler velocimetry in women diagnosed with fear of childbirth
Aim: This study aimed to investigate maternal and fetal Doppler flow parameters in term pregnant women diagnosed with fear of childbirth (FOC).
Materials and Methods: Women between 20 and 40 years with full‑term singleton pregnancies (≥37 gestational weeks) were included in the study. All patients were questioned with Turkish form of Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire (W‑DEQ) version A. Women with W‑DEQ scores ≥85 were defined as FOC. Forty women diagnosed with FOC (FOC group) and 45 women with W‑DEQ scores <85 (control group) underwent Doppler waveform analysis and the pulsatility index (PI) and resistance index (RI) values for uterine, umbilical, and mid cerebral arteries were recorded.
Results: Both groups had similar PI and RI values for umbilical and mid cerebral arteries (P > 0.05). However, PI and RI values for both right and left uterine arteries were higher in FOC group than control group (P < 0.05, for right uterine artery PI; P < 0.001, for left uterine artery RI; and P < 0.01, for others).
Conclusion: It may be suggested that the presence of FOC in term pregnant women seems to have a negative effect on uterine blood flow parameters. When diagnosed with FOC, the women should be referred to a specialist for psychoeducation and psychosomatic support to decrease her fear and to minimize the negative impact of fear on the fetus.
Keywords: Childbirth, Doppler, fear, fetus, pregnancy, ultrasound