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Publication Date: 
March, 2018
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This study explored women’s trust-based and fear-based beliefs about birth. It asked: Do women trust their bodies’ innate intelligence to give birth, or does fear override trust? The study sought to understand whether beliefs, fears, and trust associate with birth experiences and birth outcomes.


This study explored women’s trust-based and fear-based beliefs about birth. It asked: Do women trust their bodies’ innate intelligence to give birth, or does fear override trust? The study sought to understand whether beliefs, fears, and trust associate with birth experiences and birth outcomes. Data were collected by way of a qualitative, cross-sectional survey distributed to Georgian Court University faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as to women undergoing HypnoBirthing, home birthing, and water birthing. The study posed 43 questions—each inquiring about beliefs and fears associated with birth—and then mapped them to birth experience and outcome. The results of this study indicate that fear states are associated with higher incidences of interventions and C-sections. In addition, the results show that no fear and low fear values are associated with self-reported calm states and more-positive birth experiences. Therefore, this study concluded that the ability to maintain a calm meditative state during labor may be effective in the improvement of birth experiences and birth outcomes because it supports the neurohormonal physiology of birth.


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