Author(s): Katarzyna Gregor (ABDEF), Ewa Bana? (ABDEF), Marzena Malec (ABD), Michalina Ilska (ACDEF), Agnieszka Jagielska (ABD), Karol Rak (ABD), Bartosz Czuba (ABD), Wojciech Cnota (ABDEF)
Introduction. Labor anxiety is a negative phenomenon that can affect the perinatal period. Aim. The aim of the study was to identify factors that increase the risk of labor anxiety, and to assess the impact of this phenomenon on the course of labor, puerperium and neonatal condition. Material and methods. The study included 68 patients hospitalized in the Clinical Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Ruda Slaska, Poland. The material was collected from the medical documentation, a questionnaire concerning sociodemographic aspects, Labor Anxiety Questionnaire (KLP) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Results. A low level of labor anxiety occurred in two-third of the respondents (61.76%). The young age of the women was associated with higher prenatal stress (r = - .259, p = .044). The level of labor anxiety did not vary depending on other socio-demographic factors, such as place of residence, level of education or financial situation. The higher the labor anxiety, the higher the symptoms of depression (r = .351, p = .003) measured at admission to hospital. An increased level of childbirth anxiety significantly influenced the length of natural labor (r = .717, p = .001). There was no correlation between antenatal anxiety and labor pain (r = -.069; p = .654), birth weight (r = -.020; p =.871), Apgar score (r = - .054; p = .672) and duration of hospital stay of the mother (r = .065; p = .609) and child (r = -.201; p = .149). Conclusions. Labor anxiety affects the course of delivery or puerperium. Particular attention should be paid to young pregnant women with labor anxiety at the highest level, which may lead to prolonged labor and postnatal depression.