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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 131-135

Perceived labour-pain and parity are not determinants of tokophobia amongst birthing mothers: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Nursing, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 African Centre of Excellence in Public Health and Toxicology Research University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
3 Department of Nursing, Sciences Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria
4 Home Health Services Amedisys, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence Address:
Chinemerem Eleke
Department of Nursing, University of Port Harcourt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_17_20

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Background: Maternal health experts opine that poor control of labour-pain could result in traumatic childbirth experience which could lead to tokophobia. Aim: This study examined the association between perceived labour-pain and tokophobia amongst mothers who had normal vaginal birth in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. A sample size of 218 randomly selected birthing mothers was examined for the study. Fear of childbirth and numeric analogue scale for labour-pain interview questionnaires designed by the research team were used for data collection. Data were collected through face-to-face interview of consenting postnatal mothers at 24–36 h after labour. Collected data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics at P < 0.05. Results: About 85.3% of the respondents had severe perceived labour-pain. Only 2.8% of the respondents suffered moderate tokophobia. Occupation was significantly associated with tokophobia (P = 0.047) and homemakers (unemployed women) were more likely to suffer tokophobia. Perceived labour-pain, parity and age were not significant determinants of tokophobia (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Severe perceived labour-pain is widespread, whereas tokophobia is not very common in South-Southern part of Nigeria. Tokophobia was predicted by unemployment but not perceived labour-pain, parity and age. Midwives and other obstetric care givers should incorporate mental health services into prenatal care of unemployed women and advocate for adequate analgesia during labour to further reduce perceived labour-pain.

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