Birth Doula Support
re: Maternal Anxiety as a Risk Factor for Preterm Birth
Did you know Pregnancy-specific anxiety (PSA) is a risk factor for preterm birth (PTB)? Mamas with anxiety during the prenatal period, specifically concerns such as fear regarding the pregnancy, delivery, and health of the child, have a higher risk of delivering their baby before 37 weeks gestational age.
Just like how births are all different, research studies also have their own differences. Different processes and different outcomes. The study my research team worked on was a Systematic Review and Meta Analysis on studies that looked at anxiety in the prenatal period and the outcome of preterm birth (PTB).
We took these studies and their results and not only compared them but also combined them to determine if the relationship between PSA and PTB remained statistically significant, and it did.
While working on this research project and during the process of writing the manuscript to be published in a scientific journal, I was not aware of the work of Doulas. My research does not look at Doulas and their work impacting PSA, however, with my knowledge and experience since that time I can see that Doulas really matter!
The prenatal visits, continuous support, the ability to provide information to the client, and suggestions for prenatal classes and a Birth Doulas knowledge of childbirth gives pregnant Mamas the confidence they require to care for themselves and their babies during the prenatal period.
There are many risk factors that can cause preterm birth (PTB), but in helping alleviate pregnancy-specific anxiety (PSA) we may have a hand in decreasing their risk for PTB, and in turn preventing health issues that plague babies born too early.
Gianella Pana is a Birth Doula serving Chestermere, Calgary and Airdrie families. To read her published research paper <<click here>>