Yunita Laila Astuti, Hsueh Fen Chou, Chieh Yu Liu, Chien Huei Kao


Background: Expectant mothers will experience physiological and psychological changes during pregnancy, including feeling fear of childbirth.  Fear is a psychological condition that can raise catecholamine levels and decrease uterine contractions, slowing down the labor process. Prenatal exercise such as Prenatal Gentle Yoga is developed to increase healthy pregnancy that may reduce fear of childbirth. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of Prenatal Gentle Yoga on fear of childbirth in pregnant women.

Methods: This research used a cross-sectional case-control study, conducted from July to August 2018 in Central Java Province. This study involved 130 first-time expectant mothers. A demographic questionnaire and the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire version A were used for data collection. Cross-tabulation and chi-square was used to analyse the demographic information. Independent samples t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to determine the differences in W-DEQ scores between the two groups. This study also used hierarchical multiple linear regression to determine predictors of fear of childbirth.

Results:Three variables significantly impacted fear of childbirth were education level, number of ultrasound examinations, and participation in Prenatal Gentle Yoga classes. Prenatal Gentle Yoga reduced fear of childbirth among participants who attended eight hours or more of classes compared to those who did not (p<.001). Participation in Prenatal Gentle Yoga was the only factor that strongly predicted childbirth fear (R2=.26).

Conclusions: This study concluded that Prenatal Gentle Yoga can decrease childbirth fear. Thus, Prenatal Gentle Yoga is recommended for pregnant women in order to reduce fear of childbirth.



fear of childbirth; pregnancy; prenatal yoga

Full Text:



  1. Simkin P, Hanson L, Ancheta R. The labor progress handbook: early interventions to prevent and treat dystocia. Fourth Edi. Wiley Blackwell; 2017.
  2. Adams SS, Eberhard-gran M, Eskild A. Fear of childbirth and duration of labour : a study of 2206 women with intended vaginal delivery. 2012;15–8.
  3. Klabbers GA, van den Heuvel MMA, van Bakel HJA, Vingerhoets AJJM. Severe fear of childbirth: Its features, assesment, prevalence, determinants, consequences and possible treatments | Miedo grave al parto: Sus rasgos, evaluación, prevalencia, determinantes, consecuencia y posibles tratamientos. Psihol Teme. 2016;25(1):107–27.
  4. PGY Trainer Team. Modul Prenatal Gentle Yoga. Kristala Permata Nusantara; 2017.
  5. Nieminen K, Andersson G, Wijma B, Ryding EL, Wijma K. Treatment of nulliparous women with severe fear of childbirth via the Internet: A feasibility study. J Psychosom Obstet Gynecol. 2016;37(2):37–43.
  6. Nieminen K, Malmquist A, Wijma B, Ryding E, Andersson G, Wijma K. Nulliparous pregnant women’s narratives of imminent childbirth before and after internet‐based cognitive behavioural therapy for severe fear of childbirth: a qualitative study. BJOG An Int J Obstet Gynaecol. 2015;122(9):1259–65.
  7. World Health Organization. WHO statement on caesarean section rates. 2015.
  8. Kemenkes RI. Riset Kesehatan Dasar. Jakarta Badan Penelit dan Pengemb Kesehat Dep Kesehat Republik Indones. 2013;
  9. Lavender T, Hofmeyr GJ, Neilson JP, Kingdon C, Gyte GML. Caesarean section for non-medical reasons at term. Cochrane Libr. 2012;1–18.
  10. Williams AN. The impact of mindfulness-based prenatal yoga on maternal attachment. California State University, Stanislaus; 2015.
  11. Kinser P, Masho S. “Yoga Was My Saving Grace”: The Experience of Women Who Practice Prenatal Yoga. J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2015;21(5):319–26.
  12. Wijma K, Wijma B, Zar M. Psychometric aspects of the W-DEQ; a new questionnaire for the measurement of fear of childbirth. J Psychosom Obstet Gynecol. 1998;19(2):84–97.
  13. O’connell MA, Leahy‐Warren P, Khashan AS, Kenny LC, O’neill SM. Worldwide prevalence of tocophobia in pregnant women: systematic review and meta‐analysis. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2017;
  14. Striebich S, Mattern E, Ayerle GM. Support for pregnant women identified with fear of childbirth (FOC)/tokophobia – A systematic review of approaches and interventions. Midwifery. 2018;61(February):97–115.
  15. Newham JJ, Wittkowski A, Hurley J, Aplin JD, Westwood M. Effects of antenatal yoga on maternal anxiety and depression: A randomized controlled trial. Depress Anxiety. 2014;31(8):631–40.
  16. Stoll K, Swift EM, Fairbrother N, Nethery E, Janssen P. A systematic review of nonpharmacological prenatal interventions for pregnancy-specific anxiety and fear of childbirth. Birth. 2018;45(1):7–18.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 PLACENTUM: Jurnal Ilmiah Kesehatan dan Aplikasinya

View My Stats

Lisensi Creative Commons
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike International 4.0 (CC BY-SA 4.0).