Fear of childbirth and mental health during pregnancy


All types of mental health issues that occur outside pregnancy can occur during pregnancy. These issues can include everything from mental disorders of a less serious nature to severe psychiatric disorders. The mental health issues can have been there before the pregnancy, develop, worsen, or change during pregnancy.

Fear before childbirth exists on a scale from no fear at all to extreme fear and anxiety (i.e. tokophobia). The fear of childbirth may be a primary fear or a secondary fear where a past event is the basis of the fear. In order to reduce the fear of childbirth, the pregnant woman can get e.g. support from midwives, relaxation exercises, psychotherapy and in some cases an elective caesarean section.


SBU will do a systematic review of the scientific evidence for:

  • methods for diagnosis and treatment of childbirth fear
  • methods for treating mental illness during pregnancy

The project will be completed in March 2021.

Ongoing Projects

Planned to be published: Quarter 1, 2021
Contact SBU: registrator@sbu.se
Registration no: SBU 2019/362

Project group


  • Marie Bendix
  • Ida Flink
  • Ann Josefsson
  • Christina Nilsson
  • Gunilla Sydsjö

From SBU

  • Nathalie Peira, Project Manager
  • Naama Kenan Modén, Assistant Project Manager
  • Maja Kärrman Fredriksson, Information Specialist
  • Caroline Jungner, Project Administrator
  • Jenny Berg, Healt Economist
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