Connect to share and comment
A Norwegian study found that women who were scared of giving birth were more likely to spend excessive time in labor than those who are not - eight hours versus six and a half.
Those who fear childbirth will likely suffer most, says new research.
A Norwegian study found that women who were scared of giving birth were more likely to spend a longer time in labor than those who are not - eight hours versus six and a half.
High stress may weaken uterine contractions prolonging the delivery of the baby.
"Mental stress is associated with physiological arousal and release of stress hormones," study co-author Samantha Salvesen Adams of Akershus University Hospital in Oslo told CNN.
"During labour, high levels of stress hormones may weaken uterine [contractions]."
More from GlobalPost: Nodding disease: Uganda battles mysterious ailment
According to the study, five percent to 20 percent of pregnant women fear giving birth, reported Time.
Reasons for being afraid varied from fear of pain to a lack of social support.
CNN reported that at least some of women's fear and unease comes from the unfamiliar hospital environment in which there is a great deal of commotion and interruption during childbirth.
"Fear of childbirth seems to be an increasingly important issue in obstetric care," said Adams, reported CBS News.
"Our finding of longer duration of labor in women who fear childbirth is a new piece in the puzzle within this intersection between psychology and obstetrics."
The findings were published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.