Women in high-resource countries often postpone childbearing. Postponed childbearing may lead to increased health risks for both mother and child and may also result in childlessness. Attitudes among men and women about fertility and childbearing have been studied in different phases of fertile life, but instruments that assess attitudes toward fertility and childbearing among women without children are lacking. The aim of this study is to develop and evaluate a specific instrument, the Attitudes toward Fertility and Childbearing Scale (AFCS), to assess and compare attitudes toward fertility and childbearing using a national sample of Swedish women, who are not yet mothers.
This study reports on the development of a new instrument and was carried out in three steps: (1) Statements were constructed based on two qualitative studies; (2) Data were collected through web-based questionnaires, and (3) Data were analyzed using statistical tests for construct validity with exploratory factor analysis, internal consistency reliability, and comparative statistics. Student's t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were performed to analyze differences between the components and background characteristics. One hundred and thirty-eight women participated; they were 20-30 years of age, not mothers, and able to read and speak Swedish.
The instrument showed acceptable sample adequacy, factorability, and reliability using Cronbach's alpha. Three components were revealed, each one representing a specific underlying dimension of the construct: 1) importance of fertility for the future (Cronbach's a, 0.901); 2) childbearing as a hindrance at present (Cronbach's a, 0.908); and 3) social identity (Cronbach's a, 0.805). Women who were students scored higher in importance of fertility for the future than did women who were unemployed. Women living in metropolitan areas and larger cities were more likely to score highly in childbearing as a hindrance at present than women living in middle-sized cities or in the countryside. Women in the age group from 25-26 agreed to the largest extent with childbearing as a hindrance at present.
The instrument shows acceptable factorability and reliability. Three components were found to be the best solution. Further evaluation is necessary.
Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a universally disabling condition affecting three of 10 pregnant women. Qualitative studies on the subject are lacking.
To describe pregnant women's experiences of PGP as related to daily life.
In all, 27 women with PGP participating in a randomised controlled study were interviewed during 2010-2011. Qualitative content analysis was used.
Five main categories emerged: PGP affects the ability to cope with everyday life; Coping with motherhood; Relationships between partners often reached the breaking point; Questioning one's identity as defined by profession and work, and Lessons learned from living with PGP. The categories illustrate how women's everyday lives were interrupted. Their inability to meet their own and others' expectations put a strain on their lives causing disappointment, sadness and frustration. It made them question and doubt their roles and identities as mothers, partners and professionals, and kept them from looking forward to future pregnancies, in the absence of effective treatment for PGP. Knowledge gained was that women with PGP should seek help immediately, listen to their bodies, and acknowledge their limitations.
PGP severely affects pregnant women's everyday lives. There appears to be a lack of knowledge and awareness in general, as well as among caregivers and employers of PGP that needs to be highlighted and rectified. There is also a great need to learn how to support those suffering from it. Appropriate support during this important and rare phase in a woman's life is highly warranted.