Counseling by experienced midwives is offered to women with childbirth fear in most obstetric clinics in Sweden, but information about the content of such counseling is lacking.
To study comprehensiveness, content and organization of the midwife-led counseling for childbirth fear in all obstetric clinics in Sweden.
In this cross-sectional study, data were collected using a questionnaire sent to all obstetric clinics in Sweden (n?=?45); a total of 43 clinics responded. Descriptive and one-way ANOVA was used in the analysis.
All responding obstetric clinics in Sweden offer midwife-led counseling to women with childbirth fear. Major differences were found regarding the time allocated to counseling, with a range between 5.7 and 47.6 minutes per childbirth. Supplementary education for midwives and the availability of treatment options varied at the different clinics and were not associated with the size of the clinic.
The midwife-led counseling conducted at the different Swedish obstetric clinics showed considerable disparities. Women with childbirth fear would benefit from care on equal terms irrespective of place of residence. Consequently, it would be valuable to develop a national healthcare program for childbirth fear.