chapter  4
9 Pages

The BPG survey

Fear
WithRosemary Mander

An online survey by the Birth Project Group illuminated the reality of midwives' and students' fears and that they were more deeply held and more wide-ranging than previously thought. The reality of fear in the context of childbearing is so patently obvious that it barely deserves a mention. This chapter demonstrates how the experience of fear is changing, which is extending to affect others in the maternity scenario. It focuses on the qualitative data and analysis, using the actual words of the midwife and student respondents to illustrate the depth, extent and nature of their experience of being frightened. The impact of obstetric colleagues on midwives' perceptions of anxiety came together in other responses, such as the midwife who mentioned: the prevailing obstetric culture of fear. The continuing existence of bullying in midwifery and the inability of managers to resolve the problem is a reflection of the sorry situation in many health care disciplines as well as other occupational groups.