A consecutive unselected series of 139 pregnant women were personally interviewed during their 31st-33rd week of gestation concerning their feelings at the prospect of the anticipated delivery. A severe fear of childbirth was admitted by 9 women (6%), and another 23 (17%) expressed a more moderate, but still distinct fear of delivery. Fear of physical pain was not found to be a dominant contributing factor, and an augmented service for obstetrical analgesia will, therefore, not suffice to curtail the problem of fear of childbirth. Instead, fear of childbirth, if present, must be promptly identified and correctly evaluated to be adequately treated.

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