Objective: To estimate and compare the prevalences of anxiety at first and subsequent pregnancies and explore its associated factors.
Material and Methods: The study was conducted among multiparous women aged <34 years admitted to the post-partum ward in a regional hospital in northeastern Thailand during April-September 2014. Information on levels of anxiety, social support, financial stressors, self-esteem and socio-demographic characteristics was collected. Anxiety at the first pregnancy and the most recent pregnancy were assessed. Factors associated with the anxiety were analyzed by multiple logistic regression.
Results: Of the 447 women enrolled in the study, 24.0% had experienced high-level anxiety when becoming aware of being pregnant for the first pregnancy which was associated with the pregnancy being unplanned, high financial stressors and low social support. Sixty percent of the women felt that the degree of anxiety in their current pregnancy was lower. Decreased anxiety was more likely to be found in women who changed employment status from unemployed to employed, those with increased social support, and those with decreased financial stressors, and less likely in women with increased financial stressors.
Conclusion: One-fourth of the women reported anxiety at their first pregnancy which decreased in subsequent pregnancies. Social support and financial stressors during pregnancy should be explored and strategies on how to improve these conditions at antenatal care services should be studied.
Keywords: antenatal anxiety, social support, financial stressor, unplanned pregnancy