Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Carla M. Velázquez-García


This capstone investigates fear of childbirth (FOC) and correlated prenatal anxiety and/or prenatal depression. This literature review examines the current research related to FOC in prenatal birthing populations and art therapy interventions. Careful considerations were taken in regard to language for this population. Gender neutral terminology is used to be inclusive of trans, non-binary, and queer pregnancies. FOC is common, affecting about 80% of birthing individuals (O’Connell et al., 2021). Symptoms and implications for FOC are vast, including anxiety, depression, preeclampsia, increased medical inventions, and possible long term mental health risks. The baby's wellbeing is also affected by FOC, including developmental delays and adverse health outcomes (Iordachescu et al., 2021; O’Connell et al., 2019; Webb et al., 2021). Clinically, there are a handful of evidence-based, non-pharmacological interventions being used to address FOC. This thesis focuses specifically on current art therapy interventions as a treatment method for FOC from the time of initial assessment onward. The literature reviewed shows specific intermodal techniques— including music, movement, meditation, and art—are already being utilized alongside more singular art therapy approaches. The art therapists in the reviewed studies implement intermodal practices under the title of ‘art therapy’ interventions and report their interventions as beneficial in reducing FOC symptoms. The intermodality of these studies suggests there may be benefits to utilizing and studying the specific impact of expressive arts therapy interventions for FOC. Further research is needed with hope of offering insight into using expressive arts therapy as a beneficial intervention for FOC.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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