Nyytti group


Delivery of the intervention: Group-based

Aim of the intervention: The aim of the Nyytti Group is to alleviate the fear of childbirth in pregnant mothers and prevent the adverse effects of the fear. The intervention strengthens and reinforces the preparedness for the childbirth and the parenthood.

Description of the intervention: The Nyytti Group is a semi-structured peer group-based intervention, targeted for pregnant mothers expecting their first child. The intervention is based on strengthening the body awareness and self-regulation, peer groups as well as instructive and educative ways of working (psychoeducation). The peer groups gather six times during pregnancy and once after childbirth. The groups are led by a trained Nyytti instructor. Each meeting has its own psychoeducative content and exercise for body awareness (Salmela-Aro et al. 2011). The aim of the group discussions is to share peer support and increase own emotions, body awareness and mentalization. Families are prescribed to Nyytti Groups by the child health clinics.

Availability of the intervention in Finland: Method training is organized by the developers of the intervention, if needed. The training is targeted for psychologists and psychotherapists. The intervention has been developed by the psychologists Riikko Airo and Maiju Tokola. Nyytti Groups are organized at the Women’s Hospital (Helsinki University Hospital, HUS) and Oulu University Hospital.

Research- and evidence-based efficacy of the intervention: The effectiveness of the Nyytti Groups has been studied in a randomized controlled trial (Rouhe et al. 2013; Rouhe et al. 2015; Salmela-Aro et al. 2011). The scope of the study was to investigate the effect of the Nyytti Group on the method of childbirth and positive childbirth experiences (Rouhe et al. 2015), preparedness for the childbirth and strengthening of the motherhood (Salmela-Aro et al. 2011), as well as adaptation to the motherhood and postnatal depressive symptoms (Rouhe et al. 2013). The preparedness for the childbirth increased among mothers who gave birth to their first child in the intervention group. With reduced fear of childbirth, the motherhood strengthened in mothers who participated in the Nyytti Group (Salmela-Aro et al. 2011.) The Nyytti Group also had an effect on the method of childbirth (vaginal delivery), positive childbirth experience (Rouhe et al. 2013) and adaptation to motherhood (Rouhe ym. 2015).


  • Rouhe, H., Salmela-Aro, K., Toivanen, R., Tokola, M., Halmesmäki, E., Ryding, E-L. & Saisto, T. (2015). Group psychoeducation with relaxation for severe fear of childbirth improves maternal adjustment and childbirth experience – a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 36(1), 1–9.
  • Rouhe, H., Salmela-Aro, K., Toivanen, R., Tokola, M., Halmesmäki, E. & Taisto, T. (2013). Obstetric outcome after intervention for severe fear of childbirth in nulliparous women – randomized trial. An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 120, 75–84.
  • Salmela-Aro K., Read, S., Rouhe, H., Halmesmäki, E., Toivanen R. M., Tokola, M. I. & Saisto, T. (2012). Promoting positive motherhood among nullparious pregnant women with an intense fear of childbirth: RCT intervention. Journal of Health Psychology, 17(4), 520–534.