Updated: Feb 25
Tokophobia is a term very few have heard of but we all have known one person who suffers with it.
Tokophobia is the fear of giving birth. Now I have never meet a woman that didn’t fear birth but that never stopped her. Tokophobia is different, it’s an extreme fear that can be terrifying and crippling for those who experience it. Having tokophobia can mean women postponing birth or avoiding pregnancy all together - this affects 13% to be exact.
You may laugh it off but the fear can be overwhelming and overshadow the most memorable and important moments of your and your babies life. For this reason we need to talk about it.
It's more likely to fear something you have never experienced and is therefore most common in women who have never been or are in the first pregnancy. Although it can also occur after childbirth, this is known as secondary tokophobia.
It's not known why tokophobia occurs in some women but one of the main contributory factors is psychological, for instance if you have witnessed a traumatic birth or have a fear of hospitals or medical care this could cause more tension and anxiety.
The best solution is a supportive circle, lots of reassurance and love. Be open and honest with someone you can trust who is non judgemental. Other things that may help ease symptoms include yoga, meditation, Affirmation, hypnobirthing and cognative behavioural therapy (CBT). For tips on these take a look over our other blog posts.