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You are here : home > Pregnancy > Getting Ready for Delivery and Childbirth > Fear of pregnancy or childbirth

Fear of pregnancy or childbirth



Tocophobia means fear of pregnancy or childbirth. Read on to know the causes, symptoms and cure for this phobia. There is a hope for Tocophobics.


Kasturi was terrified about giving birth to a child since she saw her elder sister going through a lot of trauma in her first pregnancy. When Kasturi's pregnancy test came positive she was happy but as her due date approached she started displaying symptoms of tocophobia, an irrational fear of pregnancy or childbirth. She used to get panic attacks whenever she thought of pain during pregnancy. Her doctor told her not to worry. Within two months she came out of her fear with help of counseling and medications.

Though adults facing fear of pregnancy know that this fear is totally irrational, they do feel panic when they think of labour pain or childbirth. Let's understand more about tocophobia.


What is tocophobia?

Tocophobia is referred to as fear of pregnancy or childbirth. We have come across many phobias such as agoraphobia (fear of crowd), zoophobia (fear of animals) and such, but do you ever heard of tocophobia?

Any one of us can be a Tocophobic. A Tocophobic woman may panic to find out that she is pregnant. The early signs of pregnancy, the actual experience of childbirth, a thought of labour pain and early period of motherhood can make a woman freak out. A Tocophobic woman is so unnerved that she will avoid being pregnant. She may have craving for bearing a child and being mother, but fear of childbirth will dismay her.


What causes fear of pregnancy?

There are many aspects related to pregnancy which can make one feel fearful. Pain during labour, lack of emotional support from husband or loved one and death are some of the common aspects that could lead to tocophobia. Tocophobia is more of psychological fear rather that biological one.

The root cause of the fear of pregnancy can be related to your past experience. A trauma that faced in the past which is related to pregnancy, labour pain or child birth could lead you subconsciously to the fear of childbirth.

Some Tocophobics even plan for c-section delivery to avoid the vaginal birth. Complications in the previous childbirth can also make a woman fearful towards pregnancy and childbirth. But in most of the cases tocophobia is due to fear of pain during labour.


Symptoms of tocophobia

Many who suffer from tocophobia think that they are alone in this quest to battle against this less heard type of phobia. You have to understand that tocophobia is an in depth fear which does not have any actual danger for mother or her child. Following are the common symptoms of tocophobia.

  • Breathlessness

  • Too much sweating

  • Vomiting

  • Dehydrated mouth

  • Feeling unwell

  • Excessive shivering

  • Excessive heart palpitations

  • Lack of ability to speak or think clearly

  • Fear of mortality

  • Fear of losing control

  • Panic attack

  • Feeling irrational and detached from reality

Treatment for tocophobia

Of course there is a hope for those who are suffering from tocophobia. Getting to know all your thoughts regarding childbirth, pregnancy, parenting, labor pain, delivery, motherhood and raising a child would help you to know your fears better. Once you identify all the concerns then you can overcome them in better ways.

Speaking to an expert like gynecologist, midwife, obstetrician or birth counselor can help you a lot to fight back the fear. Communicating your fear to experts will help you to calm down a lot.

May be, knowing the fact that woman's body is designed to give birth to a baby would soothe your fear somewhat. Browse through science journals and learn all the facts about pregnancy and babies. You will come across some facts that would fix your misconceptions about childbirth. Hypnotherapy makes use of hypnotism to let you handle the fear of childbirth. Adequate prenatal care, massage techniques and proper positioning during labour help to reduce the labour pain.

Getting emotional support of partner in the labour room will help reduce the anxiety. Talk to your gynecologist if you are experiencing excessive fear or depression about being pregnant and giving birth. Though it may take time, you will surely get over your fear.

If motherhood has struck on your door, if you are all set to welcome your baby, if you are feeling your baby kicking, if you know that it is time and water has broke, do not panic. Experiencing motherhood is the wonderful experience. Overcoming your fear is not a big deal if you think of your baby. Love has the power to subside all fears.

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6 Comments
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jiggy.4 years ago
Tocophobia is very common as every girl is scared of giving birth to a child as she has to go through lots of pain
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Phobiaman.7 years ago
Tocophobia is actually more common than people think. But like all phobias, finding out facts sounds like a great idea, but it rarely works (in my experience). People with a fear of flying are always being told how safe air travel is but it doesn't stop them being frightened.

The previous commentor is a good example. She went from being fine with child birth to terrified of it not. She didn't suddenly forget all the facts about child birth in order to develop the fear. She went through a terrifying experience where she felt unable to make a decision because of pressure from her mother in law.

Namasteindia - might I suggest a fear of mother-in-laws might be a more appropriate and useful response.

Alex
 
 
 
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namasteindia.7 years ago
thanks for this information.
i have tocophobia. I developed it after my first pregnancy
the water bag had bursted and the pain was increasing. i wanted to go for c-section but my mother in law was against it. she kept saying no for c-section after 15 hrs of continous pain and trauma my husband agreed and my son was born 4.5kgs. doctors said that normal delivery would not have been possible.

after this incident i developed fear of pregnancy and child birth
 
 
 
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