Tokophobia: Symptoms And Remedies

Sunday May 3, 2020 at 7:50 pm

Becoming a mother is one of the desires that are naturally found in any woman. While some women have the mental strength to give birth to a child as a natural disposition there are many who are scared of childbirth. To women in the former category, pregnancy is a term replete with joy but to those in the latter category, it is the cause of stress and anxiety. This fear of pregnancy and childbirth in women is termed as Tokophobia. Women with tokophobia exhibit pathological fear of the birthing process resulting in avoiding getting pregnant and thus childbirth even if they have a desire to give birth to a baby. In some cases, women with such fear completely shun normal delivery and opt for a Caesarean section. Tokophobia is common among women who are to get pregnant for the first time or in those ladies who have had previous traumatic experiences with childbirth. The following are some of the common symptoms that are exhibited by women having tokophobia.

Avoiding conversations about pregnancy and birth

In an ideal scenario, it is deemed that women love talking about babies. This implies, if a woman avoids talking about babies or pregnancy, then this is an indicator that she is suffering Tokophobia. Keeping quiet during such conversations implies that she is trying to hide feeling with the fear of being judged and not understood.

No to holding a baby

Doing so freaks her out. Her reaction is too obvious that holding the baby is making her uncomfortable.

Exhibiting medical fears

Women who fear childbirth also exhibit other fears that are related to the field of medicine like needles and injections. The thought of visiting the hospitals or doctors freaks them out.

Obsessed with birth control measures

Situations causing them to undergo pregnancy tests at pathology labs traumatize them. Every time they indulge in sexual intercourse they ensure to take all the precautions.

Thought of sex causes anxiety

To them having sex means the possibility of getting pregnant. To avoid getting into such a situation they try to avoid indulging in sex as much as possible.

Resenting gender inequality

Every time you talk to them about being parents, they resent gender inequality and claim that nature should have given men also the chance to get pregnant and bear all the pain and inconvenience.

Fearing death during childbirth

Women who often talk about chances of death while delivering the baby are for sure suffering from tokophobia.

Tips to deal with the fear of pregnancy

To ensure that mother and child both remain healthy throughout the pregnancy term, it is vital that you follow approaches that help combat tokophobia. From receiving assistance from a woman’s obstetrician to a psychologist, there are multiple ways to deal with this fear.

 Support from family and society

Family and social support can really be comforting to those pregnant women who fear pregnancy and birth. Doing so strengthens a sense of self-efficacy in women reducing the cases of elective c-sections on one hand and minimizing symptoms on other. Mostly, women tend to seek support from other women who have a similar experience.

You can count on therapies

Cognitive behavior therapy is a one-stop solution for dealing with the fear of birth. This focuses on particular symptoms and is a solution giving results in the short term. Other than this, you can also count on psychotherapy and internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy treatments.

Take medications

To get rid of the depression and anxiety or any sort of psychiatric disorder, you can opt for taking medication either alone or in combination with other treatments you are taking to deal with these. There is a multidisciplinary approach to combat tokophobia. This includes psychological and obstetric support.

Share what you feel 

Being anxious to some extent is fine to which your doctor can offer reassurance as well as further assistance. Have a word with others in the family, especially your mother and mother in law as they surely have something comforting to tell you. These are the people who can keep you motivated.

Choose the method of delivery

Seek medical assistance for pain management and birthing. Plan and choose the method of delivery that suits you the best. This way you will feel more confident.

Say no to reading childbirth stories

Doing so only worsens Tokophobia. Rather, just seek medical information. Focusing on the positive experiences of childbirth is appropriate. Avoid listening to childbirth stories that are not pleasant. 

Prenatal Support Class is a must

These classes equip you with knowledge about happenings during the labour. You also get tips to manage labor pain and make you more confident.

Seek the help of Mental Health Professional

With a referral from your doctor try to get help from a good psychiatrist, the counsellor or psychologist for further advice as well as assistance on Tokophobia.

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