It is often said that pregnancy is a wonderful time to give life and build your own family, but not everything is always beautiful and pink. This is an important moment and can, therefore, be feared by a large number of women, to the point that it becomes a phobia, we then speak of tokophobia.
What is it exactly? How do I know if I am a Tokophobe? And, above all, how to cure it?
What is tokophobia?
Having an immeasurable fear of giving birth now has a name: tokophobia. We can, therefore, consider it as a disease since it is linked to the fear of pain and death. Not only does fear attach itself to childbirth, but also to pregnancy, which can cause panic attacks or paralyzing anxiety to the point of no longer wanting to be a mother or postponing the experience as late as possible.
This fear is natural, going from being a woman to a mother is not easy, moreover in 2012 The Industrial Psychiatry Journal (Indian medical journal) declared that 13% of women suffer from tokophobia.
In some people, this fear may be more or less accentuated. This phobia affects both young people and women over 40 years of age, so there are no standard characteristics, but there are several profiles and symptoms that can be identified.
The three profiles of tokophobia
This symptom of depression can lead, in some cases, to voluntary termination of pregnancy or a risky behavior, whether through high-level sports activities or the consumption of alcohol or cigarettes.
The consequences of childbirth phobia and its remedies
Tokophobia can have serious consequences such as refusing to become a mother, even if a desire is present, because of this phobic fear of pregnancy and childbirth. As we have seen previously, voluntary termination of pregnancy will often be considered by a person suffering from this disease, just as the cesarean section will be preferred if the fear of pregnancy is overcome.
However, it happens that after birth, the person requests sterilization in order to avoid this situation. She may also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (vomiting, anxiety, dreams or unpleasant memories…).
But don’t panic, if you have this disease, there are solutions you can use to fight this phobic fear. Generally, psychotherapy is recommended to allow the person to express themselves freely, without fear of being judged, to determine the origin of this phobia and thus combat it. If the woman is pregnant, the medical team should be invited to these therapies (gynecologist, midwife…) in order to have better follow-up and better supervision.
There are also natural aids such as homeopathy or herbal medicine that are regularly used, however, you should always consult your doctor to avoid taking any risks, especially during pregnancy. If you are stressed, there is nothing like a good yoga, relaxation or meditation session. In addition, there are exercises that you can practice yourself, which can be very practical during a panic attack.