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Tokophobia: Fear of Childbirth

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Tokophobia: (As defined by Wikipedia) described the fear of childbirth or pregnancy as a psychological disorder, when it had previously received little to no attention as such, in addition to introducing the term tokophobia (from the Greek tokos, meaning childbirth and phobos, meaning fear). Tokophobia is also widely ascribed to the fear of pregnancy, and may also be called "maieusiophobia."

  What are my pregnancy fears?

1. Death/Pain
2. Miscarriage
3. Delivering a baby too early
4. The baby becoming stuck.
5. Ripping

If you haven’t noticed I placed death and pain at the very top and together, because in my head I don’t know which would be worse. I know some of you may think this is a bit much, or feel like I need to grow up, but this is a legitimate fear that I have. It’s badly affected my life, and when it comes to the subject of giving birth. I don’t see it getting better. The sad part is that I WANT children, I’d love to be a mom but my fear triumphs over the want to be a mother any day. I worry what it will do to my relationship because my boyfriend wants to have children, but if I don’t overcome this, me being a mother will never happen.

There isn’t a real cure for this as of now because it’s still new, and not that many doctors know about it. My doctor is taking her own approach to helping the problem, although we’ve only just started. I don’t see this being easy to do. The trick is to reteach your brain how to view pregnancy, and that isn’t easy to do when you’ve thought one way for such a long time. My doctor thinks these following steps will help me overcome this fear. No one knows how long this will take.

Step one - Find the root cause of why you may be afraid of childbirth.
Step two - Learn the statistic on the rates of having a miscarriage, or anything else that could possibly go wrong.
Step three - Learn what actually happens during a pregnancy
Step four - Learn what actually happens during childbirth (no just perfect one, but ones that also have complications)
Step five - Once you’ve learned everything it’s time to try and change your train of thought about childbirth.
Step six - Realize that not everything happens perfectly but because it doesn’t that shouldn’t stop you from trying.

I know the steps I need to take to hopefully help overcome this fear. I can personally see myself getting stuck on step number five, because I’m stubborn. I have yet to come in contact with someone who is suffering from it and knows the name, or knows that this is even something real. I’m sharing this to let you know you AREN’T crazy and that this is something that can be treated, especially for those who want to be mothers.


Contributor: Airen Wolf

What a horrible thing to have your mind fixate on! I am so sorry and I hope that you can get over the fear since is it making your sex life a bit miserable. I will say that i had a weird phobia of spiders and then nearly died from being bitten. The fact that I lived actually took the phobia and minimized it's impact so I could deal with it. I don't recommend that sort of experience, mind you, but I am saying that phobias can be successfully dealt with and put in their proper place.
I didn't have the most amazing birth experience but having my children is the best thing that ever happened to me. If you actually do want kids sometimes in your future, I hope that you can conquer this fear and enjoy a pregnancy. If not, well then there's always alternatives, right?
I'm sure there are lots of ladies who are terrified of pregnancy and all the related issues, obviously you aren't alone there's a name for the phobia and all!
I just wish I could give you a big old hug.

Contributor: P'Gell

I'm so sorry you have this crippling fear, Miss Nessa. Fears sometimes have no reason, they just are. But, they can be dealt with. I'm glad you're getting help.

I can only offer one piece of advice; AVOID TLC shows like "Baby Story" like the plague! They seem to concentrate and highlight unusual complications, and I think the unnecessarily medicalize childbirth. These shows are mind poison.

When you feel healthy again, watching healthy movies like "The Business of Being Born" and good healthy books by people like Ina May Gaskin. "Spiritual Midwivery" could be part of your healing. I read it after my not-so-happy first labor and it helped a lot.

Good luck and healing thoughts.

Contributor: Harlequin

Wow... I thought I was the only one. I too have a fear of both pregnancy and childbirth. I thought I was just weird. The thought of becoming pregnant scares the living shit out of me. Once I had to take a pregnancy test because my husband and I thought I might be pregnant and let me tell you.. I know this sounds stupid but waiting for the results was the single most terrifying thing I've ever experienced. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it was going to jump out of my chest. I felt sick and I Was shaking. When it was finally time to check the stick I cannot tell you the extreme relief I felt seeing that I was NOT pregnant. I've always just figured I was abnormal for not wanting to ever get pregnant because everyone always judges me when I tell them I'm not having children and they make me feel like a horrible person but I can't help how I feel. The thought of ever getting pregnant is something I cant let my mind fathom. I honestly don't know what I would do. That would be the end of my world. I sometimes forgo sex in fear of accidently becoming pregnant. I make sure I check the calander every month and forgo sex several days before , during and after my supposed ovulation time just to make sure. This really causes issues sometimes with my husband but I feel like it's the only way to be sure. Glad to know I have a name to put with my fear and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. Thanks for sharing.

Contributor: Tianna Silver

I so sorry that you have this phobia. Personally, I can't have children and have always wanted them. I couldn't even imagine not wanting to be pregnant. I hope that you get the help you need to over come this, or don't get pregnant until do.

Contributor: moongirl

To be honest, the solution I found for my deep fear of childbirth is to plan to adopt instead. I've always wanted to, because I feel like there are just too many kids in the world without families and if I can help just one or two, I will have done something right in the world - but also, I'll be honest, one of the reasons I want to do it (not THE reason, but one of them) is to avoid the pain of childbirth. I realize not everyone wants to adopt, but I am actually really looking forward to it as another way - my chosen way - to build a family. I hope that you can find freedom from your fears.

Contributor: K101

I don't think your feelings are "a bit much" or that you need to grow up. Your fear is clearly very real and to think it not legitimate because it's rare is just wrong. I loved reading this and that you shared how real this really is for you. I can relate a little bit because I've miscarried twice and have a fear (not total phobia I wouldn't say, but a very big fear) of it happening again. It's no wonder you would be scared so much though, ripping, death, the changes that happen and miscarriage are all very destructive. Lol, especially death! I so enjoyed this article.



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