Tocophobia. To some extent, most pregnant women experience some sort of fear and anxiety when it comes to the realities of giving birth. Will it hurt? What if something goes wrong? Will I make it to the hospital on time? What if I cannot give birth naturally? You name it, the things that an expectant mother can and will worry about are endless. The horror stories that others will feel the need to tell you about tend not to help either.
However, some women suffer from what is called tocophobia, which is an intense fear or dread of childbirth. For most women, this can equate to panic or anxiety attacks that manifest physical symptoms, loss of sleep, and even depression – especially as you near closer to your due date. Tocophobia is very common in women who have had difficult births or miscarriages in the past, or have known someone who had a traumatic birth related event. If you find that you are unable to be reasonable and talk yourself out of your delivery fears, and that they are inhibiting your ability to enjoy your pregnancy and normal activities in your life, you should speak to your health care provider. Additionally, the following tips will help.
1. Talk about your feelings! Pregnant women often feel ashamed of their thoughts. They think they are the only ones who worry about having a stillbirth, or are afraid to say what they are feeling aloud out of fear that others will think they are silly. If your partner is not good a sounding board, then confide in a female friend – preferably someone who has given birth before. Additionally, journaling during pregnancy is a great way to work out your feelings so that they don’t take over your life.
2. Meditation. Meditation can feel strange especially when you first begin. The trick is to allow your thoughts to enter your mind and exit your mind, and find a peaceful place with no thoughts intruding. Studies have shown that meditation is one of the best ways to deal with panic or anxiety disorders. You can start with guided meditation videos or audio recordings, or make up your own. Meditation not only has a calming affect on your mental state, but on your physical state as well, and is often used as a coping mechanism during labor and delivery. Another holistic option is hypnotherapy.
3. Seek professional help. There are a limited number of medications that can help you during pregnancy. All medications have risk; however, if your worries and anxiety are extreme, the benefits may outweigh the risks. Additionally, talking with a therapist or counselor about your fears can provide tremendous relief without side effects. if your fears of a vaginal birth are extreme, you and your physician may want to talk about an elective cesarean birth. One of the most important things is to develop a relationship with your healthcare provider based on trust and compassion.
No matter how you may feel, you are NOT alone! Everything that you feel and think, no matter how much anxiety you have, is something that another pregnant woman has experienced as well.
Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.