This Sunday is Mother’s Day, naturally, most families will spend the day celebrating their mothers. Unfortunately for approximately 1.2 million women with Tokophobia, the day can be a grey cloud over their heads. So, what is Tokophobia? It’s the fear of childbirth and/or pregnancy. This phobia can still affect women who have previously gone through childbirth even though it is less common, and it would be referred to as secondary Tokophobia.
Tokophobia is classed as a specific phobia which is often accompanied by other phobias such as Agliophobia (fear of pain) and Thanatophobia (fear of death). It isn’t uncommon for women to be worried about pregnancy and childbirth however, the worry becomes a phobia when panic attacks and anxiety become a common occurrence.
Women with this fear may avoid getting pregnant usually either by abstaining from sex or having a hysterectomy as they may not trust the effectiveness of contraception. Women with this phobia that do get pregnant usually opt to get a C-section or in extreme phobia cases, an abortion.
Paranoia can lead them to use multiple contraception methods at once and take emergency contraception even when other contraception’s have been used, such as a condom. This can be perceived as simply being careful and responsible but it’s the unnecessary fear and anxiety that is the issue.
The fear for some may stem from previous pregnancies that ended negatively. Stillbirths, miscarriages and abortions can cause PTSD, in some cases resulting in Tokophobia. Prenatal depression is also seen often in pregnant women with Tokophobia.
This can be a real internal battle for those women who do wish to have children at some point or have a partner that does causing them to feel guilty and ashamed. Even if someone with this phobia never has a child, it is unhealthy to live with a persistent and extreme fear like this.
If you feel you might have Tokophobia, there is no need to feel ashamed and you can rest easy knowing it is curable. Hypnotherapy used with Cognitive Behavioural Techniques has proven to be very successful at curing phobias. To learn more, click here.