BIRTH PHOBIA & BIRTH TRAUMA

One of the areas I am extremely passionate about working in is birth phobia (also know as Tokophobia) and birth trauma and I have undertaken additional, specialist training in this area.  Both are very real issues that require a special level of understanding and sensitivity.

Perhaps you find yourself here because you are preventing yourself from starting a family because the fear of pregnancy or birth is too much?

Or maybe you’ve experience baby loss and you’re frightened to try again.

Or it might be that a previous birth left you feeling traumatised and you need some help moving forward before you can think about having another baby?

I’ve put as much as I can into questions and answers below to help you. Please do contact me to discuss further how hypnotherapy and psychotherapy may help you.

What is Tokophobia?


Tokophobia is a pathological fear of pregnancy and can lead to avoidance of childbirth. The term Tokophpbia was coined in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2000. It can be classified as primary or secondary.




What is primary Tokophobia?


Primary Tokophobia affects someone who has never experienced birth. The fear may arise from: - Hearing horror stories about pregnancy and childbirth - Non birth related trauma such as surgery or sexual abuse - Body image issues - Unplanned pregnancy




And what issues can primary Tokophobia cause someone?


Someone with primary Tokophobia may: - Consciously or subconsciously put blocks in place of becoming pregnant, even if they want a family - Avoid relationships or sabotage relationships they’re in - Avoid sexual contact or intimacy - Terminate a wanted pregnancy




What is secondary Tokophobia?


Secondary Tokophobia affects someone who develops a fear following a previous pregnancy or delivery. It may arise due to: - Traumatic birth. It doesn’t matter what happened during the birth, it’s how the individual perceives it that is important - Poor medical attention during pregnancy or birth - Postnatal anxiety or depression - It can also occur after miscarriage or still birth - It may occur after a termination




Can men have Tokophobia?


Yes they can.




How common is Tokophobia?


Fear of childbirth is common and more intense in pregnant women who have not had previous experience of childbirth. Over 20% of pregnant women report fear, 6% describe a fear that is disabling. Altogether 13% of women who are not pregnant report fear of childbirth sufficient to
postpone or avoid pregnancy.





BIRTH TRAUMA

 

Psychological trauma can occur with or without physical trauma and can present as: postnatal depression and/or anxiety (PNDA), postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); for example, having obsessive thoughts that can affect behaviour such as checking on the baby constantly or recurring thoughts that impact your enjoyment of daily life. 

 

Factors either side of the birth can contribute to trauma including the journey through pregnancy, feeding challenges, infertility challenges, premature birth and pregnancy loss. 

 

According to the Australasian Birth Trauma Association about 9,000 women each year develop PTSD after giving birth, but many go undiagnosed. 

Countless others experience some form of birth trauma, which can relate to physical injury but also the lingering emotional and psychological impacts of a less-than satisfactory birthing experience.

 

So it would be my honour to support you on your journey - click here to get in touch for an informal chat.

 

CLICK HERE

Pregnancy

How can I help you?

There are many ways I can help.

  • I provide a safe space for you to speak about your fears and experiences.

  • During sessions we can explore where your worries are coming from, and work on those fears in a number of different ways

  • Work through grief 

  • I help you to set achievable goals for you to work towards

  • I empower you to make your own choices

  • I travel alongside you on your journey

  • Through specialised hypnosis we can work on subconscious blocks and make positive changes

  • Teach you mind/body techniques for stress relief and relaxation