It is uncommon, but some women are so afraid of giving birth that they are unable to do so, even if they desperately want the baby. A severe fear of childbirth may also influence their decision on how to deliver their child. Tokophobia is a condition that can occur during any pregnancy. Some women develop it as early as their twenties.
Tokophobia can develop for many reasons, it may be a story told to you from friends or family of their experiences, previous negative experience of childbirth, previous traumatic experiences with gynaecological procedures or because of past traumatic experiences such as rape or sexual assault.
There are many different options available to help you through this and allow you to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. Things like psychological therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) or a space to discuss your birthing options that may help lessen your fears.
If this sounds like something you might be experiencing please contact the specialist mental health midwife Kate Knightly-Jones via sapling antenatal clinic number (01322 428190 Mon-Fri 09.00-16.00).