Fear of Childbirth
The Fear of Childbirth is Technically Known as Tokophobia and is a relatively common phobia that often occurs due to the (unhelpful) ‘stories’ that are passed between friends or via well-meaning relatives.
The fear of childbirth is quite a common phobia and has usually been brought about by either hearing ‘horror stories’ about other people’s childbirth experiences, through ‘old wives tales’ about giving birth or sometimes because of a fear of the amount of ‘pain’ that might be involved.
In this sense, tokophobia may also be the fear of pain.
Modern hospitals and methods are so advanced today that most ‘complications’ that may occur in childbirth can fairly easily be dealt with.
In the majority of cases good education about the process of giving birth can be sufficient to allay any fears.
Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ‘ridiculous’ or ‘silly’, the person who suffers from Tokophobia knows only too well that the Anxiety that they experience is real enough.
You can read more about phobias in general here.
We completely understand this here at TranceForm Psychology and will treat you and your Fear of Childbirth seriously and with ‘unconditional positive regard’.
It has long been understood within the world of psychology that our minds are more than capable of producing a real biological reaction to any given situation and so as long as the Tokophobia sufferer “believes” that the object or situation they fear represents a real danger to them, then they will experience real fear with all of the associated symptoms.
This ‘reaction’ itself is not ‘faulty’ – the problem isn’t the Anxiety that is experienced, but the ‘idea’ or ‘thoughts’ that go into creating this reaction!
The greater majority of people who suffer with the Fear of Childbirth readily accept that their fear is “irrational” but continue to experience it regardless of this knowledge.
It is important to understand, therefore, that despite the severity and strength of the negative emotional experience that the Fear of Childbirth might produce inside you, that it is 100% created by your thinking and not by the external object or environment itself.
Fear of Childbirth Symptoms
The symptoms of the Fear of Childbirth are very similar to other specific phobias and will often include:
- Avoiding becoming pregnant
- Panic attacks
- Inability to Relax
- Problems Concentrating
- Being quick tempered
- Feelings of dizziness
- Aches & Pains
- Dry and Sticky mouth
- Sweating Excessively
- Migraines and Headaches
Tokophobia Symptoms are generally automatic and uncontrollable and can seem to take over a person’s thoughts which frequently leads to extreme measures being taken to avoid the feared object or situation, what are known as “Safety” or “Avoidance” behaviours.
Unfortunately, for the sufferer, these safety behaviours have a paradoxical effect and actually reinforce the Fear of Childbirth rather than solve it!
Your Fear of Childbirth may be the result of negative experiences that can be either directly or indirectly linked to the object or situational fear.
Over time, these symptoms can become “normalised” and “accepted” as limiting beliefs in that person’s life – “you have learnt to live with it.”
In just as many cases, Tokophobia may have become worse over time as more and more sophisticated avoidance behaviours and routines are developed.
The good news is that the vast majority of people who suffer with a Fear of Childbirth will find that a course of Psychological Therapy will help enormously by helping to change the fundamental thinking contributing to the problem in the first place!
Psychological Therapy for Fear of Childbirth
Tranceform Psychology can offer a range of different psychological therapy solutions for the Fear of Childbirth which you can read about below.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Fear of Childbirth
If you’re committed to overcoming Fear of Childbirth then we highly recommend following our Tranceformental CBT 10 session programme.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychological therapy course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problems.
It will also help you to identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issues, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
The programme is also available as an online self-help CBT programme.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Alternative Therapies for the Fear of Childbirth
Although our preferred form of psychological therapy for the Fear of Childbirth is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
Free Initial Consultations for the Fear of Childbirth
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss your Tokophobia prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various psychological therapy options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.
At Tranceform Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss any therapy treatments BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome The Fear of Childbirth with Our Online Self-Help CBT Programme – Only £99!
Self-help CBT has been shown to be highly effective for anxiety-related problems such as The Fear of Childbirth and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.
Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, our Online Self-Help CBT course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your problems without having to visit a therapist.
Click Self-Help CBT for The Fear of Childbirth to find out more.