phobia of pregnancy

but for some women, the fear of labour and birth can be so overwhelming that it overshadows their pregnancy and affects daily functioning. and for some women, this also includes a dislike or disgust with pregnancy. whereas women who suffer from secondary tokophobia, tend to have had a previous traumatic birth experience which has left them with a fear of giving birth again. these figures vary so much because women with different levels of tokophobia were included in the research. research suggests some women with the condition choose to avoid pregnancy altogether – or may consider a termination if they find themselves in that position.

some of the consequences for women with tokophobia – which emerge during labour – are longer labours. these are usually with an epidural and increased need for forceps or ventouse – this a cup-shaped suction device which is applied to the baby’s head to assist the birth. some women find it helpful to talk through a previous experience of a traumatic birth, others might be reassured by information about labour and birth. in hull and east riding of yorkshire, where there is an established perinatal mental health service for women and their families, there has been a recognised need for a consistent approach to caring for and supporting women with tokophobia. this pioneering work, which is at the forefront of tokophobia service provision and research in the uk, aims to ensure that women get the right support, and that their psychological and pregnancy needs are met. this is why we need to work towards preventing tokophobia if possible – as well as providing effective treatment for women who suffer from this difficult condition.

being scared of giving birth when you’re pregnant is not uncommon but what if it’s a severe fear. tokophobia is where women have an extreme fear of pregnancy that can lead to them avoiding childbirth altogether. ask any group of pregnant women their thoughts on labour and you’ll know that a fear around childbirth is understandably pretty common. about 20% to 78% of pregnant women report fears associated with the pregnancy and childbirth (bhatia and jhanjee, 2012). fears are likely to be more common and intense in women who have never been pregnant or given birth (primary tokophobia) (bhatia and jhanjee, 2012). in a few cases, prenatal depression might be happening alongside tokophobia (bhatia and jhanjee, 2012). if they do get pregnant, women might be more likely to choose an abortion or to have their baby adopted (bhatia and jhanjee, 2012). they may also opt for a caesarean section when it comes to giving birth (bhatia and jhanjee, 2012). one study reported a 50% reduction in caesarean birth rates when women received psychological and prenatal support (sjogren and thomassen, 1997). you could also try hypnobirthing techniques to see if that helps ease the anxiety (bhatia and jhanjee, 2012).

(2012) tokophobia: a dread of pregnancy. 21(2): 158-159. available from: [accessed 16th march 2018]. (2006) how social context impacts on women’s fears of childbirth: a western australian example. (63):64-75. available from: [accessed 16th march 2018]. available from: .uk/en/news/rcog-statement-on-draft-nice-caesarean-section-guidelines/ [accessed 16th march 2018]. scollato a, lampasona r. (2013) tokophobia: when fear of childbirth prevails. 1:1-18. available from: .uk/download/pdf/25510068.pdf [accessed 16th march 2018]. 76(10): 948-952. available from [accessed 16th march 2018]. all of our articles have been thoroughly researched and are based on the latest evidence from reputable and robust sources. calling us costs the same as any local call, however, if you have free ‘inclusive’ minutes on a landline or mobile, it will be included in those.

tokophobia is a phobia of childbirth and/or pregnancy. while some degree of anxiety is normal, tokophobia is much more severe. tokophobia is a pathological fear of pregnancy and can lead to avoidance of childbirth. tokophobia is where women have an extreme fear of pregnancy that can lead to them avoiding childbirth altogether. the fear becomes paralysing and terrifying, .

tokophobia is a pathological fear of pregnancy and can lead to avoidance of childbirth. it can be classified as primary or secondary. primary is morbid fear of childbirth in a woman, who has no previous experience of pregnancy. primary tokophobia refers to the fear of pregnancy/childbirth without first-hand experience of it (often developing in childhood/adolescence). when dread of childbirth predates the first conception, this is primary tokophobia. the dread of childbirth may start in adolescence or early adulthood. tokophobia is a severe fear, or phobia, of childbirth, and for many women this also extends to pregnancy. it’s currently estimated that, .

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