Primary Tokophobia is found in women who have not had children. It is a fear of being pregnant, even though the woman may want to have a family of her own. If the woman becomes pregnant, she may either request an elective caesarean instead of having a natural birth or decide to terminate the pregnancy.
Primary Tokophobia can commence in adolesence or in early adulthood. Women develop this fear from hearing negative birth experiences of labour. This can be from their mother or close female relatives, or hearing stories from the media or television.
With all the horror stories that you may have heard about childbirth, you probably believe that childbirth has to be a very painful dreadful ordeal.
Maybe, you have already experienced childbirth and would find it difficult to believe it if I told you that childbirth can actually be a wonderful experience.
If you go into labour feeling fearful and anxious, then your body will become tense and hinder the birthing process.
When you experience negative emotions and feelings, this triggers your biologial stress response mechanism. This stress response also known as the fight or flight response was an essential survival mechanisim back in the caveman days, to provide the body with extra resources it needed to either fight or flight (run) away from the wild beasts that they would encounter.
This same response is still activated today when experiencing negative emotions and feelings, such as fear and anxiety. When the stress response is activated during labour, the hormone cortisol is released. Blood supply and energy is taken away from the uterus, to supply more resources to the muscles. This enables more strength to fight or more energy to flight (run) away from danger.
When the hormone cortisol is released during labour, it affects the production of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone, which is needed during labour to keep contractions efficient and to keep the labour progressing. As a result of the stress response being activated during labour, women often experience very painful and slowed down labours.
Relaxation switches off the stress response. Using relaxation along with other hypnobirthing/natural birthing techniques, during labour, will allow the body to birth as nature intended.
To find out more on how YOU could have a more confident, calmer, labour and birth, click here.