How to Overcome The Fear of Childbirth
Is it possible not to be afraid of an event full of meanings like that of childbirth? The birth of the child corresponds to the birth of a mother and a father! Here, the birth is to be understood as a physiological event that accompanies the woman to separate herself from the symbiosis created during pregnancy. Finally she will see that little girl so much imagined … the woman will know her child but the price to pay is the suffering of childbirth: the moment of childbirth, however, is often represented by the fear of the pain of labor and childbirth.
Fear of childbirth
The fear of giving birth is normal and unites many women. From a symbolic point of view, childbirth represents for some women a separation, for others a liberation and for others it is a loss. Depending on the mood experienced by the parturient, the fear of childbirth increases or decreases. Fear of childbirth is a real and objective fear. However, this fear also reflects the expectations and emotional states of women.
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According to the society of obstetrics and gynecology of the Nordic Federation about 14 women out of 100 would suffer from tocofocia. The tocophobia is literally the excessive fear of childbirth.
Symptoms of tocophobia are:
- Intense anxiety;
- Terror of dying.
Like all phobias it induces to avoid the scary event, in this case the moment of delivery. The woman will avoid thinking about it, she will avoid talking about it during pregnancy, until she denies being terrified.
I am afraid of giving birth
Tocophobia or fear of childbirth is a real psychic disorder, often associated with anxiety and depression. There are two types of fear of childbirth:
- Primary tocophobia that concerns the terror of giving birth even before starting a pregnancy.
- Secondary tocophobia is the consequent fear of a traumatic experience experienced in a traumatic way.
Being afraid of childbirth increases the pain more, in fact the fear stiffens the muscle tone and the pain threshold is lowered. According to scholars, the fear of childbirth is mainly linked to the lack of trust and alliance between women and medical staff. Other causes attributed are:
- Long and difficult task
- Aggressive maneuvers by the doctors
- Emergency caesarean section
- Premature birth
The pain of labor is a physiological aspect that prepares women for the expulsion of the fetus. Pain is present but can be managed with breathing and relaxation techniques. Some studies state that fear and anxiety increase the perception of labor pain.
Fear of natural childbirth
The fear of natural childbirth is connected to the feeling of loss of control of one’s body and one’s own emotions; The pain of labor and finally childbirth exhausts the woman, who finds herself without points of reference: she does not recognize herself and would not want to be seen in that state.
Second birth aura
If the woman has experienced a traumatic and previously traumatic birth, she may have developed a tocophobia. In severe cases the support of a specialist will help the woman to live that moment in the most natural way possible.
Fear of caesarean section
The Caesarean section confronts the woman with a whole series of events:
- The fear of risks that can be run.
- Jeopardizing the child’s health up to the fear of dying in childbirth.
Caesarean is a surgical procedure with its possible complications. It is good to reassure the woman, who is afraid of caesarean section, and to rely on the hands of the doctors.
Fear of childbirth pain
In her book “Pregnancy seen from the inside” R. Leff identifies three styles of facing the pain of childbirth by the mother:
- The style of the “facilitating” mother in which the woman accepts the pain of childbirth for the absolute good of the child, coming to cancel herself out for it. The woman of this type will prefer natural childbirth.
- The style of the governing mother: she is a woman who does not tolerate suffering and pain; will choose any means to eliminate pain; He will often choose cesarean delivery.
- The style of reciprocity: it is a woman in balance between the two previous positions; he prefers an active birth intended as a natural event; importance is given not neglecting the well-being of the child.
Fear of childbirth how to overcome it
How to overcome the fear of childbirth? It is important to face the fear of childbirth through interventions that identify women at risk; then we intervene on the specific symptom. Also remember that it is the right of every woman to give birth without pain through the request of epidural anesthesia.
Here are some useful strategies:
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- Attend preparation courses at birth.
- Learn breathing and relaxation techniques.
- Establish a relationship of trust with the medical staff.
- The woman must feel the chosen place to give birth safe and welcoming.
- Ask for psychological support to express and communicate the fear of childbirth pain.