The most important stereotype we have attached to a pregnant woman is that she can’t afford to be afraid. She can’t fear the long journey of pregnancy, she can’t fear that something won’t go right, so she can’t be afraid of childbirth.
And why all this?
Why is it not permissible for a woman to be afraid of experiencing such an important, significant event, full of conflicting emotions, painful and of total change such as pregnancy, and in particular childbirth?
Tokophobia specifically, i.e. the deep-rooted fear of childbirth, is a phobia that accompanies many women, which can also have important consequences on a psychological and social level, this fear is very often accompanied by the fact of not being able to bear the pain of labor.
Fear could be influenced by past experiences or by other people’s stories of experiences.
The consequences of this phobia can have very serious implications regarding prolonging the period of labor or being a predisposing factor of postpartum depression.
Psychotherapy has proven to be a treatment that brings benefits in a very targeted way, just as it has been demonstrated that tokophobia can lead to the development of various types of strategies such as that of avoidance, i.e. not having children so as not to have to face and experience the period of labour and then of delivery.
Last but not least, tokophobia can also have implications for couple and family life, avoiding sexual intercourse, choosing a rigid contraceptive and giving up having a child.
Being afraid is fundamental, as is having the awareness of being able to face it thanks to targeted psychological work.