10/18/08

Fear of Having a Baby

. 10/18/08

Fear of having a baby is called Tokophobia, and one in six women suffer from it.

Sufferers of Tokophobia are split into two groups, and quite often starts with feelings of anxiety and terror due to early and ongoing programming concerning horrors of labour, negative anticipation created through media drama, stories of earlier births, films showing labour to be comic or very dangerous, or having had a bad experience the first time round, the more you think about it the worse the feeling of terror becomes. If you can learn to let go of the fear, use breathing and relaxation techniques, the uterus can do its work easily and comfortably, as it is meant to do, in a normal birth.

When the mother approaches labour with unresolved fear and dread, her body is already on the defensive, and the stressor hormone, catecholamine is triggered. Her body then goes into the fight or freeze response, the uterus tenses and everything slows down.

We use the uterus to birth, it's a muscle working hard, that's what its there for. The muscle needs oxygen and blood supply to work smoothly. When we become frightened, blood is directed away from the uterus, to the parts of the body involved in defence. This causes the arteries going to the uterus to tense, restricting the flow of blood and oxygen, which are vital to the functioning of the uterus. When the muscles in the uterus work against each other it causes considerable pain for the labouring mother, and her anxiety becomes worse. the uterus becomes tired, maybe we shake, and tense, and babies get tired.

So how do we overcome this?- by profound relaxation. It sounds too easy to be true doesn't it, but it is really very simple.

When the labouring mother is in a comfortable state of relaxation (not in hypnosis) the two sets of muscles work in harmony as they were meant to, and birthing occurs smoothly and easily in a normal birth.

The mother is taught that birth is natural and healthy, it is not a medical event, its about mothers and fathers and babies, and respect for their rights and wishes to bring their babies into the world in a gentle and calm way.

It's as much as philosophy as it is a technique. It is a rewarding, relaxing, stress-free method of birthing that is based on the belief that when a mother is properly prepared for birthing physically, mentally and spiritually, she can experience the joy of birthing her baby in an easier, more comfortable, and often even pain free, manner. It returns to women the art of birthing in a way that allows her to summon her natural birthing instincts. Its based on the belief that severe discomfort does not need to be a natural accompaniment of labour.

If the mother has a very bad phobia about fear of falling pregnant, she will probably need to address the problem before taking the HypnoBirthing programme, or any Childbirth course, if she seeks the help of a good hypnotherapist who is also interested in HypnoBirthing or Natural birthing. She should overcome the fear of having a baby. It is very gentle and relaxing.

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