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Parturiphobia- Fear of childbirth (tocophobia/ locophobia)

Giving birth can be a painful process and it is said to be one of the most painful things that a woman has to go through. But with the advent of modern medicine, using epidural anesthesia has become so common that giving birth has become more pain-free.

The fear of childbirth might come from stories of childbirth from family or friends. Sometimes, the origin of this fear can come from watching movies or shows depicting the pain of giving birth or even the death of the mother after giving birth. It can also affect the intimacy level of partners or even having the fear of just dating or getting married. One might have lost a loved one during childbirth. For others, the fear of giving birth is associated with the fear of medical procedures or their fear of hospitals thus these women might prefer natural birthing procedures at home. Others might also fear having a C-section thus they fear childbirth.

Fearing childbirth may prompt a woman to avoid social situations where men are present to avoid any relationships that can be made leading to childbirth. Symptoms of parturiphobia include panic, anxiety, shortness of breath, tremors, weeping, emotional detachment, nausea, feelings of loss of control and feeling of dread.

To overcome parturiphobia, psychotherapy may help understand where the fear comes and why it has an exaggerated impact on one’s life. Therapies allow freedom from other fears that may be linked to this phobia.