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Tokophobia – a real fear of birth

We are delighted to welcome on board another fabulous mummy-to-be blogger Falafel (she wishes to keep her identity anonymous). In her first blog post, she shares her phobia of birth – and we hope you will join her with encouragement and support on her pregnancy journey .

Thankfully, although I am just 16 weeks, so far I have felt well and relaxed apart from one thing - giving birth.

Most people have a phobia of heights, spiders, snakes, vomit....I have had a lifelong phobia of a giving birth naturally. So specific and so rare yet so daunting for me that I have postponed being pregnant just because of this issue. I have had counselling twice to see if my phobia can be helped but it was not to be.

Does having a caesarean section worry me? Not at all. I want to have a caesarean but boy is it difficult to make hospital staff, friends and family sympathise with me.

It is a taboo but one which makes me so angry.

All women have a right to give birth how they want - in a birthing pool, in a delivery suite or at home to name a few options. Why is there no choice to have a caesarean section? It is so frowned upon and makes me feel so alone.

"But there are risks" I'm told. "There are plenty of risks to natural birth too" I say and it's true.

I feel isolated, anxious that my wish will not be granted to give birth how I want to on NHS and angry. I feel belittled and made to feel like I'm being a princess. If I had a phobia of something else perhaps people wouldn't wave my phobia as being over-dramatic.

There are few blogs or support groups for women in my situation. I really hope that by sharing my experience it will make people aware of this horrible phobia and give it the recognition it deserves.

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