Chiro Blog

Why is the Fear of Birth Rising?


Why is the Fear of Birth Rising?

Why is the Fear of Birth Rising?
 By Sam McCulloch

Article Summary:

“It is estimated that around 10 percent of women suffer from tokophobia, or an intense fear of birth, and researches say the number is growing. But why is this happening? What do we have to fear about birth?” In her article Sam McCulloch uses history to help shine a light on current fears surrounding birth. “There is a commonly held belief” she says, “that birth is dangerous, and that we’re lucky to have access to medical assistance.” However it has been shown that basic hygienic practices were behind the decreased childbirth risks, not doctors.

False notions of the history paired with the bombardment of negative attitudes about birth in social media and television, create the challenges confronting a woman’s innate potential to birth naturally.

What is the fear of birth doing to women?  Sam gives us these answers: Fear of birth increases the pain experienced during birth. Fear of birth increases the likelihood of employing contraindicated interventions. And according to a study in the journal BMJ, fear of birth is associated with an increase in post-partum depression.

People are enculturated with the idea that birth is “the most painful and dangerous thing anyone ever does willingly.” To overcome fear around birth, Sam offers some solutions:

Birth support: Have a care provider who you can trust, someone who sees birth as a normal and natural event.

Birth Preparation: Be as informed as possible. Find out what a natural birth looks like. “It can be daunting,” Sam explains, “to imagine how you will feel in a situation you’ve never experienced before.”

Questions for Consideration:

  • Is your husband or partner afraid of birth?
  • What are the main reasons, if any, for seeing a traditional obstetrician?
  • How have you experienced birth portrayed via mainstream sources like Hollywood or television? Have you or your husband’s opinions been impacted by these experiences?
  • What are the best ways to overcome any cultural programming that may have put fear into the worldview pertaining to birth?
  • Are your friends and family supportive of the idea that birth can be fearless and therefore naturally conducted?
  • In your experience, are there any times where fear was instrumental in leading to a more natural birth?
  • Have you and your partner watched any natural, unassisted homebirth videos?

Chiropractic Connection:

Chiropractic has been shown to reduce labor time. Chiropractic encourages optimal baby positioning which leads to a more natural birth. With chiropractic we learn about the body’s innate ability to birth. We also learn about the baby’s innate ability to find the optimal position for birth. Carried forward, this philosophy shows us that in birth, women and babies require only one thing—freedom from interference.

Article adapted from Pathways Connect Magazine, Issue #53, Spring 2017 Why is the Fear of Birth Rising? written by Sam McCulloch

Back to Chiro Blog