Disgusted By Pregnancy? It's Called Tokophobia

Disgusted By Pregnancy? It's Called Tokophobia

Your growing belly, giving birth, all horrifying. 

By Marianne Garvey

Being frightened of a human coming out of your body isn’t unusual. But when the thoughts of it being disgusting and unbearable are overwhelming, it’s called tokophobia — which literally means “phobia of childbirth.”

Tokophobia can be split into two types, primary and secondary, reports The Independent. Primary tokophobia occurs in women who have not given birth before.

“For these women, a fear of birth tends to come from traumatic experiences in their past — including sexual abuse. It can also be linked to witnessing a difficult birth or listening to stories or watching programs that portray birth as embarrassing or dangerous.”

Secondary tokophobia can occur when a woman has had previous traumatic birth experience that has left them with a fear of giving birth again. Wherever they are on the sliding scale, women tend to be grossed out by their growing bump and the baby’s movements inside.

Between 2.5 percent and 14 percent of women are affected by the disorder and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Women who have it are also prone to anxiety and depression.

Is there a cure?

Some women with the condition choose to avoid pregnancy altogether. Others who do become pregnant may opt for an elective c-section to avoid actually having to give birth the old fashioned way.

“Anxiety, insomnia, sleeplessness, eating disorders and antenatal depression or increased risk of postnatal depression, have all been identified as consequences of tokophobia,” says the report.

While therapy for the condition exists, experts also advise visiting the maternity ward to see what actually goes on and try to alleviate some of the fear.

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