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Aptrgangr
Saturday, October 11th, 2008, 12:50 PM
Are you a tokophobic? The women who are too terrified to give birth

By SADIE NICHOLAS
Last updated at 15:13 27 Oktober 2007


Rachel Smith shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Light-headed and desperate for air, she snapped shut the pages of the baby magazine she was reading and threw it across the room.

Her pregnant friend, whose house she was visiting, watched bemused as Rachel stood up and dashed for the door.
"I had to get out of the room," says Rachel. "I'd turned the page and seen a photograph of a woman giving birth. It was disgusting.

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/10_04/preggersDM2510_468x618.jpg
Repulsed: Many women would rather remain childless to avoid giving birth Posed by model

"Her face was contorted in pain, the whole thing was one big bloody mess, and I suddenly felt sick. If I didn't get fresh air, I would have fainted."
Melodramatics? An over-reaction? Rachel, a 36-year-old London financier, insists not.

She suffers from a serious, but little-known condition called tokophobia - a morbid fear of childbirth which in many cases is so profound that it sometimes leads to a complete avoidance of pregnancy, even though many sufferers admit they would dearly love children.
This week Dame Helen Mirren admitted to suffering from the same fear. The Oscar-winning actress revealed her deeply held fear on an Australian television show, blaming a graphic video of childbirth shown to her as a 13-year-old schoolgirl for her childlessness ever since.
"'I swear it traumatised me to this day," she said. "I haven't had children and now I can't look at anything to do with childbirth. It absolutely disgusts me."

Like Dame Helen, Rachel's fears stem from her childhood. "I was three years old and my mother had just returned home from hospital with my new baby sister," she says.
"I overheard her talking to a friend on the phone, telling her it had been an 'horrific' birth, and that she was cut to ribbons.
"She went on to describe how she'd inspected herself using a mirror and counted 24 stitches. Mum was clearly deeply upset about the whole experience and it has stayed with me my whole life.

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/10_04/mirrenBRCFT2310_468x283.jpg
Childless: Helen Mirren told Australian journalist Andrew Denton childbirth 'disgusts' her

"As a three-year-old, I obviously wasn't meant to hear the conversation and I couldn't bear the thought that my mummy had been through something that had really hurt her.
"It was a deep psychological trauma for me, and as I got older and was able to make sense of Mum's experience, it led to a profound dread and disgust of childbirth. I completely empathise and agree with everything Helen Mirren said.

(...)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-489776/Are-tokophobic-The-women-terrified-birth.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2001/dec/16/health.medicalscience


My mom told me giving birth to me was the most painful experience she ever had - like torture. I can understand why women do not want to have babies because of this.

Oresai
Saturday, October 11th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Well, I don`t think childbirth is for every woman, and have no gripe with women who choose to remain childless, not always a choice they had in times past. :)
I personally don`t understand how it appears `repulsive` etc though, I won`t wax lyrical about it...it hurts, is undignified and do your kids ever thank you for it? Hell, no! :D
Where I grew up, in the countryside, beasts as well as women giving birth were commonplace from a very young age, so there was no mystery with it, and it was no shock to me or my peers. No big deal, as natural as breathing.
Besides, how else can women have an exclusive `club` with which to flaunt in front of men just how tough we are and what we have to go through? :P

Oh wait...I forgot PMS......:D

lei.talk
Saturday, October 11th, 2008, 02:50 PM
http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?p=617196#post617196


My mom told me giving birth to me was the most painful experience she ever had - like torture.

QuietWind
Saturday, October 11th, 2008, 07:34 PM
There was a girl who once confided in me that she was terrified of being pregnant and giving birth. There are certainly women out there who are completely terrified of it all.

Putting aside the fact that childbirth is natural and women have been doing it for centuries on their own before modern medicine....... with the way modern medicine is, a woman can be fully numbed to where she does not feel any of the pains associated with child birth. Of course, if a woman is that terrified then I don't know how she is going to face her two year old running around screaming and throwing naked temper tantrums, kicking and thrashing on the floor when she wants him to get dressed. :P (Awww...they are sooo cute at that age. :kiss)

The amazing thing about being a woman is that we have these magical powers which allow us to remember the pain without remembering the pain. Most women who have had a child should know what I mean. After giving birth to a child we think of how we don't ever want to go through that again....but sometime down the road we see all those cute little newborns and suddenly the maternal urge kicks in, we want another, and "forget" what it was really like to go through the childbirth.

Aptrgangr
Sunday, October 12th, 2008, 01:26 AM
http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?p=617196#post617196



Originally Posted by Aptrgangr (AKA BigHead?) My mom told me giving birth to me was the most painful experience she ever had - like torture.



Indeed, I was big. But my mom did not become a tokophobe because if me though since she gave birth to three sisters of me.

mischak
Sunday, October 12th, 2008, 01:46 AM
Slightly off-topic, but I never knew Helen Mirren was half Russian!

On topic, I do find childbirth to be a little disgusting and not very appealing, but it wouldn't stop me from having kids, if I ever decide to have them that is.

∆meric
Sunday, October 12th, 2008, 04:03 AM
Slightly off-topic, but I never knew Helen Mirren was half Russian!

Funny, I had just recently mentioned that fact. (http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php?p=859895&postcount=46)


On topic, I do find childbirth to be a little disgusting and not very appealing, but it wouldn't stop me from having kids, if I ever decide to have them that is.

I have heard of a phobia that affects men who are disgusted by the ideal of having intercourse with a woman who has given birth. I don't know what it is called but allegedly Elvis Presley had this phobia.

Having witnessed childbirth 3 times, women who go through it have my sympathies. I've have never understood why anyone would want to videotape that particular event. Our 4th time around we decided a caesarean was the way to go. There was minimal scaring & my wife bounced back from it a lot quicker then with natural childbirth.

Oresai
Sunday, October 12th, 2008, 06:38 AM
Indeed, I was big. But my mom did not become a tokophobe because if me though since she gave birth to three sisters of me.


Where I come from, it`s a matter of pride that a woman has a big baby, and here in Orkney, the bigger the better! *thinks of the woman who got into the local newspaper after a thirteen pound boy, eeek and ouch! :-O*

Here, Orcadian men are quite old fashioned...it`s only recently they`ve begun to attend the birth, and even then I`ve seen many a farmer instruct his wife on how to push or when, based on how many cows he`s calved! :D
(though, my son in law fainted, much to my daughter`s annoyance...)

Rainraven
Sunday, October 12th, 2008, 09:06 AM
I don't think I'd call it a phobia for me but I'll definately be frightened when the time comes! This can't have been helped by the birthing video I had to watch at school when I was 15. The births that we were shown did not seem easy and involved forceps, tearing and even cutting when the babies head was too big. Definately not reassuring...

∆invargR
Sunday, October 12th, 2008, 09:27 AM
The Oscar-winning actress revealed her deeply held fear on an Australian television show, blaming a graphic video of childbirth shown to her as a 13-year-old schoolgirl for her childlessness ever since.

This can't have been helped by the birthing video I had to watch at school when I was 15. The births that we were shown did not seem easy and involved forceps, tearing and even cutting when the babies head was too big.
Way to increase the birth rates that our leaders call the cause of their politics.

Aptrgangr
Sunday, October 12th, 2008, 09:23 PM
Way to increase the birth rates that our leaders call the cause of their politics.

That's what they show overhere...
http://www.chius.ch/viktoria11/geburt/geburt_bilder.html

Thrymheim
Monday, October 13th, 2008, 02:55 PM
I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but I refuse to watch any of the "live" births on tv and was never shown one at school, In this case I think ignorance is bliss, by the time I'm worrying about it it will be too late to avoid it!

Bšrin
Friday, January 16th, 2009, 07:03 AM
Of course I'm afraid of how it will be like sometimes, but honestly spoken, that's too insignificant to the joy my child will bring into my and my husband's life. A few hours of pain are worth it. The pain lasts a short while compared to the time the child will live. There is no comparison, in my mind and anyway, it's too late to make any steps back at this point so I will just have to hold my nose and deal with it. :D

ladybright
Friday, January 23rd, 2009, 05:07 PM
When I was in 4th grade I saw a short video of a birth. The mother was grunting but it was not horrific or terribly bloody.

I really appreciate the dulling of pain in memory. I had a nerve pinched with my last pregnancy and birth and am glad that it is much fuzzier in memory.

I think it is a shame to be crippled by fear. We are taught that everything will be sanitized and then many people do not know how to cope with birth, death and much of what lies between.

forkbeard
Friday, January 23rd, 2009, 05:31 PM
The weak must die. As in all life forms. That includes races or individuals too weak to give birth.
I've seen my wife give birth eight times. Between pregnancies she trained like an olympic athlete. "A baby is more important than a gold medal. she would say." After each birth she said "right for the next one." Of course the birth is painful (like a wasp sting on the clitoris, so I'm told) but gas and air are available and other pain relief. All pain is instantly forgotten with the unbelievable joy of the new life. The first attachment of the baby to the breast ( minutes after birth) releases a flood of endorphines that instantly delete any memory of pain.

Haereticus
Friday, January 23rd, 2009, 06:07 PM
I've attended 4 births. It's a pretty horrific and worrying experience. I can't say I enjoyed the experience. I don't doubt it's worse for the mother :D

Great when it's over :)