Tokophobia: fear of pregnancy, fear of childbirth.
At a lunch get together last week, I was talking to a co-worker who admitted, she was afraid of pregnancy. Having done this thing, a few times now – I totally get it, but why fear something that is so natural?
There were a good mix of girls who had both experienced and not experienced pregnancy and childbirth. As my friend talked, one main point kept shining on her fear… the stories of horror that her friends and family had mentioned in regards to the pregnancy and child birth experience.
I have to admit to being guilty of telling stories of horror from the discomforts involved in carrying a child, the pain of labor and delivery, or aftermath of what happens with your body post-delivery. Immediately I had an aw-ha moment. I am NOT helping in the cycle of pregnancy perception!
I have a wise friend who was explaining that the stories you tell your children help in how they will perceive the news or information. Her example was with learning about menstruation. She said her mother’s approach was very calm, informative and presenting it all as a fact of life. The subject of her period wasn’t approached as curse or something you just had to deal with, as many girls are introduced to it as. She said her view point of her period was quite different from several of her friends who over dramatized the monthly moment. This is just as applicable to pregnancy and childbirth.
So how will I talk about pregnancy? I am going to start watching my words in regards to being pregnant by cautiously telling tales of horror and make sure to point out the natural aspect of the moment. The last thing I would want is my daughter, sister or friend to have a distaste of pregnancy before they would be able to experience it themselves.
Pregnancy, as much as I complain – is a beautiful thing. I am blessed to be able to get pregnant and have this experience. Remembering that in the moment, not so easy. I’m going to just keep my eye on the prize (BABY!), and attempt to keep my lips buckled when it comes to anything that could induce tokophobia.
Have You Experienced Tokophobia?