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Mother's natural birth 'phobia' - Tokophobia - Printable Version

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Mother's natural birth 'phobia' - Tokophobia - Jonnyjonny_uk - 10-25-2008 04:07 AM

Mother's natural birth 'phobia'

A Devon woman has called for health staff to be more sympathetic to mothers who choose to have Caesarean sections rather than a natural birth.
Nichola Cooke, 23, from Plymouth, said she was shocked at the attitude of mid-wives and doctors when she asked for an elective Caesarean on the NHS.

She said medical staff did not take her seriously at first and she had to fight to get her wishes recognised.

The health trust said it adhered to guidelines on Caesarean sections.

Concerns 'dismissed'

Nichola was delighted when she got pregnant at the age of 23, but the thought of giving birth made her sick.

She said she raised her concerns with a midwife who dismissed them.

Eventually she was allowed to see a consultant at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, but she said he made her feel "silly".

Some friends told her it was a waste of NHS resources, but her concerns mounted until, at eight months pregnant, she complained to the Healthcare Commission and the Patient Advice and Liaison Service.

She said: "I can't imagine anything more freaky than a natural birth.

"I know that's a bit strange because it's what my body was designed to do, but I just can't wrap my head around natural birth at all.

"It really does genuinely frighten me and it has always been there."

Nichola was finally given a Caesarean on the NHS after being assessed by a psychotherapist, who agreed it was the best option.

"I'm not too posh to push. I have a phobia that should have been recognised."

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: "The Trust adheres to the guidelines on Caesarean sections as set out by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

"They recommend that clinical interventions, including elective Caesarean section, are only performed if there is clinical evidence of expected benefits to the mother or baby and that a consultant is involved in the decision to undertake any Caesarean."

In 2000, an article from the British Journal of Psychiatry introduced the term tokophobia to describe the fear of childbirth.

Re: Mother's natural birth 'phobia' - Tokophobia - Kyna - 11-11-2008 11:43 AM