Researchers at the University of Hull are carrying out a pioneering study of women who suffer tokophobia – the fear of going into labour and giving birth.
Anxiety about giving birth is not unusual but for some women, the fear can be so overwhelming that it overshadows their pregnancy and affects daily functioning.
Care for sufferers is patchy but, in Hull and East Yorkshire, where there is an established perinatal mental health service, there is a recognised need for a consistent approach.
Academics at the University have been working together to explore the care and support available to these women – and to help address the gaps in service provision.
This pioneering work, which is at the forefront of tokophobia service provision and research in the UK, aims to ensure that women get the right support, and that their psychological and pregnancy needs are met.
Tokophobia can have debilitating effects on women and their families. Some women will avoid pregnancy, even though they might want to have children.
For those who do become pregnant, the condition can overshadow pregnancy and affect the choices they make for labour and birth.
This is why our experts are keen to work towards preventing tokophobia if possible – as well as providing effective treatment for women who suffer from this difficult condition.