Midwives have reported a huge rise in cases of women who are so dramatically affected by their first labour experience they are shelving the prospect of another baby for years or even going as far as to abandon plans completely.
Liverpool Women’s hospital has seen the number of mothers asking for an elective caesarean as a result of birth trauma rise a staggering 40 per cent. Simon Mehigan, a consultant midwife at the hospital has said that most of the women he works with are ”so fearful of giving birth for the second time that they are actually making themselves unwell”.
Tocophobia otherwise known as fear of childbirth is now a recognised psychological disorder and is affecting more and more women throughout the UK.
Various hospitals up and down the country such as St Mary’s in Manchester and Stepping Hill in Stockport are responding by introducing counselling services and specialist birth trauma support clinics run by specially trained midwifes. The aim of these services is to allow women to discuss their fears alongside talking through the pros and cons of natural and surgical births.
Maureen Treadwell from the Birth Trauma Association explained that many women who contact the service have had a traumatic birth experience but because their baby was born healthy their comments were not taken into consideration and appropriate care was not provided which could be linked to the disorders current high prevalence.
If you have experienced birth trauma and are concerned about labour then one option worth considering is that of hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy for childbirth not only helps to reduce anxieties about the birth but also has additional far reaching effects such as a reduced labour time and reduced post birth fatigue and recovery time. If this sounds like something that might be of interest to you then please visit our fact-sheet here for additional information.