According to Counselling Psychologist Dr Margaret Kagwe, though many women may never know the agony of failure to conceive or delayed conception, other matters can arise to make the otherwise happy occurrence a nightmare.
“For a woman who experiences tokophobia, it is important to acknowledge the fear and offer support,” she says. “No matter the cause, every fear experienced by a person is founded. It would not be appropriate to dismiss someone’s feeling or even use it against him or her.”
She adds that some fears may be linked to discomforts associated with pregnancy. For example, some women fear gaining weight, others worry about morning sickness while others may worry about eating disorders during pregnancy.
It is also important to establish the root cause of the fear in order to decide how to approach the subject.
“If the fear is from stories she heard, she can be exposed to stories of triumph. Consultation with a healthcare provider can also go a long way in providing accurate information on what the process entails and in case of complications what can be done,” Dr Kagwe says.
Family support especially support of spouse is key.
“The emotional state of the mother is key to healthy development of the unborn child. The spouse should take the phobia seriously and seek professional help to ensure that by the time of child birth, the mother is well enough to go through the process,” she says.
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