Is social media driving pregnancy phobia?
Horror stories of childbirth shared by new mothers on online forums and social media platforms like Facebook could be driving the rise in tokophobia – a pathological terror of pregnancy and childbirth – leading to more C-section requests and abortions, a media report said.

“You just have to Google childbirth and you’re met with a tsunami of horror stories,” BBC Health quoted Catriona Jones, a lecturer at the University of Hull as saying.

If you go to any online forums, “there are women telling their stories of childbirth – ‘Oh, it was terrible’, ‘it was a bloodbath’, ‘this and that happened’. I think that can be quite frightening for women to engage with and read about,” she added.

Tokophobia is a mental condition defined as a severe fear or dread of childbirth. It affects around 14% of women and can be serious enough to lead to requests for caesarean sections, and abortions, the Guardian reported.

Treatment for tokophobia includes cognitive behaviour therapy, one-to-one educational sessions with midwives, and “graded exposure”, a process that involves having access to labour rooms or operating theatres in a gradual and non-threatening way.

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