Saturday 21 October 2017

Stop terrifying new mothers-to-be with birth horror stories - focus on the positive

'At least one in 10 women has avoided pregnancy altogether because they have tokophobia: a deep fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Triggers can include hearing negative stories, watching programmes depicting shocking birth experiences, as well as miscarriages and stillbirths' (stock photo)
'At least one in 10 women has avoided pregnancy altogether because they have tokophobia: a deep fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Triggers can include hearing negative stories, watching programmes depicting shocking birth experiences, as well as miscarriages and stillbirths' (stock photo)
Sinead Moriarty

Sinead Moriarty

Men sit in pubs sharing 'war stories' about sports injuries while women tend to do the same with birth stories.

"Try pushing a pineapple out your nose", "Place your index fingers in the two corners of your mouth and pull your lips over your head" . . . the charming descriptions of labour are endless.

On my first pregnancy, I found myself cornered on many a night by women telling me horror stories about births and the many things that can go wrong. I was regaled with tales of forceps, internal and external stitches, blood and guts. It was rare I heard a good story. I don't ever remember anyone saying: "Don't worry, it's a fantastic experience."

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