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Childbirth & # 39; horror stories & # 39; on social media encourage fear of having children, experts say

(Photo: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

At the British Science Festival, a certain topic dominates the conversation.

Yesterday during the conference, Catriona Jones, a senior research assistant at Hull University, expressed his concern about the way in which sharing horror stories about childbirth leads to more and more women being frightened to give birth.

The condition is called tocophobia and according to a study by the Nordic Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 14% of women worldwide suffer from it.

And the figure has been rising steadily since the beginning of 2000.

In an interview with the Independent, Jones claims that social media is a key factor, with the availability of negative experiences that affect budding mothers. She called it the "tsunami of horror stories & # 39 ;.

(Photo: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Jones said: & # 39; When you go to Mumsnet forums, women tell stories about childbirth – & # 39; it is awful, it is a massacre & # 39 ;. I think that can be difficult to deal with. & # 39;
Responding to the comments from Jones, founder and CEO of Mumsnet, Justine Roberts tells Metro.co.uk: "We've discussed a lot about this on Mumsnet, and a few things have come out of our side aloud. users.

First, they are strongly convinced that women who tell the truth about their experiences are not the same as scare. Many have also said that they have found a lot of reassurance and positive birth stories on our deliveries and prenatal forums.

"And quite a few have said that when it came to their own experiences with traumatic births, being able to talk honestly (and anonymously) with other women was an important part of their recovery.

& # 39; If there is one thing that this story has shown, it is that we should talk about childbirth – the good and the bad – more, no less. & # 39;

Also known as maleusiophobia, parturiphobia and lockiophobia, it is a mental disorder with two types: primary and secondary.
The first is for those who have never given birth, and is often linked to family problems – such as the experience of your mother – while the latter is usually through some form of traumatic experience – whether it is a previous birth, a postpartum depression or other complications at birth.

But sharing childbirth stories is not a new development.

Soo Downe, a professor of midwifery studies at the University of Central Lancashire, tells Metro.co.uk that it is the balance in the stories that matters.

& # 39; Throughout history, women have told stories about their experiences with childbirth, both bad and good, with their closest friends, & # 39; he says.

& # 39; In the past, all traumatic experiences within a community were contained and often compensated by positive stories. However, the ubiquity of social media and exposure to viral horror stories now means that the good is often surpassed by the bad.

The rise of popular television programs and documentaries aimed at childbirth have also contributed to the growing fear of giving birth, and the obsession of the media with the display of traumatic experiences has an all too negative picture of the experience.

& # 39; This can not be further from the truth and the vast majority of pregnant mothers do not have to worry about anything. & # 39;

(Photo: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Avni Trivedi, an ostepath and doula (birth coach) agrees that talking about birth is important, but that it is realistic and without sensation & # 39; has to happen.

She says: Social media are useful to open up conversations. The communication style, however, may seem more like a broadcast and less reflective than a personal conversation. Every woman is different and that also applies to her expectations and personal experience.

For women suffering from tocophobia, I recommend asking their midwives to refer them for professional help. Some women will have to consider taking an elective caesarean if the fear of birth is so great. For others, learning the mind and body about birth can help to overcome fear. & # 39;

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