Fear of Having a Baby

Anxious pregnant womenFear of having a baby is called Tokophobia, and one in six women suffer from it.

People who have Tokophobia are split into two groups, which quite often starts with feelings of anxiety and terror due to early and ongoing programming concerning horrors of labour, and  negative anticipation created through media drama, stories of earlier births,  films showing labour to be comic or very dangerous, or having had a bad experience the first time round, the more you think about it the worse the feeling of terror becomes.

If you  can learn to let go of the fear, use breathing and relaxation techniques, the uterus can  do its work easily and comfortably, as it is meant to do,  in a normal birth.

When the mother approaches labour with unresolved fear and dread, she may go into panic, her uterus tenses and everything slows down.

When the muscles in the uterus work against each other it causes considerable pain for the labouring mother, and her anxiety becomes worse. the uterus becomes tired,   and babies get tired.
So how do we overcome this – by taking a course of 4 HypnoBirthing sessions – which include deep relaxation, special breathing techniques, and getting rid of the fear of having a baby.  It sounds too easy to be true doesn’t it, but it is, its really very simple.

The mother is taught that birth is   natural and healthy, it is not a medical event, its about mothers and fathers and babies, and respect for their rights and wishes to bring their babies into the world in a gentle and calm way.
But you are taught all this after you have got over your fear of having your baby.

You wouldn’t be a woman if you didn’t get a few nerves about giving birth. But what if you become so terrified you consider abortion – even though you desperately want the child?
More and more women are admitting they have avoided getting pregnant or have wanted to abort a baby because the fear of labour overwhelms them.

Here is a true story from a client who suffered from Tokophobia: She now has a beautiful baby boy, and  has given me permission to put this article on my Website.  She came to me for many weeks, and totally got rid of her fear.  Here is her story:

Photograph of her baby Kristiano (with permission)
Photograph of her baby Kristiano (with permission)
“I suffer from Tokophobia, a condition that took over my life for a long time.  Tokophobia is a fear of being pregnant and childbirth.  I have always wanted a baby and 6 years ago I found out I was pregnant. Instead of feeling so happy as I’d expected, I felt this rush of fear, dread and uncertainty come over me.

Suddenly something took over my body and mind and I convinced myself that I could not have the baby, I was terrified, became very depressed and ill and had no other option but to have a termination.  Initially I felt relieved this nightmare was over, then my normal feelings came back to me of wanting a baby, guilt for what I’d done, I felt a failure and entered into another nightmare.

After this I feared being pregnant even though I wanted to have a baby so much.  I didn’t know why I felt like this, nothing made sense.  A year later I found out I was pregnant again, again the same feelings came over me and I knew I could not go through with it so I had another termination.  I felt even worse again after, I couldn’t understand how I could want a baby so much but when I got pregnant everything changed and something took over my mind.
I saw a psychologist for a year, this helped me to understand what had happened, that it wasn’t my fault, its an illness/phobia.  I never believed I could overcome this, I resigned to the fact I’d never be a mum,  I’d have a panic attack at the thought of being pregnant.

Then last year after being around my new niece I yearned for my own baby and decided I had to try.  I became pregnant and initially the first week I felt happy then suddenly those awful feelings came over me again.  This time it felt 10 times worse.  I couldn’t eat, sleep, get dressed, function, communicate – I just wanted to curl up and die.  I decided to see a hypnotherapist as a last ditch attempt before I did something drastic.  Lyta my hypnotherapist saw me weekly, she helped change  my mind into believing I could see a pregnancy through and have that wonderful gift at the end of it all.

Suddenly I started to feel a bit positive and week by week I got better and better.  There was a complete turn around which felt like a miracle and now I am 36 weeks pregnant, I feel positive, relaxed and am looking forward to meeting my baby.  I am also doing the HypnoBirthing course with Lyta, I am not scared about the birth I just feel I can go into my labour feeling relaxed, not panicking and enjoy the experience instead of being fearful of it. Without Lyta I would not have got through this!”

“On the eve of my due date my contractions started, i did not feel fear i just remembered i had to stay calm and breathe the way I was taught. So with every contraction i did this, for 48 hours in total and i managed to stay calm throughout all of this even though my labour didn’t go to plan, i had to have a c-section because my labour would not progress further. Everyone was amazed how calm i was throughout, i had some pain relief due to the length of time and the complications but i was in high spirits eagerly awaiting the birth of the little boy I’d always wanted. I achieved this by using the methods I’d learnt through HypnoBirthing.

I am so relieved that i met Lyta as she helped me cope with my fear of pregnancy through hypnotherapy and HypnoBirthing which is so natural to do, it is very relaxing and completely normal nothing like the fiction stories that can be off-putting.
I am proof that it works, even after a problematic long labour i am not put off getting pregnant again, in fact something i never thought i would say but ‘I miss being pregnant’, it is such an amazing experience and one that i am so thankful i managed to do.”


  1. says

    Hi, I just finished reading this women’s story and I am completely the same way. I can’t talk about it to my family or friends because the first and last time I did i was told I should never have kids because I don’t want to carry it. I tried to explain how I deeply fear being pregnant. The idea of another living thing growing inside you and changing you terrifies me so much to where I no longer am sexual active with my husband of 5 years. I am in my twenties and never got pregnant before, I have so many friends who are pregnant or already have babies and I work at a children’s boutique so pregnant women are everywhere and kids and babies and I love them, I worked at a daycare and took care of ranging from babies to big kids. All ages and I want a kid of my own so bad! I tell everyone I do someday but I keep to myself that I am so very terrified of carrying a baby. I have a phobia for a cluster of tiny things especially under something or in something or completely covering the surface. I have had past experiences, climbing a tree and seeing a spider egg hatch and they are covering the bark, I just let go of the tree and fell, playing outside and looking at my leg and it’s covered in mosquitoes. I hate staying outside because of that happening, even chocolate sprinkles on white ice cream, bacon bits under cheese on a potato. I get shaky and sick, land it is just the same feeling as the thought of being pregnant. I’m glad I have found someone who feels the same and I am not alone. I have never heard of hypnotherapy but from what you have said I feel so relieved that there is something out there to help me for that. Thank you. And it took me about 3 hours to types this due to having to stop explaining because I start itching and shaking.

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