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Tokophobia is a diagnosed extreme fear of pregnancy and birth, which affects around 1 in 10 women.

NICE describes it as “an intense anxiety or fear of pregnancy and childbirth.”

Tokophobia is diagnosed into two types:

Primary tokophobia occurs in women who have not been pregnant or given birth before.

Secondary tokophobia usually occurs in women who have had previous traumatic pregnancy or birth experiences.

It is normal for women to worry about giving birth, but you are more likely to have tokophobia if:

When you attend your booking appointment with the community midwife we encourage you to discuss your fears and anxieties.

In Portsmouth we have a Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Midwife who will be able to support and advise your care. Most women with a fear of birth will go on to give birth vaginally with good support and care planning.

Further reading and support