Reconsidering fear of birth: language matters

O'Connell, M.A, Martin, Colin and Jomeen, J (2021) Reconsidering fear of birth: language matters. Midwifery, 102 (103079). ISSN 266-6138

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Interest in fear of childbirth has grown exponentially since the 1980s, but the landscape of birth has shifted considerably since then, with evolving feminism; moving from a patriarchal environment in a biomedical model of care to a holistic model which recognizes the birth and sexuality rights of women and birthing people. Distinguishing the spectrum of fear from low to high and severe is important rather than aggregating all individuals with fear of childbirth. However, the terms ‘fear of childbirth’ and ‘tocophobia’ have been used interchangeably. In this paper we urge clinicians to use the term ‘tocophobia’ with caution since it may be construed negatively and there is a limited understanding of the underpinning aetiology of tocophobia. Furthermore, using the label may be disempowering for women and birthing people making decisions about their birth. Further research is warranted to better understand the experience, refine and define the issue and meet the individual needs of people with fear of childbirth and tocophobia.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: childbirth, tocophobia, Women, pregnancy
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Other Departments (Central units) > Research & Enterprise
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 10:01
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 10:01

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