A common question I get from those who suffer with strong fears or tokophobia is this: should I wait until I’m pregnant to address my fears?
My answer to this is NO.
And here’s why.
It could take longer than you think
Uncovering and addressing our fears is not always a quick process. We can only clear the fears and conflicts that we have a conscious awareness of. The problem is that many of our fears are buried deep under the illusions that they project to us.
The voice of fear is loud and our fears lie to us. Many believe the illusions and lies that our fears tell them and this can keep people stuck in their fear for years.
So an important aspect is becoming self-aware of those things that are at the root of your tokophobia and this will be unique to you. Some people fear pregnancy while others fear birth, and for some it’s both. Not everyone’s tokophobia is the same.
For some their tokophobia might come from a collection of fears and inner conflicts that are being highlighted by tokophobia. These fears and conflicts might not even be related to pregnancy or birth.
Many people think that the main fears that contribute to tokophobia are related to pregnancy and birth . And while yes pregnancy and birth fears do feature, they are often not the main contributors.
Others may have a traumatic experience which is feeding their fears. This traumatic experience might not be a conscious one, so it might not be immediately obvious.
Once you’ve identified your fears and conflicts, you then need to work through them. If you’re using my approach to overcoming tokophobia, then this will involve doing head trash clearance on each fear and conflict using the Head Trash Clearance Method. I share this in both my books; Fearless Birthing and Clear Your Head Trash.
Working through this list of fears and conflicts can take time depending on how many you have.
When I start working with a new tokophobia client I help them to identify their head trash clearance list and then help them to work through their list. Most people are able to do the clearance required to knock a huge dent in their tokophobia (if not eliminate it altogether) in around a month. But some people need longer. And, without having someone to guide and nudge you along this journey then it is likely to take you significantly longer. This is because I specialise in tokophobia and know what to look for. I also kick my client’s butts.
This is important because it helps them to get out of the stuckedness and procrastination that strong fears can inflict on them. So if you’re battling your own demons and stuckedness without outside help, this process could take very long indeed. Which leads me onto my next point.
Don’t pressure yourself
The last thing you want when you’re pregnant is to be stressing about getting something done before an unmovable deadline. It’s one thing worrying about getting the nursery ready – which can actually wait – and it’s quite another getting rid of your fears around the very thing you’re experiencing or about to experience. ot to mention that you *could* go into labour much earlier than you think. One of my clients went into labour at 32 weeks and was hugely grateful she decided to tackle her tokophobia as early as she did.
Your pregnancy is to be enjoyed, not survived
If you wait until your pregnancy to deal with our fears, that means that you’re experiencing your pregnancy in a fearful state. This is not ideal two important reasons.
1. You are not able to enjoy and appreciate your pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of transition and preparation. Preparing for motherhood is a big deal and something that you don’t want to rush or ignore. Forcing yourself to deal with your fears as well as the mental, emotional and practical prep needed to face the birth and motherhood, is a big ask. Why put yourself under all that pressure? Why not keep your pregnancy for the birth and motherhood prep, and leave some time to just enjoy and embrace it.
2. It’s not good for baby
Maternal stress is not good for your baby and should be avoided as much as possible. Maternal stress will include the stress that comes up as a result of wrestling with your fears. I know that it’s not always possible to avoid maternal stress, but deciding to wait until pregnancy to address your fears is a choice.
You could be delaying your pregnancy
It’s very hard to move towards a situation that you’re scared of, let alone terrified of. If your tokophobia is around a fear of pregnancy then this might mean that getting off birth control or having sex is difficult for you. So until you address your fears, the likelihood of you getting pregnant is pretty low. This means that postponing addressing your fears is actually postponing pregnancy and motherhood.
Another consideration – and one that is not always known – is that being stressed affects your fertility. Stress creates inflammation in the body and this can affect the tubes that the sperm travel down. Basically, they can’t get through! This means that you being fearful, and therefore stressed, could delay you falling pregnant, even if you’re actively trying.
All this means that you could be unconsciously putting off getting pregnant even if that’s what you want.
My final reason is around you and how you feel about yourself. When you’re in a fearful or phobic state, life can suck. Every day carries the potential for things to happen which can trigger you and take away your power and happiness. Why live like that?
I touched on earlier that many fears and conflicts aren’t related to pregnancy and birth; they’re life fears. Things like fear of losing control, a fear of being ignored or a fear of things changing… these are fears that affect all aspects of our lives so when you are able to address them, you will feel it elsewhere in your life. So your relationship might improve, your work or health might improve… who knows where else you’ll notice the difference?
Why put off experiencing a better version of life?
So many of my clients have told me that they’ve been feeling like this since adolescence or young adulthood and now they come to me and they’re in their mid to late 30s. That means that they’ve been living feeling like this for 10-20 years! That’s a long time to be living like that. And there’s no reason to. It simply requires a shift in mindset to sort it out now and not put it off.
Why wait to be the fearless person you want to be?
- Does your anxiety comes from your in-utero experience? - 9th April 2021
- Do you have a fear of uncertainty? - 8th March 2021
- Pregnancy anxiety and COVID - 18th February 2021