Maieusiophobia also known as Maieusiophiliacs is an illogical fear of child birth. It is described as a psychological disorder and the common reason why some women request an elective cesarean section.
A woman with maieusiophobia may feel intense anxiety at the thought of becoming pregnant and also feel same at the sight of another pregnant woman. The fear often includes fear of injury to the baby, genital tracts and death.
Also, it includes the fear of previous complicated childbirth.
Symptoms of Maieusiophobia
The symptoms may include;
- Intense anxiety; worrying about birthing a child even when they are yet to be pregnant
- Anxiety at the sight of pregnant women
- Loss of concentration in family and daily work activities
This phobia being a psychological disorder shouldn’t be mistaken in cases of people who are not ready to raise children
Causes of Maieusiophobia
The causes of Maieusiophobia may range from the fear of previous complications from child birth to the pain and uncertainty of labor.
The fear of injury to the baby and genital tracts may also cause the phobia
An instigated danger and uncertainty of child birth process in some women may also trigger a fear leading to the phobia in them.
Treatment of Maieusiophobia
There is no single treatment for phobias but a combination of treatments might prove effective.
Medication is not recommended for overcoming phobias. If medications must be administered, the advice of a doctor must be sought to ensure safety and effectiveness of the drugs. Hence a doctor’s prescription of short term solutions to the side effect of phobia like anxiety or depression.
2. Anti-anxiety medications: antidepressants, tranquillizers and beta-blockers.
These drugs are helpful in the prevention of panic attacks. Thus, they are quite useful for maieusiophobic people as they do experience panic attacks as well. Examples of such drugs include; Xanxa, Valium and Klonopin.
The severity of the maieusiophobia will determine how often these drugs would be administered.
It is important to note that taking these medications alone will not correct this disorder. Ability to handle the emotions of the fear of birthing a child needs to be worked on.
3. Exposure Therapy
This is an effective way of desensitizing maieusiophobic persons of their fear and building an ability to cope with the emotions of childbirth.
Here in this therapy section, the patient is being gradually exposed to her fear over time or repeatedly. The therapist achieve this by showing the patient pictures or videos of child labour.
Although this procedure could intensify the amount of the patient’s anxiety, over time, the patient becomes less fearful. The use of anti-anxiety medications can be employed during this therapy.
4. Talking Therapy or Talking Treatment
This is a counselling treatment. This counselling section might prove very effective in the treatment of maieusiophobia.
Usually, a highly trained professional is needed. The patients get to talk to the professional about their fears, behaviours, feelings and thoughts.
The counselling section/talking therapy aim at correcting the unhealthy pattern of thoughts concerning childbirth and help in devising a way to live with the inevitable reality of childbirth.
5. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
This is an intensive mindful training program to help people suffering from anxiety, depression and mental stress.
MBSR has been shown to be beneficial for anxious people hence, it may be helpful or useful in the case of people with maieusiophobia. In Mindfulness-based stress reduction program, a person with maieusiophobia can learn different skills that can reduce the intense anxiety of their phobia.
These helps to distract themselves from their fear and focusing their attention on something else like sound around them. In future time whenever they are faced with anxiety they try to focus their mind on things that doesn’t require no emotional attachment.
Exercising the mind on how to cope with stress can also prove effective in the treatment of maieusiophobia. Engaging in aerobic exercise has shown good results in the release of chemicals in the brain like endorphins which actually inhibits the communication of pain signals.
This in turns help reduces stress and anxiety. Aerobic exercises may include; jogging, walking, swimming and biking.
The various types of treatment earlier discussed would have significant effects if only a person with maieusiophobia is willing to get rid of her phobia. Self-help treatment can also be effective in the treatment of the fear of childbirth.
Being able to control one’s thoughts about the phobia and the process of childbirth and embracing the joy of childbirth can prove effective.