Monday December 17, 2018
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A Rise In Pregnancy Phobia Due To Social Media Platforms

Treatment for tokophobia includes cognitive behaviour therapy, one-to-one educational sessions with midwives.

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Horror stories of childbirth shared by new mothers on online forums and social media platforms like Facebook could be driving the rise in tokophobia — a pathological terror of pregnancy and childbirth — leading to more C-section requests and abortions, a media report said.

“You just have to Google childbirth and you’re met with a tsunami of horror stories,” BBC Health quoted Catriona Jones, a lecturer at the University of Hull as saying.

If you go to any online forums, “there are women telling their stories of childbirth – ‘Oh, it was terrible’, ‘it was a bloodbath’, ‘this and that happened’. I think that can be quite frightening for women to engage with and read about,” she added.

Tokophobia
The main causes of the condition varied depending on whether you were pregnant with your first or second child. Pixabay

Tokophobia is a mental condition defined as a severe fear or dread of childbirth. It affects around 14 per cent of women, and can be serious enough to lead to requests for caesarean sections, and abortions, the Guardian reported.

According to Professor Louise Kenny of the University of Liverpool, that tokophobia was seriously under-researched and there was little literature on the condition.

“(Stories) shared in safe environments can be quite healing and informative but some women are predisposed to developing a phobia due to stories taken out of context or experiences that are graphic,” she noted.

Kenny added that the main causes of the condition varied depending on whether you were pregnant with your first or second child.

Tokophobia
Tokophobia is a mental condition defined as a severe fear or dread of childbirth. Flickr

“Some women develop it due to an adverse birth experience but for others the main cause can be a history of childhood or adult sexual assault or abuse. It can also be due to previous exposure to a story or something they have seen on TV or social media,” she explained.

Also Read: High Immunity Protein At Birth Cuts Childhood Malaria Risk

Treatment for tokophobia includes cognitive behaviour therapy, one-to-one educational sessions with midwives, and “graded exposure”, a process that involves having access to labour rooms or operating theatres in a gradual and non-threatening way. (IANS)

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Midwives Want To Reduce Maternal Mortality In South Sudan

South Sudan has added more than 800 midwives and nurses since 2010.

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Midwives, SUDAN
A woman holding her baby in a nursery watches another newborn who is attached to a ventilator at Juba Teaching Hospital in Juba, April 3, 2013. South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. VOA

More than 60 people graduated in Juba this week with diplomas in midwifery and nursing. Their goal? To reduce South Sudan’s high rate of maternal mortality.

Eight men were among the 66 graduates of the Kajo Keji Health Science Institute — an unusual occurrence in South Sudan, where midwifery is associated almost exclusively with women.

Samuel Ladu Morish, 26, says he felt he could no longer sit by and watch young women die because of childbirth.

chikungunya, maternal mortality
A woman sits inside a mosquito tent in the town of Abyei, Sudan. VOA

“A lot of mothers are dying so [for] me particularly it pains me. That is why I felt I have to do that course, to try my level best to stop maternal mortality rate in South Sudan,” Morish told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

Twenty-one-year-old Leju Henry, another male graduate, said he’s been asked many times why he decided to pursue a course in midwifery. Like Morish, Henry said he wants to help South Sudanese women, especially those who suffer complications in child labor.

“Most people think midwifery is a job for females only, but that is not the truth. … the definition of midwifery [is] that a midwife simply means someone who assists in child above all, but not necessarily means a fellow woman,” Henry said.

According to figures published by the World Health Organization in 2017, South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world — 789 women per 100,000 live births.

south sudan's war, chikungunya, maternal mortality
In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, the winner of Miss World South Sudan 2017, Arual Longar, poses for a portrait at a shelter for street children in Juba, South Sudan. VOA

The rate has actually fallen in recent years, a trend that Makur Koriom, the undersecretary of South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, attributes to increased training of midwives and nurses.

Also Read: Sudan Suffers From A Chikungunya Outbreak

He says South Sudan has added more than 800 midwives and nurses since 2010.

“We believe that’s important, because to address the current health challenges, investing in human resource is very important. But, of course, investment at [the] secondary level without concurrent development at the community level also will not yield [good results], because most of the issues happen at the community level,” Koriom told VOA. (VOA)