Social media gave us friends, relationships, recipes, knowledge and above all, reasons to perform delivery of a child at home by referring YouTube videos and naturopathy practices. A couple in Tamil Nadu, India after deciding to attend to labor at home successfully delivered a healthy baby with the help of social media and naturopath friends but finally lost the new mum as they were unable to stop excess bleeding after delivery. One can name it insanity, foolishness or anything but the harm caused cannot be reversed! People perform ceremony rituals online, treat patients through chat sometimes and now, even deliver babies. Social media exists as the most reliable source of information to people nowadays who don’t even think of seeking guidance from experienced professionals, families or friends. Suffering from back pain, just google the symptom and perform the exercise suggested; undergoing some operation-thoroughly check the procedure, imagine the whole episode and get scared about it even more before the actual procedure happens; before delivery what a pregnant woman does not experience is only the actual labor process apart from which she reads through every case of delivery pain, complications and hurdles that could happen throughout pregnancy term and delivery.
Mental Pain but No Labor Gain
Pregnancy is a special period in every woman’s life which she looks forward to! What should be a joyous and rewarding journey turns out to be a frightening and bothering experience for some women due to self-induced problems. Anxiety and fear during the pregnancy term is common among women as they bear a life inside them. But when the fear of pregnancy heightens such that it leads to avoidance of pregnancy and pathological fears of the same, it is termed as tokophobia. Tokophobia can be primary or secondary. Primary tokophobia is morbid fear of pregnancy in women who don’t have prior experience of pregnancy and secondary tokophobia is extreme fear in a woman who faced traumatic pregnancy complications during first pregnancy but also possible due to stillbirth, miscarriage, termination of pregnancy or even after the delivery of a normal and healthy baby.
People use social media to update others on their everyday activities: birth of a child-announce it immediately on FB; vacationing abroad-click random pics with funny captions and post it on Instagram; check-in your current location and activity every time on your favorite social media platform and even announce break-up too! The same media uploads the details of heart-breaking pregnancy complications and problems shared by millions of new moms regarding pregnancy and childbirth experiences. A woman planning for pregnancy or the one already pregnant and surfing the net for advises/ideas on delivery gets anxious, starts fearing about unwanted complications and lives under constant fear until the baby plops out! Social media could be a major source for rising rates of tokophobia. Just Google the term ‘pregnancy’ and you are met with unending number of horror experiences. To-be moms join forums and keep posting questions on each and every trivial issue. Every person’s journey to parenthood is different and each replies her own experiences which could never match your physical health or parenting journey. Yet, we compare, debate and start matching these experiences with our own!
Common to Every Woman
Pregnancy is fearful due to the extreme labor pain involved and almost 75% women report fear of childbirth and pregnancy. Different reasons that elevate fear include talking to women who have experienced traumatic births, changes in the anxiety regulating mechanisms of the body, lack of belief in proper medical care by physicians and hospitals and psychological factors such as childhood experiences of depresses and absence of confidence. While these fears are common, some women take the drastic step of avoiding pregnancy by resorting to contraceptive pills or even don’t hesitate to abort the growing fetus. The happiness and joy associated with pregnancy quickly vanishes in some women once they realize that they have to undergo the dauting pain of labor and delivery sometime in the future.
Rarely do we come across stories of encouragement or positivity about labor and pregnancy across social media sites. True that giving birth is a tedious process but don’t we need to pen down the actual experience rather than our feelings and emotions that blocked our minds while the experience happened? Talking about loss of blood, losing consciousness or suffering from 72 hours of labor pain continuously is not going to encourage woman to become pregnant or those nearing labor to stay positive. Rather, also discuss about the fruits of such hard labor pain and the joy experienced the very first time you saw your infant. This would bring a smile on each person reading about your experience and look forward to delivery visualizing her baby in mind!
Googling for each and everything regarding your pregnancy too is not good. Our mothers and grandmothers delivered babies without the existence of social media. Then why are we so addicted in reaching out to it for help every time rather than discussing with them? Take pregnancy in your stride, stay positive throughout, surround yourself with good thoughts and deeds, look forward towards a nice labor pain (only then will your infant come out fast!) and stay focused on delivering a healthy baby. If you would like to seek the guidance of a professional in eating the right kind of food and staying healthy, get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com. Ignore all other things that try to lure you. Mainly, just shun away from these pregnancy groups, forums and sites as you might get addicted to it and spend your time reading endless experiences of people online.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.