Maternity units across the UK have reported a rise in mums’ pregnant with their second child, opting to have a caesarean, reports the Guardian.
Midwives say they have noticed an increase over the past three years, in the number of women too scared to go through labour again after finding their first time very stressful.
At Liverpool Women’s Hospital, one of the largest in Europe, midwives reported a 40% rise in mothers who had elected for a caesarean for their forthcoming baby following a bad experience of childbirth the first time.
Similarly, St Mary’s in Manchester, Stepping Hill in Stockport and Birmingham Women’s Hospital also noted the rising trend.
“Tocophobia [fear of childbirth] is a distressing psychological disorder that is growing at an alarming rate,” said Simon Mehigan, a consultant midwife at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
“There is a worry that, with the increasing birthrate, there are just not enough midwives. If women don’t have support throughout their labours, then they are more likely to feel they have been let down and left alone, and had too little information and explanation, so are more likely to end up feeling traumatised,” said Cathy Warwick, from of the Royal College of Midwives.
The NHS has set up specialist support services across the UK to help expectant mothers with their fears of childbirth, and also reduce the rising caesarean figures.