How we help

The support we provide is based on your individual needs, preferences and goals.

We will work together to develop a treatment plan in line with this that can lead to meaningful change.

Everyone’s experience is different so we ensure we make the right choices for you.

We might use a combination of approaches and techniques including:

Birth Without Fear course

The course is six sessions, run weekly on Microsoft Teams (similar to Zoom) in a group setting. It is facilitated by a Specialist Midwife and an assistant psychologist from Bucks MMHS.

This course is specifically for those with a significant fear of birth (tokophobia) or pregnancy-specific anxiety, with the aim to:

  • Help you feel more prepared for the birth of your baby
  • Be informed on what this may look like for you and how you would like the birth to go (birth preferences).
  • Feel less alone in your journey to understanding your fears and seeking a positive birth.

Criteria:

  • Less than 32 weeks pregnant
  • First pregnancy
  • Registered with a Buckinghamshire GP

If you are current pregnant with your first baby and feel that the birth without fear course would benefit you or you would like more information, please email us: TokophobiaReferral@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

A self referral form will then be sent to you. Once this is completed and returned, we will contact you to offer you an initial assessment.

The assessment involves speaking to a member of our team to assess whether this group may be suitable for you. If you are unsure if you meet the criteria for the group and would like to discuss, please email us and we would be happy to speak to you.

Collaborating with maternity and other health professionals

This is to ensure that you receive the right care, informed by your mental health needs.

Developing psychologically-informed birth plans

Developing plans and preferences, together with your midwife such as using person-centred and compassion-focused approaches.

Psychological therapy

Such as:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for severe fear of childbirth for women who are currently pregnant. The medical term for this is tokophobia.
  • Trauma-focused CBT or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for women who are currently pregnant and experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms related to a previous pregnancy or birth.
  • CBT and EMDR for women who have experienced a traumatic perinatal loss at any stage of pregnancy whether through miscarriage, termination or stillbirth.
Providing a safe and confidential space

Providing a safe and confidential space to share and reflect upon your experiences.

Providing information and sharing knowledge

Providing information and sharing knowledge about anxiety, how the brain and body responds to trauma and its association with grief and loss.

Developing resources and tools

Developing resources and tools to help people manage their feelings including fear, anxiety and distress.

Considering the needs of your partner

Considering the needs of your partner and signposting to appropriate services in the community to support them.

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Page last reviewed: 18 October, 2023