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First Time Mum - Just been referred to a Psyciatrist!!

(11 Posts)
mrsbell1982 Fri 24-Jun-11 10:14:51

Hi Ladies,

Well after a dose of diazapam and my 3rd visit to the doctors I have been referred to a psyciatrist due to my extreme fear of childbirth!
I have had this fear since the age of around 6 or 7 when my Mum took me to see a friend in hospital and we walked passed a delivary suite the sounds, screams and fear in the womans voice have haunted me to this day to the extent that I didn't visit anybody in hospital unless I knew I did not have to walk pass or be anywhere near a labour ward.
I am now 11 + 4 and have not slept a full night since I found out I was pregnant 6 weeks ago. The anxiety for me is causing such problems for me to even carry on my day to day life and has also had been thinking that suicide may be my only choice! I wake up each night screaming in a hot sweat my husband has even had to grab hold of me as I have been hitting my stomach when I am asleep.
This child is so desperatley wanted and will be so loved but the only way that I can continue this pregnancy is by ensuring I have a C Section. But the more I read the more I feel like the odds of this happening on the NHS are stacked against me. My husband said we must fight the NHS but if all fails we will pay privatley. Have you had any success stories on fighting the NHS. Or if not how long did you fight before giving in and going down the private route.
Also having looked into this further our preference would be Kings or The Landsdall Suite for a private booking, have any of you had your babies there?

Helzapoppin Fri 24-Jun-11 10:51:40

I'd see a referral to a psychiatrist as a good thing as it means they are taking you seriously and an obstetrician/midwife is not as able to make judgements on your emotional wellbeing as an expert in that area.
There are several ladies on here who have had elcs for tokophobia and I'm sure that they can offer you some practical advice but it may also be worth looking at the new RCOG (think it's RCOG, not NICE) draft guidelines on elective caesarean section. There is a section on tokophobia which suggests that best practice is that women should be offered counselling and if a vaginal birth is still not acceptable to the woman, an ELCS should be offered. Remember, you can always ask for a second (and third opinion) and having the support of your GP and psychiatrist will be veryu useful.
Good luck, try not to worry about it too much as it's not unresolvable, just uncertain for you at the moment.

mrsbell1982 Fri 24-Jun-11 11:25:47

Thank you for your reply Helzapoppin and for not being judgemental x

WriterofDreams Fri 24-Jun-11 11:29:27

Oh you poor thing. sad I have heard of women being allowed a c-section for the type of fear you describe so I would be very hopeful that you should get one too. I don't think any doctor would expect you to go through labour knowing the extent of your fear. As helza said, the fact that you've been referred to a psychiatrist is a very good thing as it means they are taking you seriously and they realise what a problem this is for you. Do you think knowing you're going to have a c-section would help to relieve your stress somewhat? If it would then I would definitely make it a priority to say that to your psych as it would probably spur them on to get you a definite answer as soon as possible.

Mental health problems are just as serious as physical problems, especially a phobia as strong as yours so I think they will just treat this as a high risk case the same as they would if you had very high blood pressure, and they will do all they can to decrease the risk for you. Given that you're contemplating suicide I would expect they will prescribe anti-d's for you. Make it clear how worrying this is for you so you get the right level of support.

Good luck with everything, keep chatting on here if it helps to clear your head.

nannyl Fri 24-Jun-11 11:48:27


Sorry you are so scared.... but dont think of being referred to a psychiatrist as any different to seeing an Oncologist for cancer, Gynachologist for lady problems, cardiologist for heart problems etc etc.

They have specialist knowledge in mental health issues, which are as real and medical as any other issue affecting other parts of your body.

I really hope he / she helps you.

Have you thought of doing some hypno-birthing courses which can greatly help with birth anxieties? good luck

nannyl Fri 24-Jun-11 11:57:09

and im sure as your fear is so real & genuine, they will consider you seriously for a planned C section, if thats what you really really want smile

Good Luck

mrsbell1982 Fri 24-Jun-11 13:22:51

Thank you all so much for your replies. It really does feel better to talk on here as when I talk to my husband or Mum I just cry so much that I can't catch my breath and it just causes them to worry so much about me.
I couldn't even watch anything on channel 4 last year as I saw a advert for One Born Every Minute and had no sleep and constant diarrearah for about 2 weeks.
I have been looking into the hypno-birthing courses but I am quite negative about it as I can't see anything working but I will off course give anything a go.
Thank you so much everyone x

fruitybread Fri 24-Jun-11 13:36:42

Hello mrsbell -

I had a planned CSection (NHS) last year for severe tokophobia. I think I got mine confirmed somewhere around 22 weeks, but had been given to understand by my MW that I would almost certainly get one (it was still an almighty relief to get it confirmed).

I can only post briefly now, although I have posted in some detail about it on this board before, and will check back later if you want to ask anything specific.

I just want to say - don't assume you will have to 'fight' the NHS - it will be more helpful for you to have HCPs on your side, and supporting you. A referral to a psychiatrist should be a good thing. A very sympathetic consultant MW referred me to a perinatal psychiatrist, who recommended I have a C section, and that was pretty much that. I dealt with a very relaxed and sympathetic consultant. Maybe I just got lucky, but I got the impression I wasn't the first woman in that situation they had dealt with.

I think it helps to be well read about the risks of C section as you can be (and I can't think why anyone wouldn't want to be well informed) - but bear in mind, in your position, if you get a CS it will be because of the serious risk of a bad outcome for your mental health if you are forced to go through a VB against your will, not for any other reason.

I know that's obvious! But people tend to talk about the physical side only of CS's - tbh, if your fear is so strong, as was mine, the emotional and mental health aspect of it comes into play very strongly, and are (or should be) taken into account. Which is just what writerofdreams says, and she's right.

Do ask if there's anything you want to know, and I will try to help.

fruitybread Fri 24-Jun-11 13:40:42

PS counselling and hypnobirthing can work, but it all depends so much on the strength of your phobia, your mental health history, and how much time you have, frankly.

Anecdotally, I think those things tend to work a lot better for women who want a VB, but are very scared about it. Being severely phobic about a VB in general is a rather different thing. I don't want to be too negative about it, though - I get annoyed when people refer to counselling as a magic wand, so must be careful not to fall into the opposite trap!

I had counselling and therapy for depression in the past, and found a lot of it very useful, but with the ticking clock of pregnancy and the strength of my phobia, everyone agreed it wasn't worth trying.

mrsbell1982 Fri 24-Jun-11 13:51:21

Fruitybread, - thank you so much for your reply and for briefly sharing your knowledge of things.
I'm sorry but could someone explain what a "having a HCP on side is" what is HCP?
D x

sillysow Fri 24-Jun-11 14:01:01

mrsbell1982 - HCP is health care prefessionals - midwife/gp/cons - whoever smile

I understand how real fear is....... I am sure you will be granted your wish to have a C Sec on the NHS

Good Luck

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