Call the Midwife tackles tokophobia

We take a look at this week's episode of Call the Midwife. It features Eunice, a mum who is terrified of giving birth after the trauma of having her first baby.

A still from episode 5, series 7 of Call the Midwife with Nurse Lucille and mum-to-be Eunice sat on the bed talking about Eunice's trauma

Tommy's midwives' blog, 19/02/2018

We often praise Call the Midwife for tackling difficult subjects with sensitivity and understanding, and this week was no different. Last night’s episode focussed on terrified second time mum-to-be, Eunice Dobson.

'It’s like there’s this film in my head and it keeps playing over and over.'Eunice

Due to a traumatic birth with her first son, Eunice was clearly suffering from tokophobia – an extreme fear of childbirth. This was explained through Eunice’s refusal to come to clinics and her hostility towards the midwives and doctors who tried to help. Her terror was so great that she refused to give birth and locked herself in the bathroom when labour started.

Watch this short clip of the episode

'It’s just you and me now Eunice… if you come out I’m here. I can help you cope.'Lucille

It was new midwife on the block Lucille’s job to win Eunice round, gain her trust and coach her through the birth with understanding and warmth. Eventually, she succeeds beautifully and Eunice gives birth at home, despite the brief mention of a caesarean section.

Our thoughts

'I was so pleased to see how the subject of tokophobia was handled on ‘Call the Midwife’ last night. A genuine understanding of Eunice’s fears helped her midwife support her during birth in a way that enabled mum to face her fears and believe that she could do it afterall.' Amanda, Tommy's midwife

Find out more about tokophobia and pregnancy-related post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Read about the breech birth earlier in the series.

More about mental health and pregnancy

More pregnancy news and blogs

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  • By Leanne (not verified) on 19 Feb 2018 - 13:09

    It's Tocophobia, not Tokophobia.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 19 Feb 2018 - 16:54

    Hi Leanne, It seems that the spelling is debatable. The BBC, NHS and RCOG all use the 'k' and our own website which goes through rigorous checking also does. It could be that this is one of those words that can be either spelling. Thanks for the comment though.

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