Denise van Outen talks about her fear of giving birth

The actor spoke on Loose Women about her fears before daughter Betsy was born.


Pregnancy news, 17/08/2017

Denise van Outen has spoken openly about her birth fears on Loose Women this week.

The actor and TV presenter said that she was ‘so traumatised’ by other people’s birth stories that she chose to have an elective caesarean when her daughter was born in 2010.

‘When I got pregnant, I was so stressed.’

‘I hold my hands up, I went for an elective caesarean. My mum almost died giving birth and my sister had a terrible birth. My best friend had also just had a traumatic birth. There’s this whole stigma thing about too posh to push.’

‘But I was so traumatised, I wasn’t sleeping properly. You do still, to this day, feel like people are judging you.’

She admits that she feels ‘guilty’ about the choice she made, saying, ‘Even now, if I were to fall pregnant again, I would want to have a natural birth because I still feel guilty.’

Denise is mum to 7-year old Betsy, who she raises with her ex-husband Lee Mead.

It is not uncommon to feel anxious about your labour and birth, especially if other women have been telling you what it was like for them. But remember that people are most likely to talk about it if they’ve had a dramatic experience.

If your fear of giving birth is so severe that it is affecting your mental wellbeing, it’s important to talk to your GP or midwife so that you get the support you need. This severe fear of childbirth is called tokophobia.

Talking to health professionals as early on as possible is the first step to managing your phobia, and together you can make a plan for your labour and birth that is best for you.  

Read more about tokophobia or try our 5 positive ways for preparing for labour.

More on tokophobia

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    Is it normal to be so worried about giving birth?

    The thought of giving birth can be scary, especially if other women have been telling you about what it was like for them or you’ve been reading forums with gory stories. Remember that people are more likely to post if they’ve had a dramatic experience.

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    Tokophobia - Julie's story

    I always knew I would struggle being pregnant because I have a massive fear of childbirth.

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