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Phobia of Pregnancy & How to Overcome It

17 January, 2017
Q Salam Aleikom dear counselor. I have been married for almost 6 years, but my husband and I are still quite young, way below 30. The issue is that although I like kids, I am afraid to commit myself and have a baby. I feel I, first and foremost, fear of the changes I would go through during pregnancy and the pain of the childbirth. I actually have hypohondria. I am not diagnosed by doctor, but I make a huuge issue of any little thing I find on my body, and I often visit different doctors for different check-ups or with some kind of problem I think I have. You could hardly name a department I havent been although alhamdulillah I have never had any serious issue or operation. I havent broken any part of myself, I havent stayed in hospital. Every time I go to blood test, I get pale, i am shaking out of anxiety, my heart is pumping like crazy which makes the procedure even harder for the poor nurse, but i just cannot help it. Tried to think of Allah, relax, deep breath, nothing works. The nurse needs to talk to me while she is trying to take bood from me, and then I always stay there a couple of minues, they give me water, to calm down. And this is only a blood test!! What's this compared to giving birth! My husband started to talk about having kids, and his family too, but they are patient and understand. I feel like having kids too - but without pregnancy and childbirth. but my husband is very against adoptation. I wish I could move into the hospital for the time of pregnancy so that any problem would happen, they are there to help. I am also afraid that even if my pregnancy will be smooth and everything is fine, my anxiety will cause problems. Maybe because of my anxiety, my body wont be able to deliver the kid or might hurt him/her! I am really desperate and no idea what to do. I feel even worse as a Muslim as I should have more trust in Allah. I do, but...i just cant help having these thoughts and feelings. Going for a childbirth course would be good idea?



Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam dear sister,

Firstly, I want to reassure you that most women go through the exact same emotions as you are, especially at the thought of a first pregnancy and childbirth. Adoption is also an admirable option, but does not have to be used as an option to overcome fears of pregnancy and childbirth.

Most women fear complications during pregnancy and pain during childbirth. Even sisters who are entirely devout to Allah (swt) and have every trust in Allah (swt) to the highest extent will experience this fear because it is a feeling unknown and the thought of all that happens will inevitably conjure up images of pain. Even beyond pregnancy and childbirth itself, women feel anxious about their changing role as they enter into motherhood and worry about how they will manage.

The best way to prepare for the entire experience is to read and find out as much as possible about the whole experience from beginning to end. This will help you feel more aware of what will happen to your body and plan and prepare ahead, both for the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth as well as a changed life and role as a mother. Specific things that might be most useful to you due to your anxiety are things like what to expect at each stage of pregnancy, including common ailments that might occur at certain stages of the pregnancy and why they happen. This will ease your mind that what you are going through is expected, such as heartburn in the later stages of pregnancy or frequent urination, not as a result of a urine infection.

You might also research pain relief options during childbirth as well as having a contact number for your nurse or hospital where you will be taken care of, in case you feel something is not quite right. Many hospitals allow you to have a look around their facilities to familiarise yourself with where you will be during labour and their facilities available. This can be a useful service to mentally prepare for delivery.

Attending antenatal classes is highly advisable, too, especially the first time, to meet other expectant mothers and to learn about what to expect during pregnancy as well as getting tips for childbirth. Being around others in the same situation can be hugely reassuring and comforting during a time when you are going through such a daunting and new experience.

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Everyone has a different threshold for pain and will have an entirely different experience of the birthing process. As much pain or discomfort any woman will face, they end up with a beautiful result that will put a smile on their face that shows any pains were more than worth it for the end result. So, perhaps instead of focusing on the negatives such as the pain you might face, just think about what you are going through it for; bringing a child into this life to love and raise for the sake of Allah (swt). A huge blessing, indeed.

Allah (swt) is the best of creators, and as much as we might think that giving birth is such a huge feat and we couldn’t possibly imagine being strong enough to do, Allah (swt) created the woman’s body in such a way that the natural process of labour allows us to do so. And even in the cases of women who struggle with the process, alhamdulilah, medical advances have created options to overcome such difficulties. This can be a reassuring thing to remember when feeling anxious about the process.

Pregnancy is a great time to draw closer to Allah (swt), for the sake of your own mental health and anxieties as well as for your unborn child. Keep in mind that in the remembrance of Allah (swt) hearts do find rest; therefore, engaging in as much worship as possible during this time can be a very good way to anxieties.

If you choose to go ahead with trying for a baby, may Allah (swt) make it an easy and straightforward experience for you. Whether you chose adoption or having your own child, may Allah (swt) grant you a righteous child that will be the coolness of your eyes.

For parenting-related Q&As, please check our “Ask about Parenting” service.



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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (