Downside of oversharing
Sharing every detail of our lives on social media has become the norm, but Catriona Jones, a senior research fellow at the University of Hull says “horror stories” about birth shared online are contributing to the rise of tocophobia (fear of childbirth). According to a 2017 study, 14% of pregnant women suffer from tocophobia, with this figure rising steadily.
She told British newspaper The Independent that parenting forums, like Mumsnet and Netmums, have provided women with a dedicated platform where they can share their experiences. “If you go into Mumsnet forums, women are telling stories about childbirth. I think that can be difficult to deal with,” says Catriona, arguing that negative anecdotes exacerbate fears of labour.
However, Justine Roberts, Mumsnet founder and CEO, argues anecdotes about labour can be helpful to expecting mothers and The British Pregnancy Advisory
Service said forums provide a space for women to share their experiences – whether good or bad.