Hypnobirthing was introduced in the 19th century utilizing techniques for fear release and relaxation. With this technique, women attempt to relieve all anxiety and reach a loose, limp, rag doll relaxed state….then the body can do what it was designed to do during birth, without constriction and resulting discomfort
Hypnobirthing classes often meet once a week for 2 hours a class beginning at the 30th week of pregnancy over a 4-5 week period. The hypnotherapist usually does not accompany the mother in the birth. This method attempts to modify the perception of pain through self hypnosis and post hypnotic suggestion. An example is the imagining of being in a safe place often symbolizing the pain as something that can be separated from conscious recognition thereby attempting to recognize less pain. Some goals of hypnotherapy include:
Reduced need for pain medications
Birthing is returned to a peaceful celebration of life
Less fatigue from labor
Brings together mother, baby, and birthing companion
Less hyperventilation than Lamaze methods
This method attempts to make the birthing process less scientific through the replacement of conventional birthing terminology with less scientific descriptives.
Birthing coach is called birthing companion.
Catching the baby is called receiving the baby.
Uterine contraction is referred to as uterine surge.
Hypnotherapy has no recognized risk factors to the mother or the unborn fetus. Some of the recognized disadvantages include:
One randomized trial has shown the mean duration of labor to be longer in the hypnosis group.
Decreased popularity by many obstetricians because of the increased time required for adequate hypnosis preparation compared to standard medical pain relief methods.
The level of hypnotic state required to tolerate pain of birthing may lesson the memory of the birth process.
The above information regarding bathing was obtained from the following publications.
If you would like more information on hypnotherapy we suggest reading the suggested papers, referral towww.hypnobirthing.com and finally discussing this option with your obstetrician.
Murray Enkin, A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press, 2000
Eappen S, Robbins D., Nonpharmacological means of pain relief for labor and delivery, Int Anesthesiol Clini. 2002 Fall; 40(4): 103-14, Review
Macaulay A, Randomised trial of self hypnosis for analgesia in labour, Br Med J; 292:657, 1986