Pregnancy and Childbirth Management – Role of Hypnosis

Engage and procreate progeny’ is a biological trait ingrained in every living organism. The trait ensures existence of the species. The ingrained trait follows sex act which results in pregnancy of the female. Pregnancy ends in birth of the progeny of descendants among vertebrates. Pregnancy and birth of progeny are natural processes. For living organisms except for humans, the biological processes of pregnancy and giving birth to the descendants are no concerns of worry and pain.

Though in the beginning humans too maintained the same stature, as years passed by and as human thoughts started expanding due to the complexity in brain development, they started worrying about pregnancy; they started nurturing concerns about child birth related problems. In educated societies with higher degree of knowledge about everything around, women and their counterpart became victims of unpleasant imaginations built around pregnancy and childbirth.

Pregnancy related worries which haunt the modern educated women assume greater dimensions on account of the physical disturbances associated with pregnancy. Bleeding, vomiting, morning sickness, antenatal depression, sleep disorders and nightmares are common disturbances among pregnant women. These disturbances build up stressful situations; childbirth scenario turns out to be horrific experience. Some of the pregnant women become victims of unwanted imaginations:

“How sad it would be if there is a miscarriage; what a tragic situation it would be if the child is born with birth defects; how serious it could be if premature child birth takes place; how bothersome it would be if the new born is too small or too big and if the new born looks deformed and ugly”.

Thus goes the worrisome episodes of imaginations. In addition, every pregnant woman fears too much about labor pain that precedes the childbirth.

In order to deal with the situation, obstetricians and gynecologists and also general medical practitioners selectively give counseling to pregnant women to keep them confident. Wherever needed, they prescribe medicines for health related problems.

Counseling is appropriate and essential for all pregnant women and also for the expectant fathers. But use of medicine for pregnancy related worries and depressions is not advisable because it may adversely affect the health of the new born child as well as the mother in some way or the other. In the overall situation, therefore, clinical hypnosis turns up as the alternate system for pregnancy and childbirth management.

Use of Hypnosis is the most effective solution for pregnancy related worries, depressions and stresses. Hypnotherapy ensures the pregnant woman healthy and pleasant child birth. The benefits of hypnotic child birth are many: It reduces anxiety, tension, fear and worries; it enables the expectant mom to convert labour pain into pleasant feeling; it shortens the first stages of labour; it allows control of painful uterine contractions. Hypnotherapy avoids or limits the use of pain medication. Besides, hypno-suggestions help greater baby-mother bonding. Hypno-suggestions can also help proper upbringing of children and maintenance of congenial family atmosphere.

Hypnosis is no longer a mysterious supernatural power as propounded by spiritualists. Hypnosis is an induced relaxation phase of central nervous system akin to natural sleep. The British and The American Medical Associations, The US National Institute for Health and The Professional Affairs Board of the British Psychological Society, have confirmed through detailed studies that hypnotherapy is effective in clinical applications for mental disorders and for pregnancy related traumas without affecting the normal course of labor.

Hypnotherapy is also free of side effects. While using hypnosis for childbirth, the Hypnotist shall have to be extremely careful to employ suggestions through select words which do not convey out of the context meanings to the subject. Similarly, it should be ensured that the Hypnotist is one who is appropriately trained in the profession. The Hypnotist should possess skills to analyze and sort out the problems which require adequate skill in suggestion-therapy. Correct diagnosis is always a must before starting the session for hypnotherapy.

In America, Great Briton and some European Countries, there are institutions and individuals who apply Hypnotherapy for childbirth. But in India, the system is yet to be recognized.  No obstetrician, no gynecologist is known using Hypnotherapy as a general practice to retrieve pregnant women of child birth problems. The scenario necessitates restructure of the course of Medical Education by including clinical hypnosis as a specialized subject. The matter has to be closely examined by Governments and Recognized Private Bodies with the support of experts in the field and to devise norms and guidelines on Clinical Hypnosis for general practice as well as for pregnancy management and Childbirth.

Though hypnosis is a valid and trouble free system for childbirth management, it is important to take precautionary measures while employing hypnotherapy for the purpose: First of all, the hypnotist should be a well trained person; if obstetricians who are well trained in hypnotization are available, one of them may attend the pregnant woman for pre-delivery sessions. Otherwise, an appropriately trained Hypnotist may have to be engaged for the purpose. During pre-delivery hypnotic sessions, apart from the Obstetrician the presence of two or three witnesses including the husband and or close relatives of the pregnant woman should be ensured in the clinic; a written statement showing the details of the pregnant woman and the summary of the hypnotic suggestions given, may be got signed by the witnesses as a measure of legal protection for the Hypnotherapist:  These measures cover the essential precautions  to be taken care of while employing Clinical Hypnosis for Childbirth.

There are also other important measures to be taken care of if hypnotherapy has to be effectively introduced for pregnancy management and pleasant child birth, free of side effects:

With the ever increasing number of patients who opt for modern Medicare, obstetricians and gynecologists hardly find time to devote for clinical hypnosis which requires close attention over long period of time. The same is the case with general practitioners of medicine.  It therefore becomes the need of the time to devise schemes for engaging trained Hypnotherapists for the purpose in various hospitals and clinics, both public and private, across the Country. Another important step is to popularize the significance of clinical hypnosis among the general public.