Self-Hypnosis in Childbirth

Self-Hypnosis in ChildbirthSelf-Hypnosis in Childbirth

About 10 to 20% of women can use self-hypnosis as an alternative method to reduce labor pain during delivery, said anesthesiologist Dr. Majid Ershadi.

“There are two methods of child birth; with or without medical intervention, using self-hypnosis,” Ershadi told ISNA.

“Women interested in self-hypnosis must be under medical supervision prior to giving birth.”

Hypnosis is a state of deep mental and physical relaxation that enables the person to focus intensely on a thought or feeling, blocking outside distractions. Proponents say the mind is more open to suggestions that change one’s beliefs and behavior in this state. When a woman prepares for childbirth under hypnosis, the suggestions aim to replace fear and pain with expectations of a safe, gentle and even comfortable birth.

“Women need to take several sessions with specialists to get conditioned by this method,” Ershadi said.

Getting hypnotized does not involve “a sinister person swinging his pocket watch in front of a patient’s eyes, sending them into a trance.” In the most popular hypnosis programs for childbirth, women learn to hypnotize themselves, using techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and affirmations or hypnosis scripts.

“Self-hypnosis courses before delivery can be taken up in person or over the telephone. The technique can be adopted by any individual, but only 10-20% can deliver by hypnosis alone,” the specialist said, while classifying women into three groups of low, high, and average hypnotizable states.

In childbirth hypnosis, women and their spouses are also taught a new vocabulary to describe labor and birth, to break the traditional association of birth with pain.

Hypnosis may be a good choice for mothers who want a pain relief option other than medication. Additionally, unlike medication, hypnosis has no side effects or risks if done by a skilled specialist.