Pain is often a warning sign of a physical injury. As such, the hypnotherapist typically wants a medical practitioner to examine the client to make sure that hypnotherapy for pain does not mask an ailment that needs serious treatment. That is not the case with childbirth, however. Everyone is familiar with childbirth to one degree or another. Since shortly after creation, most women have experienced excruciating pain during childbirth. Modern medicine has addressed the pain in several ways. For a time, most doctors administered general anesthesia. Now the localized relief from an epidural or other types of blocks is available for women looking to ease their severe discomfort.
Hypnotherapy, amazingly enough, offers an effective alternative to the chemical-laden medical intervention. The process involves two objectives: First, the relaxation and the therapeutic techniques prepare the mother emotionally and physically for the labor and delivery. Second, the hypnosis reduces or eliminates the pain during childbirth.
The hypnotherapist has several alternative approaches that he may use; all of them start with pre-labor sessions. The day of delivery is not the time to evaluate the mother as a subject of hypnosis or to introduce suggestions to deal with the discomfort. The early sessions will be learning times for the mother and the therapist. With each succeeding session of hypnosis, the mother’s ability to relax and reach the adequate hypnotic level will improve. She will also be learning techniques of relaxation and self-hypnosis to use during the labor and delivery process.
The options differ, however, during the labor and delivery process, particularly regarding the presence of the hypnotherapist. One option is to have a hypnotherapist present at the time of labor and delivery, using her input to guide the hypnosis. The second option is to have the mother rely upon her earlier training in self-hypnosis during those pre-event sessions. Options vary depending upon the desires of the mother, the practices of the hypnotherapist, and the circumstances created and evaluated during the early sessions.
Reports from women who have used hypnosis during child birth are remarkably similar: a sense of relaxation, a lack of fear or anxiety, and some sense of comfort. Some have described a total lack of pain, while others describe a pain similar to having a monthly period. The mother experiences the physical aspects of child delivery, but without the intensity of the pain. Beyond the pain relief, women experience an incredible focus that attends the hypnosis. A mother is able to joyfully and fully experience the birth of her child.
If further medical procedures are required at or immediately after the birth, the attendant hypnotherapist can provide pain avoidance techniques at that time, as well.
Hypnotherapy can alleviate not only a wide array of a mother’s post-birth conditions, including post-partum depression, the depression often experienced by new mothers, but it can also be useful for issues in raising children, such as bed wetting, thumb sucking, and ADHD. These topics are addressed later in Part III.