Mind over Matter
Find out how hypno-birthing can alleviate childbirth pain
Hypno-birthing, also known as The Mongan Method, was created by Marie Mongan M.Ed., M.Hy. (a certified hypno-anesthesiologist) as a unique method of relaxed, natural childbirth that is enhanced by hypnotism techniques.
Hypno-birthing emphasises simple yet specific self-hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for better birth. It teaches parents how to put themselves back in control of the birth process.
Studies have shown that it is fear itself that causes the pain. Fear causes tensions. Tension then causes pain. When this self-fulfilling prophecy begins, true pain is experienced.
Not only is pain created by opposing chemicals, the natural progression of labour is also impeded. Dysfunctional labour patterns are thus created, which can, in many cases, lead to interventions such as use of Pitocin and Caesarean births.
Hypno-birthing is usually conducted in five classes by qualified practitioners. During the course, parents will gain an understanding of how the birthing muscles work in perfect harmony as they have been designed to when the body is sufficiently relaxed.
In addition, parents will learn how to achieve this kind of relaxation, free of the resistance that fear creates. Once mothers are totally relaxed, they will be fully in control.
Hypno-birthing mums will be trained to reach complete relaxation where they will be able to determine the degree to which they will feel the contractions. This allows the mothers to actually tell when their babies are coming!
The benefits of hypno-birthing include:
• Reduced need for pain medications
• Reduced need for episiotomy
• Less fatigue from labour
• Bringing together the mother, baby and birthing companion as the birthing companion is not just an onlooker but someone who will actually help the mother to stay calm and focused on the techniques learned
• Bringing the mother back in control during birth and enjoying a wonderful birth experience.
Hypno-therapy has no known risk factors to the mother or the unborn foetus. However, some of the recognised disadvantages include:
1. One randomised trial has shown the duration of labour to be longer in the hypnosis group.
2. It is not popular with many obstetricians because of the increased time required for adequate hypnosis preparation compared to standard medical pain relief methods.
3. The level of hypnotic state required to tolerate pain of birthing is high. Some mothers find it helpful only during the first part of the labour.
4. The courses and material on hypno-therapy can be costly.
5. There is a lack of well-trained and experienced practitioners.