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Hypnotic Conditioning for Childbirth.

In recent years the press has brought to public attention that hypnosis as a form of anaesthesia for childbirth has come into its own. This may leave us with the impression from these stories that hypnosis is an innovation in the practice of Obstetrics.

On the contrary, hypnosis has been employed, not only in the field of childbirth but also has been used successfully in general surgical procedures going back to the time of Esdaile and Elliottson way back in the early 1840’s which is before the discovery of chemical anaesthesia’s in 1846 and 1847 which when discovered it threw the use of hypnosis into discard, but it is known in informed circles that hypnosis has been used as a natural anaesthesia for the past century and a half.

So much so that in the early 20th century, a well-known obstetrician of the time named Joseph DeeLee was credited with the claim that hypnosis was the only childbirth anaesthetic without danger. (Goldman 1992).

We find that over the years hypnosis has sometimes been presented by the media as some form of theatrical act with individual’s losing control or handing control over to the performing hypnotist.

It is important to understand that no one can be forced into a hypnotic state because the person has to be a willing subject willing to follow instruction with a desire to be hypnotised to enable them to achieve whatever their outcome is to be, whether it is a pain free childbirth, getting rid of stress, freeing themselves from anxieties and physical discomfort.

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