Israeli hospital: 'Worth trying' hypnotism to help women in childbirth, other procedures

Researchers conclude that while some randomized and controlled studies have shown benefit, others have not.

Pregnant woman  (illustrative)  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Pregnant woman (illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
There “is a place” for obstetrics and gynecology wards to offer hypnosis to relieve pain and reduce trauma among patients, according to doctors at the Rabin Medical Center- Helen Schneider Women’s Hospital in Petah Tikva.
Writing in the Hebrew-language journal Harefuah (of the Israel Medical Association), Drs. David Rabinerson, Epi Yehoshua and Rinat Gabai- Ben-Ziv survey the use of suggestion to women patients in Israel and other countries during recent decades and before.
Some studies claimed benefits in reducing pain of women in childbirth and other situations, while others did not proven benefits, they wrote. The problem, the authors said, was that most of the studies did not involve randomized, controlled trials, which is the ultimate way to determine benefit or disadvantages.
The power of suggestion provided by qualified hypnotists has been found to help reduce pain when fetuses are turned over in the womb to a head-down position, for reducing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and even for restoring menstruation in women who have gone without their periods.
The researchers concluded that while some randomized and controlled studies have shown benefit, others have not.
“We are living in an era when stress is placed on personalized and gender-dependent medicine,” along with “fierce competition among hospitals and maternity wards to attract women patients.” Hypnosis is considered safe when performed by qualified professionals, even if it is not always effective.
“We offer patients additional services including a large number of fields in complementary medicine as part of that competition.” As a result, “there is room for considering the addition of hypnosis for pregnant women, even if only experimentally,” they wrote.