Hypnosis and Yoga are now well-known modalities used with pregnant women who wish to prepare for a comfortable labor and birth.
Hypnosis is a therapeutic modality that received many names throughout the centuries and it has been used in many cultures. It has been used as a natural anesthetic for childbirth before the new medical models offering narcotics came into place. Chiasson (1990) states that natural childbirth with hypnosis is possible in 25-30% of the pregnant women, while Kroger (2008) contends that only 20% of the "selected patients" used hypnoanesthesia successfully. According to Kroger, approximately 50% of the women are able to give birth with hypnosis and drugs (in lower dosages) (Kroger, 2008). Both Kroger and Chiasson indicate that hypnosis proved successful in performing surgical interventions such as episiotomy, forceps delivery, and repair (Chiasson, 1998; Kroger, 2008).
She considers the medical model of birth "the worst excesses of patriarchal and technological domination" (Rabuzzi, 1994: 72). Characterized in the past (40's-70s) by rigid hospital procedures, the women were often laboring for hours without any or little painkillers as they were inhibiting dilation. Later, a wide range of pain killers became available to women which numbed the pain, slowed down the dilation process and created a disconnection between the woman's psyche and her body and between the mother and the child.
Some cultures still perceive the pregnant woman as a vessel carrying life, rendering her nothing but a reproductive or sexual commodity. As a "vessel", the woman becomes a priceless object that provides essential nutriments for fetus and newborn.
Today, many women perform amniocentesis and sonography (ultrasounds/dopplers) to detect potential problems with their child, transforming pregnancy into a medical condition. Technology is more and used to manipulate or find out the child's gender.
Gaffney, L. and Smith Caroline A. (2004). Use of complementary therapies in pregnancy: the perceptions of obstetricians and midwives in South Australia. In Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 44, pp. 24-29.