The 2012 edition of the course “Hypnosis and Preparation to Childbirth” will start next February. It is dedicated to pregnant women and to healthcareprofessionals involved in the process of birth.
Since many years the Institute has organized childbirth preparation courses for women, but until now pregnant women were always treated individually, while doctors and obstetricians were advised to attend to our training courses. This year however, we conceived a joint course, for future mothers and for those who assist them that will allow, in 9 days, to learn and experiment Ericksonian self-hypnosis and hypnosis techniques that are aimed to relaxation and pain management.
During the course, future mothers will be able to deepen methods aiming to get into contact with themselves and with the baby they are carrying, and to better understand their emotions, in order to serenely cope with the post partum period. Ericksonian techniques, in fact, allow those who master them to come into contact with their own mind and body in order to effectively manage emotions and sensations.
Healthcare professionals, on the other hand, will learn to use, along with basic techniques, also linguistic and practical methods to support women in such a delicate moment and to help them to use their physical and mental energies in the best possible way.
Pregnancy and childbirth are very special moments in the life of a woman and they bring an emotional load that is often underestimated. Pregnancy is the moment of waiting, of expectations, when a woman imagines her child. Childbirth, then, is a demanding event, that often scares because of its association with images of great physical pain. The period subsequent to birth is, on the other hand, full of conflicting emotions and sensations: joy alternates with anxiety, it is a tiring period in which there is no time to rest appropriately. Women who are able to use hypnosis on themselves, can use their internal resources at best in order to serenely go through all these phases.
“During labor – as dr. Gian Carlo Di Bartolomeo, doctor and Director of the Milton H. Erickson Institute, explains – women go through a sequence of painful contractions alternated by pauses. In this situation the “pain expectation” component referred to the coming contractions can emphasize pain perception by adding feelings of anxiety to it. Hypnotic processes, by acting on the emotional and cognitive representations of the situation, deeply interact with pain perception, reducing it and making it manageable.  Women that learn Ericksonian relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques are able to experiment childbirth naturally and serenely. Once the painful component disappears, or is reduced, women are free to serenely experience the birth of their child.
“The process of anticipation of pain – adds dr. Nicoletta Gava, Clinical Psychologist and co-Director of the Institute – is based on the belief that it is impossible to move away attention from it and that it is inevitable to obsessively think about the moment in which pain will be felt. In fact, one of the aims of the hypnotic states consists in the management of irrelevant stimuli - in this case the thoughts about pain - to orient one’s own resources towards elements that constitute the main source of information, such as the joy evoked by the beginning of a new life. Obstetricians, adequately trained in Ericksonian techniques, will surely be able to assist their patients, even those who do not know hypnosis, by accompanying them during labor in order to make it easily tolerable.