When we're afraid, our body diverts blood and oxygen from non-essential defense organs to large muscle groups in our extremities. Our face drains of blood and we are said to be 'white with fear'.
Dr Dick-Read hypothesised that the fear felt by a woman during childbirth also caused blood to be filtered away from her uterus, so it could be used by the muscles that would flee the dangerous situation. As a result, the uterus was left without oxygen and could not perform its functions efficiently or without pain.
This belief led to Dr Dick-Read's theory that fear and tension cause the labor pains in approximately 95 percent of birthing women. He termed this phenomenon "the fear-tension-pain syndrome of childbirth," and he believed that by eliminating the fear, women could return the uterus to its normal function, thereby eliminating the pain.
Probably the person accredited with the origin of the term "Hypnobirthing" is Michelle Leclaire O'Neill in1987 [www.leclairemethod.com], who authored books on the subject including "Hypnobirthing the Original Method". Her work was based partly on previous research by English obstetrician Dr Grantly Dick-Read some 50 years ago. Other people instrumental in the spread of hypnobirthing classes include Marie Mongan who founded the U.S. based HypnoBirthing Institute, Katherine Graves founder of Hypnobirthing Association based in the UK and Michel Odent who did a great deal in the 1970s to promote the cause of home birthing, and the use of birthing pools.
Research on Hypnosis for Childbirth shows that Expectation of pain is the predominant fear-factor that women experience, which actually causes excessive pain in childbirth.
Research shows that massage, touch and breathing reduce heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, and Increases endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers that help guide you in birthing your baby.
Dr Grantly Dick-Read (1890-1959) a British Obstetrician, regarded as the father of 'natural child birthing movement. He Became the first president of the UK's Natural Childbirth Foundation (NCT).
He Hypothesised That...
"the fear felt by a woman during childbirth caused blood to be filtered away from the uterus, so it could be used by the muscles that would flee the dangerous situation. The fear & tension causes labour pains in approx. 95% of birthing women".
Dr Dick-Read explained that by eliminating fear, a mother could return the uterus to its normal function thereby eliminating the pain.
NHS Guidelines (There are no Irish guidelines yet!)
The National Health Service (NHS) figures show that 60% of women in England have a normal delivery in a hospital and 12.5% have an unforeseen instrument delivery or 24% have C-Sections. Only 2% of deliveries in England currently take place at home.
"Women must have greater control over not just where they give birth but how they do so according to NHS Guidelines for England and Wales".
NICE believe that the number of home births could be increased to 30%. The National Childbirth Trust estimate 60% of women can safely give birth at home.
The Royal College of Midwives insists home births are safe in the majority of circumstances.
"There is some evidence to show that for very low risk women, home birth is safer than a hospital birth and the likelihood of medical intervention is reduced", a spokesman said.