An Ethnographic Study of Women Using HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Methodg
Staley, Judy M.
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The purpose of this ethnography was to explore the values, beliefs and perinatal practices of women, who utilized HypnoBirthing. The aim was to explain the culture of HypnoBirthing through women’s perceptions of their experiences of choosing, attending, and using HypnoBirthing. HypnoBirthing is a philosophy and childbirth education method used internationally that fosters a natural birth, combining childbirth information, self-hypnosis, and positive affirmations. Expanding research points to HypnoBirthing efficacy and safety reflected in more positive maternal/infant outcomes versus dominant childbirth methods including fewer preterm births and higher infant birth weights as well as less medical and surgical interventions ie: 17 % cesarean rate versus 32 % (Dolce, 2010). However, research is limited which examines women’s reasons for choosing this unique method and perceptions of the actual HypnoBirthing experience. This research drew on Spradley’s concept of culture as a system of shared values, beliefs, behaviors, language, social interactions, and environment (1979, 1980). Additionally, Lederman’s (1996) theory of Psychosocial Adaptation in Pregnancy was used as a guide in explaining how values, beliefs, and practices inherent in HypnoBirthing influenced maternal responses to pregnancy and birth. Spradley’s methodology (1979) guided the data collection (demographics, interviews, and participant observations) and analysis. The purposeful sample included 11 Caucasian women in the U.S who utilized HypnoBirthing. Study rigor and trustworthiness criteria included credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Results of this ethnographic study strongly reflect all participants who used HypnoBirthing shared core cultural values and beliefs that influenced their choice to initially adopt this unique method and use it throughout their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. These shared values and beliefs were categorized into three distinct themes: 1. “Having it Mommie Driven”- the need to have choices, sense of control, and being empowered 2. “Overcoming Difficult Times”- the ability to transcend challenges in the environment and method and shape their own meaningful experiences 3. “Feeling Connected”- the strongly expressed desire for women to bond with their babies and partners, while transitioning into motherhood. Findings may potentially help healthcare professionals provide more individualized and culturally-sensitive health care for women who select HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method for childbirth.