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Suggestion In Obstetrics

In no department of medicine is favorable or unfavorable mental
influence more important than in obstetrics. Unfortunately,
unfavorable suggestion has here played a serious role and must be
controlled, modified, neutralized. Suggestion is valuable in its every
phase, during the course of pregnancy, in labor itself, in
post-partum convalescence, and with regard to nursing. Many women in
our time are prone to persuade themselves that labor is a more serious
incident than it usually proves to be and the consequence is an
unfortunate suggestion of pain to come that so exaggerates
sensitiveness as to make the actual suffering seem more than it really
is. Sympathy expressed for women in pregnancy and in anticipation of
their labor is sure to do more harm than good. Pain instead of being
lessened by sympathy is increased and capacity to bear it is
diminished. Anything that calls attention more particularly to the
pain removes distracting conditions that might modify it favorably.
Animals have the admirable instinct of withdrawing to some quiet
corner when they are in pain, preferring to be alone. In this they
follow nature and imitation of them is worthy of consideration, at
least so far as the avoidance of opportunities for the expression of
sympathy is concerned.

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