Self-hypnosis during labour and delivery
Research has shown that self-hypnosis during childbirth shortens labour and can mean less intervention and medication.
Length of labour
Jenkins & Pritchard found a reduction of around three hours for first time mothers (average 9.3 hours to 6.4 hours) and of one hour for multi-gravid women (6.2 hours to 5.3 hours).
In a British study, it was found that 55%, of 45 women sampled who used self-hypnosis, required no medication for discomfort. In the non-hypnosis group, only 22% required no medication.
Rates of intervention
Harmon, Hynan & Tyre found that, out of 45 hypnosis clients, 38 delivered without Caesareans or forceps. This is higher than the average for first time mothers.
How expectations affect labour
Views of childbirth may be influenced by negative images on television or by negative recollections from other women, which may include their own mothers. Hypnosis replaces these negative images with positive ones. The subconscious refers back to these positive images rather than the negative ones. Grantly Dick-Read, a pioneer of natural childbirth, noticed that some women who had not consciously used hypnosis seemed to be in a trance-like state during labour. When he commented on this to one of the women, she said “was it supposed to hurt?”
nother advantage of a relaxed birth is that the woman tends to feel calmer following the delivery and therefore the baby is more likely to be relaxed and settled.
What is involved?
An initial consultation will last between 30 minutes and one hour, and will cost £30. If you feel that hypnotherapy is for you, this is followed by four sessions of around 50 minutes at weekly intervals at a cost of £55 for each session. The sessions would begin at around 32 weeks.