Hypnotherapy Birth

One of the latest ideas to help you get through labor is to take a self-hypnosis course aimed specifically at pregnant moms.


Anecdotal evidence suggests that using self-hypnosis makes giving birth much easier and there are many hypnotherapists who offer this training. However, this is not just some wacky New Age approach to birth, as even the British NHS is researching to find out whether it will help moms cut down on the use of epidurals and other medications. An 18-month trial is currently underway with over 800 expectant moms participating, conducted by the Central Lancashire University, which will help to show how effective hypnosis actually is in reducing pain in labor. Researchers are also investigating the effectiveness of using self-hypnosis while giving birth in countries as far apart as Australia and Denmark. So there must be something to it, mustn't there?

What Does It Involve?

While you can of course go to any hypnotherapist to help you prepare for labor, there is an organization that runs pre-natal classes teaching hypnotherapy. The HypnoBirthing-Mongan Method runs classes all over the U.S. and in many countries throughout the world. Your birthing partner isn't forgotten either and is very much included in the process. This method offers a course, which consists of five small and intimate classes that last 2 1/2hrs each, together with a book and accompanying CD for home use. If you are unable to go to classes or have already attended other pre-natal classes you can order the book and CD online, or arrange to have private coaching. The classes offer standard pre-natal information, birth coaching as well as visualization techniques and hypnotherapy training.

Is It Effective?

According to statistics, women who used the HypnoBirthing method needed much less intervention during birth, including pain relief. Moms using self-hypnosis techniques even needed episiotomies less often and fewer stitches after birth. Caesarean sections were also reduced to almost half the US national average (32%), at around 17%. Moreover, with 87% of women questioned who used hypnotherapy for their birth saying they would recommend the method to others, it's certainly worth considering learning this technique. The scientific evidence so far also seems to back it up by showing that hypnosis can help reduce pain generally.

Hypnotherapy And Pain Perception

According to research reported to the European Neurological Society in 2007, participants in a pain trial suffered about a third less pain while under hypnosis than when they were given the same stimulation without hypnosis. This was even measurable on a brain scan conducted to measure pain perception in the brain. "We were able to demonstrate clearly at the level of neural mechanisms that hypnosis has actual effects in reducing pain perception." Dr. Laureys - University of Liège.

Natural Process

Although the researchers are still conducting their research, it seems that learning self-hypnosis techniques can benefit you while you are in labor. After all, giving birth is completely natural and something women have been doing for thousands of years.