aka Hypnobirthing or Hypnoanesthesia
Hypnosis has been used to aid women to have natural & positive pregnancies and childbirths for over a thousand years, long before drugs and medication were used.
In the western world it is a common misconception that pregnancy & childbirth is uncomfortable, painful and scary. While this may be the case for an unlucky few, the truth is that it is often the belief that it is going to be a difficult journey that creates many of the problems in the first place.
All the stories one hears about hours and hours of labor, complications, mishaps all tend to create a negative mental image and expectation in the minds of the mother to be.
It has been shown that by eliminating fear, apprehension and tension, it in turn can reduce or eliminate pain (Dick-Read, 2005). The good news is that, with hypnosis, this is very easy to achieve. And not only will hypnosis help with the emotional and mental attitudes of pregnant women but it also works on a biological level to aid the body to carry and deliver a baby without difficulties. With hypnosis women can enjoy the experience of pregnancy and also have a comfortable birth.
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind in which positive, helpful suggestions are given to create change on a subconscious level. This allows spontaneous changes to happen easily with little or no effort from the person undergoing hypnosis.
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There are six (6) Sessions for Hypnosis and Childbirth ideally starting about week 28 (not a hard fast rule). The first four (4) session involve just the Mother to Be and the last two sessions involve both the Mother to Be and her partner. Session times average 1 hr. to 1.5 hrs.
There have been many reputable studies that have shown the amazing effects of hypnotherapy for pregnancy and childbirth. There have even been documented cases of cesarean sections being performed using only hypnosis and no anesthesia.
A study by Cyna, McAuliffe & Andrew (2004) outlines the vast benefits of hypnosis for pregnancy and childbirth. These are summarized below:
Hypnosis is non-invasive, meaning that women are up and about, feeling wonderful soon after giving birth. Fewer woman who have hypnosis for
childbirth request analgesia during labor Women using hypnosis generally rate their pain as less severe in labor The responsiveness of women to
hypnosis is increased during pregnancy. Women using hypnosis for childbirth tend to have less complications. There are no complications or side effects with the use of hypnosis, however there are many risks and side effects when using drugs and epidurals during labor.
Another study supports these findings by summarizing that “Hypnotically
prepared births had shorter…labors, less medications, higher Apgar
scores, …. More frequent spontaneous deliveries… and lower depression scores after birth…” (Harmon, Hynan & Tyre, 1990)
Hypnosis can be used by anyone wanting a natural, calm & comfortable pregnancy and childbirth. It is completely safe for both mother and baby and allows for the mother to have greater control and independence in the birthing situation.
Grantly Dick-Read (2005) ‘childbirth without Fear: The Principles
and Practice of Natural childbirth’ Pinter & Martin Ltd, 4th edition
Cyna, McAuliffe & Andrew (1990) ‘ Hypnosis for pain relief in labour and childbirth: a systematic review’ British
Journal of Anaesthesia
Harmon, Hynan & Tyre (1990) ‘Improved obstetric outcomes using hypnotic analgesia and skill mastery combined with childbirth education’ Journal of
Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Vol 58 (5), Oct 1990, 525-530
Oxford Journals online