Pregnancy and childbirth

Hypnosis can be used to help achieve conception, reduce morning sickness, reduce blood pressure and help with the process of childbirth by reducing the need for painkilling drugs. Mothers who use hypnosis rather than conventional relaxation tend to experience shorter labour, require less medication and therefore have less side effects, experience less fear and feel less pain. Research conducted at the University of Wisconsin showed that babies born to mothers who used hypnosis in pregnancy did better than a group of mothers who just did relaxation.

Case history

A thirty five year old lady was very anxious about her second pregnancy having had a long labour and difficult delivery with her first child. Her concerns were that she would have another unsatisfactory experience of childbirth. She was enthusiastic about using hypnosis to ensure that she remained in control throughout the delivery. Her response to hypnotic relaxation was good. The outcome of her pregnancy was a short labour, normal delivery with minimal discomfort.

Techniques used in pregnancy

Hypnotic relaxation is the cornerstone of preparation for a delivery in which the mother feels she has control. Imagery of a relaxed labour is used to create positive impressions and build confidence.

Outcomes and Benefits of hypnotherapy in this situation

It is important to note that not all mothers experience trouble free labours, however, hypnosis trained mothers tend to be able to cope better when problems occur. The overall benefit is the feeling of the ability to retain control of the situation and reduced pain and fear. It can result in shorter time in hospital after the birth and can possibly lessen the risk of post- natal depression.

GP/ Midwife referral

Desirable but not essential and liaison with the health care professionals is usually beneficial.

Typical duration of therapy

Four sessions with recording support.