Posts tagged #hypno birthing

Hypnobirthing Evidence summarised by Kidderminster Hypnotherapist Joanne Marie

Hypnobirthing training is available at Breathe Holistic Therapy. The full course is five hours training which is delivered on an individual (couple) basis. 

As a qualified nurse I always look for evidence to support the therapies I provide including hypnotherapy for childbirth. There are many studies available that explore the use of hypnotherapy in pregnancy and childbirth. I have summarised some below.

Increased movement of the baby in the uterus: Fuchs et al. (1987) evaluated the influence of maternal hypnosis, they noted a significant increase in foetal activity as a result. This, they believed was due to a reduction in maternal anxiety and improvement in placental blood perfusion.  Mothers who used hypnosis for anxiety and stress management had foetuses who moved in a much more active manner than a control group (Zimmer, Peretz, Eyal & Fuchs, 1988)

NICE guidelines: The National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines from April 2007, discussed the benefits of teaching relaxation and self help/coping strategies to pregnant women especially in reducing depression and anxiety for those who are vulnerable to suffering these mental health problems. 

Treatment of preterm labour: Hypnosis combined with conventional drug therapy can significantly prolong the duration of pregnancies threatened by premature labour. Omer (1987) found that adding hypnosis to the treatment regimen prolonged pregnancies an average of 18.8% longer than patients treated with medication alone. 

Hypnosis effects on turning foetuses from breech position:  One hundred pregnant women whose foetuses were in breech position at 37-40 weeks’ gestation used hypnosis; and a matched control group did not . 81% of breech babies were successfully turned  to a head down position in the hypnosis group compared with 48% in the control group. The success was thought to be down to psychophysiological factors which may influence the breech position. (Mehl, 1994)

Reduction in length of labour using hypnosis:  Jenkins and Pritchard (1993) found a reduction of 3 hours for first time mothers (from 9.3 hours to 6.4 hours) and 1 hour for women on second or subsequent labours (from 6.2 hours to 5.3 hours) for active labour (262 subjects and 600 controls). Pushing was statistically shorter for first time mothers (from 50 min to 37 min). These women were more satisfied with labour and reported other benefits of hypnosis such as reduced anxiety and help with getting to sleep.

Abramson and Heron (1950) & Gallagher (2001) found a shorter first stage of labour for 100 women trained with hypnosis (by 3.23 hours) compared to a control group of 88 women. 

Forty-five Hypnosis for Childbirth clients (first time mothers) had an average of 4.5 hours for the active labour, a significant reduction compared to the usual 9 hours. (Harmon, Hynan and Tyre, 1990)

Need for analgesia in child birth:  In a British study, 55% of 45 patients (first and second time mothers) required no medication for pain relief after training in hypnobirthing. In the other non-hypnosis groups, only 22% of 90 women required no medication. Two other research pieces reported on 1,000 consecutive births: 850 women used hypnotic analgesia resulting in 58 percent rate of no medication. Five other research pieces reported an incidence of 60 to 79 percent non-medicated births using hypnotherapy.     (Harmon, Hynan and Tyre, 1990)

An analysis using  data from 14 studies that included more than 1,400 women showed that hypnosis reduces the need for drug pain relief in labour, lessens the need for medications that augment labour and increases the number of spontaneous vaginal births (Smith et al., 2006)

Rates of Intervention: Thirty-eight out of forty-five Hypnosis for Childbirth mums, delivered spontaneously without the use of caesarean, forceps or venteuse. This rate of 84% is higher than the average rate of normal birth for the general population of first time mothers (Harmon, Hynan & Tyre, 1990)

Postnatal depression: McCarthy (1998) provided five 30-minute sessions of hypnosis to 600 women and found a virtual absence of postpartum depression, compared to the typical rates of 10 to 15 percent. Women with a history of postnatal depression did not develop this condition in the hypnosis group Harmon et al (1990) reported a reduced incidence of postnatal depression in women who had been taught hypnosis for child birth.

Lactation:  There are many studies documenting how hypnosis can be used to promote and to suppress lactation (August, 1961; Cheek & LeCron, 1968; Kroger 1977)           

If you would like any more information please do contact me


Posted on October 13, 2015 and filed under hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy and Pain Management Research

The use of hypnosis for pain relief has been explored in many research studies.

One area of study is the use of hypnosis for pain control during child birth. A study in 2002 (Bobart and Brown) found that over 60% of the women who received hypnotic training required no  anaesthetic medication compared to only 2.7 % of the women who had no hypnosis training. Also, only 5.5% of the hypnosis group required pain medication whereas 75% of the non hypnosis women needed anlagesia.  

An analysis of over 14 hypnobirthing studies, that included over 1400 women, concluded that hypnosis reduced the need for pain relief medication in labour whilst also increasing the number of spontaneous vaginal deliveries.   Women taught hypnosis had decreased requirements for analgesia including epidurals and they felt more satisfied with their pain management. 

A study published in 2004 (Jeffrey B. Feldman) looked at hypnosis and pain more generally. The conclusions suggest hypnosis should be considered as a powerful tool for many aspects of pain management:

   "Hypnosis therefore appears to be a potentially more potent clinical tool for pain management than approaches that do not use it (i.e. relaxation, cognitive-behavioral)."

A review in 2007  (Elkins etal) looked at a number of studies focusing on hypnosis for chronic pain. The research included conditions such as low back pain, arthritis and fibromyalgia.  After considering the studies they concluded that hypnosis had a significant role to play in the management of chronic pain:

"The current review indicates that hypnotic interventions for chronic pain results in significant reductions in perceived pain that, in some cases, may be maintained for several months. Further, in a few studies, hypnotic treatment was found to be more effective, on average, than some other treatments, such as physical therapy or education, for some types of chronic pain."

The American Psychological Association also reviewed a number of research studies looking at the use of hypnosis for pain management, also called hypno-analgesia.  They concluded:

"A meta-analysis (a study of studies) in 2000 of 18 published studies by psychologists Guy Montgomery, PhD, Katherine DuHamel, PhD, and William Redd, PhD, showed that 75% of clinical and experimental participants with different types of pain obtained substantial pain relief from hypnotic techniques. Thus, hypnosis is likely to be effective for most people suffering from diverse forms of pain, with the possible exception of a minority of patients who are resistant to hypnotic interventions"

In 2009 (Donald Roberston) the evidence for the use of hypnosis for pain relief was explored. They concluded that there were effective empirically supported evidence for the use of hypnosis for pain including pain in surgery and cancer treatment. 

There are very many more  studies exploring the use of hypnotherapy for chronic and short term pain. Pain is both physical and psychological and consequently, as research supports, can be influenced by therapies such as hypnotherapy. The video below shows hypnosis for pain management in action. The video shows a women having throat surgery without anaesthetic  to allow her to sing to preserve her vocal chords. 

Posted on October 7, 2015 and filed under hypnotherapy.