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Hypnotherapy in childbirth

Hypnotherapy in childbirth refers to the use of hypnotherapy to assist in the birthing process and its aftermath.

There is insufficient evidence to determine if it alleviates pain during childbirth


Conceptual basisEdit

Hypnotherapy during childbirth is based on the idea that to experience an easy and comfortable birth, women need to have an understanding of the way in which the uterus functions naturally during normal childbirth when unencumbered by fear, along with the ill effects of the fear-tension-pain cycle on the birthing process. Birthing women and their support partners are taught non-pharmacological strategies, such as relaxation, meditation and visualisation, that allow the body to birth normally without restrictions to assist in less painful, easier, more comfortable birthing.[1][2][3][4][5]


In 1942, Childbirth without Fear was published; written by English obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read. The book introduced the idea of using hypnotherapy for childbirth.[6]

Obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read first wrote about the use of hypnosis to reduce pain in the 1930s in his work on natural childbirth and since the 1980s a range of different techniques have been developed that utilize hypnosis in a natural childbirth.


Hypnosis is generally considered a controversial treatment. There is insufficient evidence to determine if it alleviates pain during childbirth or is of use in treating postnatal depression.[7][8]


  1. ^ Mongan, Marie F. (2005). HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A Natural Approach To A Safe, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing (3rd Edition). HCI. 
  2. ^ Sanjay Datta, Bhavani Shankar Kodali, Scott Segal (2010). "Non-pharmacological Methods for Relief of Labor Pain". Obstetric Anesthesia Handbook: 85–93. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-88602-2_7. 
  3. ^ Phillips-Moore, J. (2005). "HypnoBirthing". TheAustralian Journal of Holistic Nursing. 12 (1): 41–2. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Wainer, N (2000). "HypnoBirthing. A radical change on our perspective of pain in childbirth.". Midwifery today with international midwife (55): 36–38. PMID 11189565. 
  5. ^ Mottershead, N (March 2006). "Hypnosis: removing the labour from birth.". The practising midwife. 9 (3): 26–7, 29. PMID 16562656. 
  6. ^ Odent, Michel; Dick-Read, Grantly (2004). Childbirth without fear: the principles and practice of natural childbirth. Pinter & Martin. ISBN 0-9530964-6-7. [page needed]
  7. ^ Sado, M.; Ota, E.; Stickley, A.; Mori, R. (2012). Sado, Mitsuhiro, ed. "Hypnosis during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period for preventing postnatal depression". The Cochrane Library. 6: CD009062. PMID 22696381. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009062.pub2. 
  8. ^ Jones, L.; Othman, M.; Dowswell, T.; Alfirevic, Z.; Gates, S.; Newburn, M.; Jordan, S.; Lavender, T.; Neilson, J. P. (2012). Neilson, James P, ed. "Pain management for women in labour: an overview of systematic reviews". The Cochrane Library. 3: CD009234. PMID 22419342. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009234.pub2.