“Birth is not only about making babies. It’s about making mothers; strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and believe in their inner strength”
Barbara Katz – Professor of Sociology
The 40 weeks of pregnancy culminate in childbirth, an experience many women fear because the process of birth is perceived as ‘painful’. While labour has been described as one of the most intense forms of pain that can be experienced it also represents enormous physiological and psychological challenges for women and involves one of the greatest transitions in a woman’s life.
Hypnosis has been extensively used in obstetrics, particularly in the antenatal period in preparation for labour and delivery. The use of hypnotherapy in pregnancy and childbirth has been practiced for more than a century and has extensive literature support. The multitude of advantages for using hypnosis in childbirth include;
- Decreasing the first stage of labour.
- Reducing the pain perception of women in labour and delivery.
- Aiding in relaxation for women who are anxious.
- Significantly reducing the use of pain relief in the first and second stage of labour.
- Reducing the quantity of pain relief if pain relief is used.
- Increasing self-confidence.
- Increasing rates of spontaneous labour.
- Achieve higher newborn Apgar scores (the score given to babies when they are one minute and five minutes old to determine their physical condition at birth).
- Higher success in establishing lactation.
- Modifying negative attitudes, anxiety and fears concerning labour and delivery.
- Decreasing use of synthetic oxytocin.
- Decreasing maternal blood loss postnatally.
Many reasons can contribute to the anxiety state of women leading up to labour as well as during labour and delivery. High levels of anxiety during labour and delivery can have detrimental effects on the outcome of a woman’s childbirth experience. Hypnotherapy during the antenatal period can prepare the mind by changing the thought process and provide positive suggestions. The result brings about an exciting, enjoyable and empowering childbirth experience.