Can Hypnosis Relieve Pain During Childbirth?

Pregnant WomanWe’ve all seen Hollywood’s stereotypical child birthing scenes; The sweating mother grabbing a nurse by the collar hollering, “give me the drugs!” It seems that epidural pain killers have become somewhat of a given when someone thinks of a birthing scene.

But what if this didn’t have to be the case? I’m sure we are a long way off from a completely pain free birthing process but, hypnosis can most certainly “take the edge off”. Although it isn’t really replacing the epidural (yet!), the two methods seem to work extremely well together.

We recently found an article that discusses this issue…

“One group of 497 women went through three one-hour self-hypnosis training classes, another group of 495 went through three one-hour relaxation training classes and the rest got routine prenatal care.

Overall, about 30 percent of women had an epidural injection during their labor regardless of which group they were in. There were also no differences in the amount of pain they reported experiencing.

Werner told Reuters Health in an email that she was surprised there were no differences between the groups.

“When I have provided hypnosis to women on an individual (basis), I always have an agreement with them that they return after the birth and tell me about their experience – and it seemed that they benefited from the hypnosis,” said Werner. But she added that past studies using more intensive interventions showed a benefit, while research using brief training sessions – such as the ones used in this study – hadn’t.

“We need to look further into what happens if we tailor the training for more specific needs, start earlier in pregnancy and intensify the intervention,” said Werner.”

…Camann, who authored Easy Labor, a book that explains available labor pain relief methods, said that it’s also important for women to know that they don’t have to choose between self-hypnosis and epidurals. “You can still use some of these mental imagery and relaxation techniques in the presence of an epidural,” he said. “I don’t think it needs to be an either/or decision. They’re completely compatible.””

Read the complete article here…

What are your thoughts on substituting an epidural for hypnosis? In addition, for those who suffer chronic pain and have been using prescription drugs to relieve your pain, you may find hypnosis to be a better option that medication.

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