The use of hypnosis for more comfortable childbirth has a long and distinguished history. Some of the earliest documentation is from the 1920s in Russia. A doctor named Platanov became very well known for his hypno-obstetric success.
Ferdinand Lamaze acquired these hypnotic techniques while visiting Russia and then returned to France, where he further developed them into the renowned “Lamaze Method” that continues to be widely utilized to this day. The initial name he gave it was “Childbirth without pain using the psychological approach.”
In more recent times, labor and childbirth with hypnosis have been widely studied. In July 2007, The British Journal of Anesthesia performed the most comprehensive study to date. Their conclusion was:
“This report represents the most comprehensive review of the literature to date on the use of hypnosis for analgesia during childbirth. The meta-analysis shows that hypnosis reduces analgesia requirements in labor. In addition to the pain relief and anesthetic effects experienced by receptive individuals, there are three additional compelling reasons why the use of hypnosis can potentially decrease the need for analgesic consumption during childbirth.
First, teaching self-hypnosis facilitates patient autonomy and a sense of control. Secondly, the majority of patients are likely to be able to use hypnosis for relaxation, thus reducing apprehension that in turn may reduce analgesic requirements. The use of hypnosis during childbirth might lead to a decrease in the need for medication to assist labor, potentially reducing the occurrence of uterine hyperstimulation and the reliance on epidural pain relief.”
Hypnotherapy for Labor and Childbirth in 6 sessions
The optimal number of sessions for Labor and Childbirth with Hypnotherapy is 5 or more, scheduled a week apart. This allows ample time for the client and her birth partner to establish a strong connection, master self-hypnosis, openly address and overcome fears or concerns, resolve any relationship issues, reach optimal relaxation levels, learn the effective “partial hypno-anesthesia technique,” and engage in extensive practice sessions! Remember hypno-anesthesia is a skill, just like playing a musical instrument, the more you practice, the better you get!
For a woman who is experiencing her first pregnancy, schedule the introductory appointment before week 30. This gives us plenty of time since the average first pregnancy is 40 weeks. Twins and triplets tend to come sooner! Schedule the first session before 25 weeks. After the first pregnancy, terms can get shorter. For second or third pregnancies (and beyond) schedule the first session before week 28.
- Session 1 is my standard 90-minute introductory session. We answer questions, do the state paperwork and experience hypnosis for the first time.
- Sessions 2 through 4 are one-on-one with the mother and the hypnotherapist and are 60-minutes each.
- Sessions 5 and 6, are ideal for the mother to bring her birth partner, doula or another support person. These are also 60-minutes.