Hypnosis cuts caesarean birth rate

As the NHS is funding research into the use of hypnosis and birth (the SHIP tirial), a detailed survey of more than 1250 women who learnt self hypnosis as part of their birth preparation, indicates that these techniques will lead to a significant reduction in caesarean sections. The findings from the online survey are being presented at the 1st World Congress of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology (WCOGA 2011) to be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, during March 20-23.

The results of the survey of 1251 mothers, including 853 first time mums, who listened to Hypnotherapy CDs during their pregnancy, indicates that women using these techniques are likely to have a more positive, less painful, often less interventionist birth with a significantly lower caesarean rate with only 15% requiring a caesarean compared with the national rate of almost 25%.

A staggering 89% said using the techniques had enabled them to overcome any fears connected with giving birth; 72% reported feeling calm during the birth with 61% feeling able to manage the pain in labour. Overall, 95% of women felt they had benefited from learning self hypnosis as a way to help them have a more positive birth experience.

As the popularity of hypnosis in birth continues to grow in the UK, it is a significant move forward for the NHS to back clinical trials into the use of these techniques as a low cost, safe and practical antidote to the drug-dependent labour management culture that has developed in the UK over the last fifty years.