HypnoBirthing and Birth Relaxation is becoming increasingly popular in the U.K.
Awareness of hypnobirthing techniques were raised considerably in 2013 when the media reported that the Duchess of Cambridge used self-hypnosis techniques during her labour with Prince George, in addition to using hypnosis to help her overcome morning sickness.
Results of a much-anticipated trial into hypnobirthing are due to be made public later this month, and it’s reported that the numbers of women who use hypnobirthing techniques to help them with pain during labour has steadily increased over the past ten years.
The link between stress and pain
During labour, if you feel anxious, highly stressed or even scared – stress hormones will be released into your body. Adrenaline is the hormone that puts us into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This means your blood will be pushed towards the bigger muscle groups in your limbs, in case you need to run away from the impending ‘threat’.
In this case, the perceived ‘threat’ is giving birth, something that no matter how fast you run, you cannot get away from! With the blood flowing more readily to these muscle groups, your womb is not getting as much blood/oxygen, which can make the muscles less efficient.
At the moment there is very little published clinical evidence in favour of hypnobirthing, and most of the evidence is anecdotal. However, in the next few weeks, the results of the trial which is funded by the NHS will be published. From this it is hoped that these results will provide the required clinical evidence to back up the numbers of women who claim it has helped them with their own experiences of childbirth.
A previous survey based on 1,251 women showed that 95 per cent of women using hypnobirthing CDs reported a better birth experience, with 86 per cent also reporting a dramatic reduction in fear of labour. 19 per cent of the women who took part in the study also needed no analgesic or anaesthetic requirements, while a further 37 per cent only needed entonox (gas & air) for their labour.