Research and Studies on the use of hypnobirthing and hypnotherapy for childbirth


Study: Outcomes of HypnoBirthing (USA)

Outcomes of HypnoBirthing
by Charles Swencionis, Sarah Litman-Rendell,
Kathleen Dolce, Sandra Massry,
and Marie Mongan

From the Journal of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health, vol. 27, issue 2,
January, 2013, pp. 120-142.

HypnoBirthing data were compared to U.S. National Vital Statistics Reports and
to the results of the survey Listening to Mothers (DeClercq et al., 2006). The
most recent U.S. National Vital Statistics Report available was for 2009.
Listening to Mothers was conducted in 2006.

Compared with two surveys of usual care, these data provide strong support for
the hypotheses that HypnoBirthing mothers have:

fewer medical inductions (3.3% – 21.1% difference);

less IV fluids (37.9% – 42.1% difference);

less continuous fetal monitoring (42.4% – 44.3% difference;

less pitocin infusion (18% – 19% difference);

fewer artificial rupture of membranes (18.8% – 18.9% difference);

fewer IV/IM anesthesias (4.4% – 5.7% difference);

fewer epidural anesthesias (44.6% – 49.1% difference);

fewer caesarian sections (14.4% – 17% difference);

less frequent use of obstetricians (25% – 39.7% difference);

more frequent use of midwives (42.2% – 45.3% difference);

less use of hospitals (11.5% – 12.3% difference);

more use of home and birthing centers;

more use of a wider variety of birthing positions; and

more infants of older gestational age than usual care.

Self-selection is likely a major factor in our findings. Women who are interested
in natural birth may be more motivated to take better care of themselves than
women in usual care, be better informed about childbirth, and be better educated
in general.

Copies may be purchased from the Journal for $10 at:
Outcomes of HypnoBirthing | Birth Psychology




Research results on effects of Hypnobirthing in Australia carried put between 2007 and 2012 by Dr. Phillips-Moore (one of the earliest HypnoBirthing Practitioners) – published in The British Journal of Midwifery – found the following:

Background and aim: HypnoBirthing, which is steadily increasing in popularity both in Australia and overseas, is a set programme consisting of 10–12 hours of instruction for couples approaching the later stages of pregnancy and birth. A survey was carried out to investigate how Australian participants attending the HypnoBirthing programme between 2007 and 2010 compared to other studies where hypnosis was used for childbirth.

Results: The average length for both stages of labour was shorter in the HypnoBirthing group compared to general population figures. Caesarean section rates were lower, as was the use of gas and epidurals. Of the 81 participants, 46 (51 %) did not use any pain medication at all and the overall discomfort level for labour and birth was 5.8 out of 10 with 32 %of the participants scoring under 5.8, including two participants who recorded zero discomfort.

Conclusion: Women attending the HypnoBirthing programme demonstrated similar results to those found in other research in hypnosis for childbirth. However, the findings also demonstrated some added benefits of HypnoBirthing. The majority of women reported feeling more confident, relaxed, less fearful, focused, and more in control. They also commented on the ease and comfort of labour and birth and the satisfaction of having their partners involved and supportive.





Hypnosis helps alleviate childbirth pain

06:43 AEST Mon May 9 2005



Hypnosis helps alleviate pain during childbirth, an Australian study suggests.


South Australian researchers found women having their first child who learnt self hypnosis in the lead-up to labour were less likely to need an epidural than other first-time mothers.


They compared 77 women who were taught hypnosis in preparation for childbirth with a control group of more than 3,000 mothers who received normal ante-natal care.


The differences were most marked in women having their first babies.


Marion Andrew, senior consultant anaesthetist at the Women and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide, said that of the hypnosis group, 36 per cent of first-time mothers had epidurals compared with 55 per cent of the controls.


“I think when they’re having their first baby, they’re very highly motivated and a lot of women these days would prefer to avoid analgesia in labour if they can,” she explained.

Dr Andrew presented the findings of the case-controlled comparison study to the annual scientific meeting of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists in Auckland.

She said the limited number of randomised-controlled trials that had been done internationally on the issue showed women taught hypnosis tended to need less pain relief and were more likely to have a normal birth.

Recent research involving brain imaging of people undergoing hypnosis while receiving a painful stimulus found reduced activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, the region responsible for the emotional component of pain.

Dr Andrew, one of two anaesthetists with training in hypnotherapy at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, said hypnosis had become very much in demand among pregnant women in Adelaide.

“Patients ask for it and the obstetricians are referring them,” she said outside the conference.

“Our experience has been that when the women hear about hypnosis they tend to be very open to using it.

“It allows women to have more control in labour.”

The hospital planned a randomised controlled trial of 300 mothers early next year to further test the effectiveness of hypnosis in childbirth.


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