Women are being taught self-hypnosis techniques to control their breathing and become relaxed during childbirth.
Some midwives, according to the Gloucestershire Citizen, believe hypnobirthing could become part of standard antenatal practice within the next decade.
But a question some health professionals and pregnant women want answering: Is hypnobirthing really that effective?
Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust introduced their hypnobirthing services in 2012, with classes being held to learn self-hypnosis techniques once a month. Almost 50 pregnant women attended the classes.
In 2013 and 2014, the classes and the demand for hypnobirthing increased, which prompted Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust to offer their classes for free.
Today, hypnobirthing classes run 10 times a month, with the number of attendees expected to reach between 720 and 960 women in the near future.
In comparison to Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust, Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust has seen less uptake in the birthing technique with just 5% of expecting women choosing hypnobirthing.
However, the NHS Trust has reported seeing an increase in the number of women considering hypnobirthing over the last five years.
Expectancy is also another organisation that supports Hypnobirthing, offering professional courses for midwives to teach expecting women.
Educational Director at Expectancy, Denise Tiran said: “Clinical hypnosis is a specific clinical modality in which individually appropriate cues are taught to the mother relevant to her particular needs, anxieties and fears about childbirth.
“It can also be used in the antenatal and postnatal periods for other emotional and psychological issues. Expectancy’s courses for midwives focuses on using clinical hypnosis for women from pregnancy through to the puerperium and very much emphasises on the need for individually tailored treatment regimens.”
While hypnobirthing is increasing in popularity and many women have said it was successful for them during childbirth, research has claimed that self-hypnosis makes no difference.
The SHIP Trial conducted their research with 672 women from around the UK who were not planning on a selective caesarean, using medication during labour and had no psychological illness.
In the report it concludes: “The SHIP trial found no statistically significant difference in the use of epidural analgesia between women receiving two NHS-funded group-based sessions of hypnosis training alongside reinforcement with a CD as well as standard care, and women receiving standard care only, in a context where both epidural analgesia and private hypnosis training for labour pain are widely available.”
Whether hypnobirthing really does work or not, a woman now has another option when it comes to their personal birth plan.
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