HypnoBirthing® is based on evidence

May 2011

‘Our study provides support for the use of hypnosis to aid in preparation of obstetric patients for labor and delivery. The reduction of complications, surgery, and hospital stay show direct medical benefit to mother and child and suggest the potential for a corresponding cost-saving benefit.’ American Journal of Family Practice, 2001 Ref

Effect of hypnosis on length of labor

Multiple studies have found reductions in the length of labor

* from 3 hours for prim gravid and 1 hour for multi gravid women for active labor Ref

* 6h 21 m for hypnosis patients and 9h 45m for control group Ref

*2-3 hrs Ref and up to 8hrs shorter than normal Ref

A randomised control trial (RCT) used language “controlled carefully for the purpose of advancing the birth process” and found a statistically significant reduction in the lengths of first and second stages of labor.Ref

Women reported feeling more satisfied with labor and reported other benefits of hypnosis such as reduced anxiety and help with getting to sleep. Ref

Effect of hypnosis on the use of medication for pain relief

Multiple studies have found a reduction in the use of medication
* 55% (n=45) of hypnosis group required no medication compared with 22% (n=90)

*58% (n=850) using hypnotic analgesia required no medication

* 60-79% required no medicationRef

A retrospective American survey noted an epidural rate of 18% in first time mothers using hypnotism where the hospital average was 40-95%. Ref

Effect of hypnosis on the rates of intervention

An American study (n=200) used hypnotherapy to turn breech babies. 81% turned spontaneously with 50% requiring only 1 session of hypnotherapy. 26% of the control group turned spontaneously and a further 20% used ECV .Ref

Multiple studies show reduced rates of intervention using hypnosis

* 0% of the hypnosis group (n=22) required surgery and 54.5% experienced complications compared with 54.5% requiring surgery and 77.3% experiencing complications in the control group (n=22). Ref

*84% (n=38) of hypnosis group delivered without cesarean, forceps or vacuum and the study (n=60) reported higher APGAR scores  and reduced medication. Ref


RCT (n=42) of teenagers reported only 1 patient in the hypnosis group had a hospital stay of more than two days compared with 8 patients in the control group. Ref

Postpartum Depression

An American hypnotist provided 5 x 30-minute sessions to 600 women and found a virtual absence of postpartum depression, compared to the typical rates of 10-15%. Women with a history of postpartum depression did not develop this condition, even though an estimated 50% eventually do. Ref

Ongoing Research

A RCT is due to start in 2010 in East Lancashire conducted by the NHS and Central Lancashire University.