I have an old article on Hypnobirthing, which is still available here, but I have learned so much more about it since writing that original piece that I thought it would be good to add to it.

My first contact with hypnosis, as for most people, was through a stage hypnosis show. When I then heard that it could be used in childbirth the first image that popped into my head was of a male stage hypnotist, complete with waistcoat and spectacles, telling a labouring mother to SLEEP and then perhaps to walk around and cluck like a chicken for the better part of her labour! And why on earth would anyone want to do that?!

It was only when I was a doula for a single mother who decided to do a hypnobirthing course that I truly understood what is was about. 

If you've ever gone for an afternoon nap, perhaps on the couch, and have gotten to that point just before you fall asleep where you are deeply relaxed but still somewhat aware of your surroundings, then you have naturally been in the hypnotic state. It's that lovely state where you can still hear what's going on around you, but your subconscious is becoming active, so you easily drift between being aware of people or things around you but also lightly daydreaming at the same time.

Through methods developed by those who study hypnosis, it is possible to consciously work your way into that state, and then take control of your experience of pain. It may surprise you to learn that this has been used not just for childbirth, but for surgery where the patient is unable to use anaesthetic (for whatever reason).

I think the truest test for me was seeing how the mother coped with labour. She did incredibly well and her labour was approximately 4 hours long, which is considered a "short" labour.

Obviously hypnosis can't be used by everyone and it is not guaranteed to give a pain free labour - but if it helps even a little bit then, for most women, it's worth a try.

Local Hypnosis Classes:
Beautifully Born
Gentle Beginnings


A mother at 10cm dilated using Hypnobirthing