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University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Study
Improved Obstetric Outcomes Using Hypnotic Analgesia and Skill Mastery Combined with Childbirth Education

The benefits of hypnotic analgesia as an adjunct to childbirth education were studied in 60 first birth women. Subjects were divided into high and low hypnotic susceptibility groups before receiving 6 sessions of childbirth education and skill mastery using an ischemic pain task. Half of the Subjects in each group received a hypnotic induction at the beginning of each session; the remaining control Subjects received relaxation and breathing exercises typically used in childbirth education. Both hypnotic Subjects and highly susceptible Subjects reported reduced pain. Hypnotically prepared births had shorter Stage 1 labors, less medication, higher Apgar scores, and more frequent spontaneous deliveries than control Subjects' births. Highly susceptible, hypnotically treated women had lower depression scores after birth than women in the other three groups. We propose that repeated skill mastery facilitated the effectiveness of hypnosis in our study.

Theresa M. Harmon and Michael T. Hynan, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Timothy E. Tyre, Pain Clinic, Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Waukesha, Wisconsin

Published in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology by the American Psychological Association, Inc., 1990, Vol 58, #5

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