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Hypnosis for Birth
Hypnosis : practical applications and theoretical considerations in normal labor.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the designs of hypnotherapy on the first and second stages of labor in a large group of pregnant women.

DESIGN: A semi-prospective case control study in which women attending antenatal clinics were invited to undergo hypnotherapy.

SUBJECTS: One hundred twenty-six women who had their first baby women with 300 age matched controls, and 136 women having their second baby with 300 age matched controls. Only women who had spontaneous deliveries were included.

INTERVENTION: Six sessions of hypnotherapy given by a trained medical Hypnotherapist during pregnancy.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Analgesic requirements, duration of first and second stages of labor.

RESULTS: The mean lengths of the first stage of labor in the first time birth women was 6.4 hours after hypnosis and 9.3 hours in the control group (P<0.0001); the mean lengths of the second stage were 37 min and 50 min, respectively (P<0.001). In the parous women the corresponding values were 5.3 hours and 6.2 hours (P<0.01); and 24 and 22 min (ns). The use of analgesic agents was significantly reduced (P<0.001) in both hypnotised groups compared with their controls.

CONCLUSION: In addition to demonstrating the benefits of hypnotherapy, the study gives some insight into the relative proportions of mechanical and psychological components involved in the longer duration of labor in first time birth women. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1993 Mar; 100(3): 221-6

Jenkins, MW, Pritchard MH, Aberdare District Maternity Unit, Mid Glamorgan, Wales.

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