More than 800 British women have volunteered to hypnotise themselves during childbirth to see if they can go without painkillers for a new medical trial.
The National Health Service (NHS) has launched an 18-month study into “hypnobirthing” to assess whether women can give birth without the use of epidurals and other drugs, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported.
The trial will be run by the University of Central Lancashire and will involve more than 800 expectant mothers. The volunteers will attempt to use “self-hypnosis techniques” while in labour to achieve a “deep sense of relaxation”. The women will attend a 90-minute training session in the weeks before they give birth, and will be given a calming CD to listen to in the delivery room. Painkillers will be available for the women if necessary, but they will be strongly encouraged to rely on their newly taught relaxation techniques.
There has been a growing trend for natural births in the past year, and more expectant mothers are looking for drug-free methods of managing the pain of childbirth. According to HypnoBirthing specialist, hypnobirthing is one the increase with more women using self-hypnosis to give birth without drugs.
She has used the technique during all three of her pregnancies, and insists pain during labour is a “myth”. She says women only feel pain because they are scared and anxious after hearing “horror stories” about childbirth from other women.
“Childbirth is not something to be feared; it is a natural expression of life,” the HypnoBirthing expert continues. “With hypnobirthing, your pregnancy and childbirth will become the gentle, life-affirming process it was meant to be.
“Through private or small group classes, we will remove the myth of pain as a natural accompaniment to birth. It is not our bodies but our culture that has made childbirth a moment of anguish, and when we release the fear of birth, a fear that is keeping our bodies tense and closed, we will also release the pain.” Despite this, a recent study conducted by Britain’s Newcastle University found that most women underestimate the pain of the childbirth, and ask for painkillers despite previously vowing they wouldn’t.
Hypnobirthing is increasing in popularity, where new mothers are crying away from conventional drug and pain relief wanting a more natural whlseome birth. Hypnosis for childbirth has been around for many years, but now hypnobirthing is achieving headlines as celebrities and other mums are using hypnobirthing.
Hypnotherapy for labour benefits the mother in many ways, a pain free birth, quicker birth and more relaxing as you are taught to embrace childbirth and are able to deal with the pain. Hypnobirthing also involves the father in the birthing process.