What is Hypnobirthing?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 10 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Hypnobirthing is a type of childbirth strategy that involves hypnosis to reduce pain and feel more relaxed while in labor and delivery. The hypnosis process can be done alone, or with a partner. Hypnobirthing may reduce the need for drugs, which some feel provides a safer and more natural birthing experience. Most medical doctors will allow a patient to use hypnosis while in labor and delivery, but every woman should check with her delivery doctor, as some patients could have conflicting medical needs.

More than anything else, hypnosis is a way to relax during childbirth. This relaxation technique allows the mind to ignore pain, or interpret it in other ways. In most cases, those practicing hypnobirth should only experience some of the pressure associated with child birth. Those who are easily distracted may not be able to maintain a hypnotic state, which is why the technique often takes some practice in advance of the delivery day.

One common misconception is that hypnobirthing will put the person to sleep, or ensure she feels nothing at all. Rather than creating a state of unconsciousness, hypnobirthing creates a state of altered consciousness. Women practicing the technique report being aware of what their body is doing. In fact, because the pain is reduced or gone entirely, most women report they are actually more aware of what is taking place.


No one can be hypnotized against their will, despite what some movies may suggest. Rather, each person must voluntarily choose hypnosis and generally is responsible for putting themselves under the procedure. A hypnotist does nothing but act as a guide and provide a way for the hypnotism to work most effectively. In many cases, the guide will not even be present when labor starts, though some may call on women at local hospitals.

Without the benefit of a therapist specializing in hypnosis at the time of labor, most patents start practicing several months before the expected due date. Hypnobirthing usually requires at least a half dozen office sessions to allow the participant and her partner, if available, the opportunity to get comfortable with the process. Typically, an audio or video recording is given to the participant for further practice at home. To reduce costs, some instructors offer group sessions.

For women who want to save money by studying completely at home, a number of home hypnobirthing courses are available. These generally go over everything that is taught in a normal class or individual session. The course may be appropriate for women who are skilled at learning things on their own. Nevertheless, some may prefer the feedback that comes with a human instructor.



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