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What are the Pros and Cons of Using Hypnosis for Childbirth?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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The pros and cons of using hypnosis for childbirth are well-documented, and benefits can include less pain during labor and fewer medical interventions. Women who use hypnosis may also have shorter labor times because their bodies are more relaxed and not fighting against the process of labor. The only real cons of choosing hypnosis for childbirth pain relief are that in some cases it may not be effective, so the time and money spent on classes will have been for nothing.

Using hypnosis for childbirth has been shown to prevent pain during labor and delivery for many women. The process aims to fully relax the birthing mother so that her body is able to labor more effectively. When a woman becomes fearful or stressed about delivery, her body will become tense and work against her contractions. This can prolong labor and cause a greater amount of pain. A relaxed woman doesn’t have this response, so her labor may progress more smoothly.

When a labor moves along more quickly and with less discomfort for the mother, there is less of a chance interventions will be needed. Women who use hypnosis for childbirth are less likely to request an epidural and fewer of them require pitocin, forceps, vacuum extractions, and cesarean sections. Fewer interventions generally means less complicated deliveries and shorter recovery periods for new mothers.

There are no risks associated with the use of hypnosis for childbirth. No drugs are used and women are not required to follow any particular laboring pattern. Birthing mothers are allowed to use any position necessary or allowable by her medical provider, and this method can be used in any birthing setting.

The only disadvantage to this method is that some women may not find it as effective as others. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Some may have a poor instructor, while others may have problems fully relaxing. Often, these issues can be overcome by finding the right hypnosis educator and attending classes. Having a supportive birthing coach is also important.

Using a doula during childbirth may help keep mothers focused on relaxation. Doulas are women who are trained at helping laboring women through the pain of childbirth. They may also act as advocates for these women by making sure their wishes are considered when it comes to pain medications and interventions. Some doulas are trained in hypnosis.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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