Scientific Research

Slider1Scientific Research – Hypnosis for Childbirth

The healthful benefits of using hypnosis for childbirth have been demonstrated through several independent clinical research studies conducted in leading hospitals and universities.  Hypnosis is associated with faster births (statistically significant) throughout the research for both the first and second stages of labour.   The research also notes the reduction of birth interventions with the prenatal use of hypnosis, as well as a reduction in medication for pain relief.


“At first I was hesitant to spend so much money on a hypnosis for childbirth class. But I am SO thankful that we did. We learned so much from Marie. The class was amazing. I felt so confident going into birth because what we learned. And it worked. I had the natural satisfying birth experience that I wanted and I credit that with HypnoBirthing. It really works.” ~Amy Walker, and Ian Toews, parents of Thomas


Hypnosis: practical applications and theoretical considerations in normal labour.
Jenkins MW, Pritchard MH. J Fam Pract 2001;50:441-443.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of hypnotherapy on the first and second stages of labour 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 primigravid women with 300 age matched controls, and 136 parous women having their second baby with 300 age matched controls. Only women who had spontaneous deliveries were included. SETTING: Aberdare District Maternity Unit, Mid Glamorgan, Wales. INTERVENTION: Six sessions of hypnotherapy given by a trained medical hypnotherapist during pregnancy. OUTCOME MEASURES: Analgesic requirements, duration of first and second stages of labour. RESULTS:  The mean lengths of the first stage of labour in the primigravid women was 6.4 h after hypnosis and 9.3 h 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 h and 6.2 h (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 labour in primigravid women.


Hypnosis May Reduce Pain and Complications of Labor
New York (Reuter Health) Jun 13 Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1990, Vol. 58, No. 5, 525-530

According to the report, only 1 in 22 patients in the hypnosis group remained in the hospital longer than 2 days after delivery, compared with 8 of 20 patients who did not learn self-hypnosis. None of the patients in the hypnosis group needed surgical intervention, compared with 60% of those in the non-hypnosis group.

“This study provides empirical data demonstrating that the use of hypnosis in preparing pregnant women for labor and delivery reduces the risk of complications, decreases the need for medical intervention…and promotes safer, more comfortable delivery for mother and child,” Dr. Schauble told Reuters Health.


Improved Obstetric Outcomes Using Hypnotic Analgesia and Skill Mastery Combined with Childbirth Education
Theresa M. Hammon and Michael T. Hynan University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Timoth E Tyre Pain Clinic, Waukesha Memorial Hospital Waukesha, Wisconsin

The benefits of hypnotic analgesia as an adjunct to childbirth education were studied in 60 nulliparous 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.



Childbirth preparation through hypnosis: the hypnoreflexogenous protocol.
Schauble PG, Werner WE, Rai SH, Martin A. Counseling Center , University of Florida , Gainsville, Florida . American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 1998 Apr; 40(4):273-83

A verbatim protocol for the “Hypnoreflexogenous” method of preparation for childbirth is presented wherein the patient is taught to enter a hypnotic state and then prepared for labour and delivery. The method provides a “conditioned reflex” effect conducive to a positive outcome for labour and delivery by enhancing the patient’s sense of readiness and control.Previous applications of the method demonstrate patients have fewer complications, higher frequency of normal and full-term deliveries, and more positive postpartum adjustment. The benefit and ultimate cost effectiveness of the method are discussed.



Suggestion Therapy – Clinical study on shortening the birth process using psychological suggestion therapy.
Hao TY, Li YH, Yao SF. Zhonghua Hu Li Za Zhi. 1997 Oct; 32(10):568-70. (General Military Hospital of Jinan, P.R. China.)

This randomized control trial investigated the effect of psychological suggestion therapy on the birth process. A specially designed, prospective study of psychological suggestion recruited 120 healthy, full-term primipara (first baby) with singleton pregnancies and cephalic presentation (head first). All cases were randomly divided into 2 groups, the birth processes and final modes of delivery were analyzed in 60 cases interfered with the psychological suggestion therapy and 60 cases with spontaneous birth processes as control group.

The results showed that a significant shorter time of the first and second stages of labour in the study group than in the control group (P<0.01). Based on this study, it is suggested that the conversation concerning the evaluation of individual birth process between the mother-to-be and nurse should be controlled carefully for the purpose of advancing the birth proces, especially when answering the question raised by mother-to-be about the quantity of the cervical dilatation.


“I wanted to thank you for all your help with Hypnobirthing. I still can’t believe I was able to get through the labour and birth without an epidural and remain so calm and focused throughout it all! I think Brent was in awe! 🙂 I truly don’t think it would have been possible without hypnobirthing!! It’s even helping with my recovery because I’m focusing on being very relaxed and staying positive in order to let my body heal. The doctor was really surprised at how well I was doing and how positive I was, even with such a bad tear, and I really think a lot of it has to do with my frame of mind. To be relaxed and calm is so important to me.”   Sara Hughes, mom to Jackson