Hypnotherapy, Labour and Childbirth

by David Kato of the Bristol Hypnotherapy Clinic

Safer, more effective method.

There are women in other cultures of the world that give birth calmly and quietly. In the western world, girls are brought up to perceive birth as extremely painful, caused by cultural expectations. Hypnosis produces calmness and relaxation, physically and mentally, and therefore reduces pain, fluctuating blood pressure, anxiety, stress, and nausea.

Hypnosis Sessions.

An average of 4 sessions is required (not including the free initial consultation). I frequently see their partner or husband once during this time. This is to establish from both, the needs and expectations during the birth. Most of the therapy is done by the childbearing mother, at home with cassette tapes, in her own time and way. See teaching self-hypnosis under Hypnosis.

Reduces Labour time

It is well established that hypnosis reduces the first stage of labour by approx. 2 hours in the multiparous and possibly between 3 and 4 hours in the primip.

Less drug therapy required (if any)

Hypnosis is used to significantly reduce pain during delivery, if there is a need for analgesia, a reduced amount of drug is effective. Analgesic medication may be a potential risk to the respiration of both baby and mother. It is frequently found that no painkillers are required as the only sensations experienced will be a certain amount of movement and pressure. Glove anaesthesia is taught during self hypnosis sessions.


Due to relaxation during the final stages of labour, there is very little tearing if at all, as no hard anxious pushing has been applied. If an episiotomy is required, suggestion of analgesia is used for the peri-anal area by self hypnosis. (glove anaesthesia).

Less breech births.

A breech presentation can be converted to the vertex position through external cephalic version, (by an Obstetrician). However, breech cases are successfully converted using hypnosis, and stay in the vertex position.

A less exhausted mother after birth.

Most women feel less mentally and physically exhausted, and even look fit and well afterwards. They remain quite calm and relaxed.


Lactation can be stimulated, increasing the flow, by suggestion, which can be influenced by conscious and subconscious emotional disturbances. This allows the mother to be more calm and relaxed, and feel good about this natural process.

A much less stressed baby

Babies have shown to cry less, sleep and feed better and generally calmer, possibly due to a diminished trauma at birth.

A calm peaceful birthing experience.

With total control over your mind and body you can participate in the natural birth process, and are able to both enjoy and experience the birth of your child.

History of Premature Births.

Suggestions to the mother of well-being and relaxation can possibly allow the foetus to remain in situ for a longer period of time. There is no research to confirm this.

Hypnosis can be defined as a “state of relaxation at one with a state of heightened awareness induced by suggestion” where the person is pleasantly and completely relaxed. There is a very pleasant feeling once hypnotised and it is quite normal and non-magical. When a person is in the ‘hypnotic state’, you are very focused, attentive and responsive to new ideas and positive possibilities. There is no question of being controlled or manipulated, a person is able to think and hear everything, your mind will be in control of the situation.

Teaching Self-Hypnosis

The mother is given more control by teaching her self-hypnosis. Many women believe that they cannot achieve this, and are always surprised when they can. They then find the wonderful benefits of the ability to relax, having more control over their mind and body. Females who experienced hypnosis for childbirth, nearly always continue using hypnosis for following births. Although cassette tapes are provided regarding any problems, a childbirth tape is given for the event. However, should the mum-to-be forget her tape or Walkman when arriving in the delivery room, she always has the self-hypnosis method. This gives added security to be in control of the situation.
Hypnosis does not cure anything, it is used as a therapeutic tool to assist the subconscious mind to take on board suggestions that are for the client’s benefit, without the conscious mind causing interference.
Hypnosis is used by many health care professionals such as doctors, psychologists, psychotherapists and dental surgeons throughout the world on a daily basis.


David Kato DHP. MIAH. Reg.Hyp. C.ht. RN.
Clinical Hypnotherapist / Psychotherapist
International Association of Hypno-Analysts
International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association
General Hypnotherapy Register
Bristol Hypnotherapy Clinic – Tel 0117 968 6886 – Mobile 07811 37 37 03
The Old Bank Buildings
263 Southmead Road
Bristol BS10 5EL