I was delighted to be invited to take part today in a discussion on Woman’s Hour about hypnobirthing. Jenni Murray was also speaking with Professor Soo Downe who is well known in the field of midwifery and birth, and Michelle Olley who has recently given birth using hypnobirthing at Colchester Hospital where we trained the midwife who set up hypnobirthing in the hospital.
Sometimes radio or television will allocate a couple of minutes for someone to fire questions at you about hypnobirthing. On Woman’s Hour we had 10 minutes to discuss hypnobirthing not exactly in depth, but at least with time to give a better impression of what hypnobirthing is and how much it can help women and, possibly even more importantly, their babies. You can listen to the interview again here.
One area we touched upon was a trial conducted by childbirth expert Professor Soo Downe who led the largest controlled trial on the use of hypnosis during labour in the UK.
This trial had 680 first time mums who were birthing out of 3 different NHS hospitals. The results for the women who were randomised to self-hypnosis during their pregnancy had a reduced rate of epidural (27.9% in comparison to 30.3%) and post birth had a reduced anxiety and fear about childbirth. Read the full report here.
Why did the trial statistics not demonstrate how effect hypnobirthing actually is?
As a teacher of hypnobirthing and of hypnobirthing practitioners I know how effective hypnobirthing is. I have overwhelming daily feedback from many women and teachers about the positive effect it has on their childbirth. Yet the trial statistics do not demonstrate how effective hypnobirthing actually is. Why is this?