Does hypnobirthing really work?
There was a very interesting story on the BBC news yesterday. The NHS is launching an official study on the effectiveness of hypnobirthing during labour. The study will be carried out in selected hospitals across the north west of England. Check out the video report on the BBC: NHS study tests effectiveness of hypnobirthing
If you’ve read my birth story, you’ll know that I used Gentlebirth during labour, and since then, I’m a huge advocate of hypnobirthing, recommending it to anyone who’s even so much as thinking of having a baby in the near future! Gentlebirth is an Irish hypnobirthing programme, designed with Irish hospital procedures and policies in mind.
I love the idea of offering hypnobirthing as a standard option in preparing for labour. Most maternity hospitals offer antenatal classes anyway to familiarise expectant mothers and fathers with the policies of that particular hospital, and to teach breathing techniques and positions for labour. My hospital classes also taught us about the various pain relief options that would be available to us at each stage of labour. But the focus was really on the drug-based pain relief options, and personally I would have liked more discussion of our “other options”!
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that hospitals replace their information sessons on the drug-based pain relief options with hypnobirthing, or force hypnobirthing on women who don’t wish to use that technique. I would just like to see hypnobirthing being offered as one more option – another valid option – for women.
I’ll be watching this story with interest in the coming months and eagerly awaiting the results of the study.