Hypnobirthing at NHS Hospital

For a long time now the media has reported the positive effects of hypnotherapy during labour, largely due to certain amount of celebrity endorsement.

One hospital in Bolton has taken this further by now offering the treatment, rather than waiting for a patient to ask. The treatment seeks to relax the patient and make labour a more enjoyable experience.

Some mothers who have been through the programme were reported to have had ‘quicker birthing times, less need for interventions and have said they feel more in control or empowered’. These are observations made by the midwives that have been through the programme with the patients at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

The birthing suite manager, Annabel Nicholas, at the hospital has said ‘it’s about teaching them and their partners self-hypnosis – achieving a deep level of relaxation, teaching them about the different stages of labour, how to get rid of anxieties and fears’. There is some science here also. Annabel describes that when you are relaxed there is a better oxygen supply to the muscles and the body is able to work better, this will also help lower pain.

‘You wouldn’t run a marathon without training for it; hypnobirthing is like that – training to give birth’.

The hypnobirthing is training, there are five sessions offered to couples, a CD and a book is given to all couples also so they can practise techniques at home. This is not meant as a ‘magic fix’, the courses is intensive and requires a lot of work on both the patients and midwives part. Affirmations such as; ‘my birth will be simple and easy’, ‘I will approach this birth confidently’.

Whilst this course is being offered at an NHS hospital, it is currently not funded so there is a £125 charge per couple. This cost does include all the material and the sessions. Any profit made goes straight back into the NHS.