Comparison of hypnosis with conventional relaxation for antenatal and intrapartum use: a feasibility study in general practice

J R Coll Gen Pract. 1987 Oct;37(303):437-40.


A hypnosis programme for antenatal and intrapartum use has been developed and successfully introduced into a practice as an alternative to conventional relaxation training. Of 96 women from the practice who delivered during the 10-month period of the study 51 opted for the psychoprophylaxis and 45 for the hypnosis. Details of the pregnancy, labour and postnatal period were collected for both groups, together with a subjective assessment of their satisfaction with labour.Disparity between the ages and parity of the two groups made comparisons difficult. The duration of the first stage of labour was markedly reduced in the hypnosis group by 98 minutes for primiparas and 40 minutes for multiparas. A small (five minutes) increase in the length of the second stage may have been a result of the hypnotic relaxation. The verbalization has been amended accordingly. The hypnosis group were more satisfied with labour than the psychoprophylaxis group (mean satisfaction score 7.4 versus 5.6) and they reported other benefits of hypnosis, for example, reduction in anxiety and help with getting to sleep.Further studies are planned.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care*
  • Relaxation Therapy*