Psychological preparation for labor and delivery using hypnosis

Am J Clin Hypn. 1994 Jul;37(1):12-21. doi: 10.1080/00029157.1994.10403105.


Hypnotic preparation for labor and delivery is enjoying renewed interest. This interest lies in the mother's psychological comfort and sense of involvement in the birth process. In this paper I present a model of psychological preparation, illustrated with case examples, that appears to be superior to Lamaze. This model offers the mother a sense of involvement in the process, control, awareness, and a level of anxiety relief and pain management superior to that provided by Lamaze. This method requires no more time than does Lamaze and uses the following elements: (1) a unique opportunity for the mother to participate in tailoring the protocol to address her needs along with the husband or "coach" participating in the training; (2) utilization of a "parts model" for the hypnotic induction, deepening, and imagery; (3) incorporation of "hypnotic rehearsal," dissociation, time distortion, and cognitive reframing; and (4) continued application of the hypnotic procedure after delivery and into the recovery period. Following the delivery, for which they had been specifically prepared, subjects reported they were also able to use their hypnosis skills in other situations, medical or dental, as needed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Labor, Obstetric*
  • Pregnancy