What Is a Hypnotic Birth?

Medically Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on July 11, 2023
4 min read

Hypnotic birth is a childbearing process that focuses on preparing you for gentle childbirth. Hypnosis has been used for more than a century. It requires a hypnotist or a hypnotherapist to train you. At times, the process is referred to as ‘hetero-hypnosis,’ meaning it involves more than one person. You may choose to have the hypnotherapist present during birth or not. The goal of this birth-bearing approach is to reduce fear, tension, and pain for the comfort of mother and child.

Hypnosis makes your mind receptive and relaxed. During the therapy session, your mind goes into total relaxation. Contrary to what many people believe, you will not lose awareness of what is happening around you during the therapy.

Your environment will shape your experience of hypnosis during childbirth. Interruptions while at the hospital or any other shared space will hinder the concentration needed for the success of this therapy.

Hypnosis techniques are unique to individuals, depending on their condition and specific situations. There are various methods of hypnobirthing that can be categorized into traditional approaches to hypnosis childbirth and the modern hypnosis childbirth approach. Techniques to induce hypnosis can be taught individually or as a part of a group.

Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy (CBH). Cognitive-behavioral is a modern, evidence-based therapeutic approach that can be used for a vast array of issues. It’s a therapy that aims to look at the current situation and how you can solve it. For example, it involves a deep analysis of what makes you fear childbirth and trains you to deal with the fear triggers. The therapy helps you to distance yourself from unhealthy, distressing thoughts and replace them with healthier and helpful ideas.

Controlled breathing. This is a practice that involves breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Controlled breathing can help you remain calm and relaxed during childbirth.

Eyes cues. This is also called eyes-open childbirth hypnosis. It's a form of non-verbal communication that happens consciously or unconsciously. In this therapy, you can walk, talk, move around, and interact with those around you as a way of gaining the courage to face childbirth. In childbearing, you and your spouse or any other person may engage in eye cues to help you draw your focus away from labor.

Visualization. Visualization is a guided hypnotherapy technique that helps you to focus your mind on positive things. You move your focus from the pain and fear of childbearing to something that gives you joy, or a fantasy of some sort.

Meditation. As a childbirth technique, meditation redirects your mind from the pain and tension of labor. Meditation helps to control the sensation of physical pain.

It helps to understand what you are getting yourself into when planning on seeing a hypnotherapist for childbearing.

Cost. Before you settle on a hypnotherapist, you need to research the cost different therapists charge. This will help you budget for the number of sessions you will comfortably pay for. You will also be advised on the cost of the various hypnotherapist techniques available and their suitability to your case.

Risk factors. Hypnotherapy is considered a natural cause, with no use of artificial medication. However, if anything were to go wrong during childbirth, you would have no immediate alternative for modern medicine.

Dizziness and headaches. One of the side effects of hypnotic childbearing is that it may cause unexplainable headaches and dizziness. Research shows that in a few cases, hypnotic birth has resulted in unexplainable dizziness and headaches of the mother.

  • Hypnotic birth is natural, and therefore you use fewer drugs. You are less likely to use anesthesia or painkillers when you use this therapy. Medications used in childbearing have potential harm to your child, so you will be protecting your newborn from a potentially risky delivery.
  • The process offers comfort and relaxation during childbirth.
  • Hypnotic birth helps you to remain alert during birth.
  • The process provides an opportunity for you to bond with your better half. In addition, hypnotic therapy allows your partner to actively be involved in the childbearing process.

It's almost always accepted that childbirth should be painful, and this could be very worrying for new moms. However, knowing that you have an alternative to the generally accepted suffering during delivery is a good reassurance. It's wise to ask your doctor what they know about this practice and let them know your intention of adopting it.