Scientific Evidence

Levett KM, Smith CA, Bensoussan A, et alComplementary therapies for labour and birth study: a randomised controlled trial of antenatal integrative medicine for pain management in labourBMJ Open 2016;6:e010691. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010691

Conclusions: “The Complementary Therapies for Labour and Birth study protocol significantly reduced epidural use and caesarean section. This study provides evidence for integrative medicine as an effective adjunct to antenatal education, and contributes to the body of best practice evidence.”

Finlayson K, Downe S, Hinder S, Carr H, et al Unexpected consequences: women’s experiences of a self-hypnosis intervention to help with pain relief during labour, BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015 Sep 25;15:229. doi: 10.1186/s12884-015-0659-0.

Conclusion: “The women in this study generally appreciated antenatal self-hypnosis training and found it to be beneficial during labour and birth. The state of focused relaxation experienced by women using the technique needs to be recognized by providers if the intervention is to be implemented into the maternity service.”

Smith CA1, Collins CT, Cyna AM, Crowther CA, Complementary and alternative therapies for pain management in labour, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Oct 18;(4):CD003521.

Conclusion: “Acupuncture and hypnosis may be beneficial for the management of pain during labour; however, the number of women studied has been small. Few other complementary therapies have been subjected to proper scientific study.”

Abbasi M1, Ghazi F, Barlow-Harrison A, Sheikhvatan M, Mohammadyari F, The effect of hypnosis on pain relief during labor and childbirth in Iranian pregnant women, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2009 Apr;57(2):174-83. doi: 10.1080/00207140802665435.

Conclusion: “Women described their feelings about hypnosis during labor as: a sense of relief and consolation, self-confidence, satisfaction, lack of suffering labor pain, changing the feeling of pain into one of pressure, a decrease in fear of natural childbirth, lack of tiredness, and lack of anxiety. They expressed increased concentration on the uterus and cervical muscle, awareness of all the stages of labor, and having “positive thoughts.” Births were perceived as being very satisfactory compared to their previous experiences. “

Cyna AM, Andrew MI, McAuliffe GL, Antenatal self-hypnosis for labour and childbirth: a pilot study, Anaesth Intensive Care. 2006 Aug;34(4):464-9.

Conclusion: “Our clinical findings are consistent with recent meta-analyses showing beneficial outcomes associated with the use of hypnosis in childbirth. “