Hypnosis has a long history of being used to facilitate more comfortable births.
Cyna, McAuliffe, and Andrew (2004) found that women using hypnotic anesthesia for birth not only rated their labor pain as less severe, they generally required less opioid use, with some not requiring pharmacological analgesia at all in the labor process. Mairs (1995) found that women trained in the use of hypnosis reported significantly lower ratings of both pain and anxiety following birth. Moya and James (1960) found that babies whose mothers used hypnosis to facilitate birth had a during the first hour of life showed a significantly greater ability to recover from the asphyxia or deficient supply of oxygen which accompanies birth.
Since 1995 the National Institutes of Health has strongly recommended hypnosis as a treatment for physical pain. More information on hypnosis for pain relief are found here.
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