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Obstetric Hypnosis Clinical Research

Anaesth Intensive Care. 2006 Aug;34(4):464-9.

Antenatal self-hypnosis for labour and childbirth: a pilot study

Cyna AM, Andrew MI, McAuliffe GL

Department of Women's Anaesthesia, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

In our institution we have used antenatal training in self-hypnosis for over three years as a tool to provide relaxation, anxiolysis and analgesia for women in labour. To assess the effects of hypnotherapy, we prospectively collected data related to the use of hypnosis in preparation for childbirth, and compared the birth outcomes of women experiencing antenatal hypnosis with parity and gestational age matched controls. METHODS: Prospective data about women taught self-hypnosis in preparation for childbirth were collected between August 2002 and August 2004. Birth outcome data of women using hypnosis were compared with routinely collected retrospective data from parity and gestational age matched women delivering after 37 weeks gestation during 2003. RESULTS: Seventy-seven antenatal women consecutively taught self-hypnosis in preparation for childbirth were compared with 3,249 parity and gestational age matched controls. Of the women taught antenatal self-hypnosis, nulliparous parturients used fewer epidurals: 36% (18/50) compared with 53% (765/1436) of controls (RR 0.68 [95%CI 0.47-0.98]); and required less augmentation: 18% (9/50) vs 36% (523/1436) (RR 0.48 [95%CI 0.27-0.90]). CONCLUSIONS: Our clinical findings are consistent with recent meta-analyses showing beneficial outcomes associated with the use of hypnosis in childbirth. Adequately powered, randomized trials are required to further elucidate the effects of hypnosis preparation for childbirth.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(2):CD003521

Complementary and alternative therapies for pain management in labour.

Smith CA, Collins CT, Cyna AM, Crowther CA

The University of Adelaide, Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Level 6, Medical School North, Frome Road, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. caroline.a.smith@adelaide.edu.au

BACKGROUND: Many women would like to avoid pharmacological or invasive methods of pain management in labour and this may contribute towards the popularity of complementary methods of pain management. This review examined currently available evidence supporting the use of alternative and complementary therapies for pain management in labour. OBJECTIVES: To examine the effects of complementary and alternative therapies for pain management in labour on maternal and perinatal morbidity. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (February 2006), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2006, Issue 1), MEDLINE (1966 to February 2006), EMBASE (1980 to February 2006) and CINAHL (1980 to February 2006). SELECTION CRITERIA: The inclusion criteria included published and unpublished randomised controlled trials comparing complementary and alternative therapies (but not biofeedback) with placebo, no treatment or pharmacological forms of pain management in labour. All women whether primiparous or multiparous, and in spontaneous or induced labour, in the first and second stage of labour were included. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Meta-analysis was performed using relative risks for dichotomous outcomes and mean differences for continuous outcomes. The outcome measures were maternal satisfaction, use of pharmacological pain relief and maternal and neonatal adverse outcomes. MAIN RESULTS: Fourteen trials were included in the review with data reporting on 1537 women using different modalities of pain management; 1448 women were included in the meta-analysis. Three trials involved acupuncture (n = 496), one audio-analgesia (n = 24), two trials acupressure (n = 172), one aromatherapy (n = 22), five trials hypnosis (n = 729), one trial of massage (n = 60), and relaxation (n = 34). The trials of acupuncture showed a decreased need for pain relief (relative risk (RR) 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49 to 1.00, two trials 288 women). Women taught self-hypnosis had decreased requirements for pharmacological analgesia (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.79, five trials 749 women) including epidural analgesia (RR 0.30, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.40) and were more satisfied with their pain management in labour compared with controls (RR 2.33, 95% CI 1.15 to 4.71, one trial). No differences were seen for women receiving aromatherapy, or audio analgesia. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: 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.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2007 Oct;50(2):109-19

Hypnosis for childbirth: a retrospective comparative analysis of outcomes in one obstetrician's practice

VandeVusse L, Irland J, Healthcare WF, Berner MA, Fuller S, Adams D

Marquette University College of Nursing, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. leona.vandevusse@mu.edu

This exploratory, descriptive study, done retrospectively from perinatal medical records, compared childbirth outcomes in one obstetrician's caseload between 50 women who elected antepartal hypnosis preparation (usually a 5-class series) and 51 who did not. The groups were demographically similar. To achieve similar numbers to the hypnosis group, the control group was randomly selected from the women in the caseload who opted not to take hypnosis preparation, based on characteristics of parity and delivery mode. Prenatal hypnosis preparation resulted in significantly less use of sedatives, analgesia, and regional anesthesia during labor and in higher 1-minute neonatal Apgar scores. Other physiologic and outcome measures did not reveal statistical significance, although some trends were of clinical interest. Well-controlled studies are warranted for clinicians to offer hypnosis more frequently as a pain relief option for childbirth. Additional information provided includes pragmatic, clinical, and cost information about incorporating hypnosis into a physician's practice.

Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1993 Mar;100(3):221-6

Hypnosis: practical applications and theoretical considerations in normal labour

Jenkins MW, Pritchard MH

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of hypnotherapy on the first and second stages of labour in a large group of pregnant women. DESIGN: A semi-prospective case control study in which women attending antenatal clinics were invited to undergo hypnotherapy. SUBJECTS: One hundred twenty-six primigravid women with 300 age matched controls, and 136 parous women having their second baby with 300 age matched controls. Only women who had spontaneous deliveries were included. SETTING: Aberdare District Maternity Unit, Mid Glamorgan, Wales. INTERVENTION: Six sessions of hypnotherapy given by a trained medical hypnotherapist during pregnancy. OUTCOME MEASURES: Analgesic requirements, duration of first and second stages of labour. RESULTS: The mean lengths of the first stage of labour in the primigravid women was 6.4 h after hypnosis and 9.3 h in the control group (P < 0.0001); the mean lengths of the second stage were 37 min and 50 min, respectively (P < 0.001). In the parous women the corresponding values were 5.3 h and 6.2 h (P < 0.01); and 24 and 22 min (ns). The use of analgesic agents was significantly reduced (P < 0.001) in both hypnotised groups compared with their controls. CONCLUSION: In addition to demonstrating the benefits of hypnotherapy, the study gives some insight into the relative proportions of mechanical and psychological components involved in the longer duration of labour in primigravid women.