Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.

natural birthing techniques are now being offered by the NHS

London parents are for the first time being offered pioneering antenatal education about natural birth preparation techniques, including hypnotherapy, at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Queen’s Hospital in Romford

This new model, which delivers the Natural Birth Preparation Workshop, formulated and delivered by specialist antenatal education provider, Natal HypnotherapyTM, is offered as an additional service for mums to be at the hospital for £190.00. The ground breaking two-day course helps couples to prepare mentally, emotionally and physically for giving birth which clinical research suggests results in lower levels of pain, an increased satisfaction with the birth experience and lower levels of intervention.

Hitherto largely the reserve of the UK’s well-healed and celebrities, natural birthing techniques are now being offered by the NHS. This means that educational workshops are available to couples at these hospitals’ maternity units for a small charge. They are already proving a sell-out.

Mr and Mrs Chen, following attendance at the workshop, explain how the course helped them, “We have come away from the workshop feeling a lot more positive about the birth. Through my pregnancy, I've been nervous and convinced I needed as much pain relief as I could get. Now we understand that it's such a natural process and how staying relaxed using hypnosis can help, I am much more confident about birthing naturally. My husband found that the workshop helped him to understand what it was all about and the exact ways in which he could support me.”

“We were also glad that it doesn't promise "pain free" labour, and helps us feel comfortable about getting medical support, should we need it for any reason, so there isn't unrealistic expectations or a sense of failure if things don't proceed a certain way. Overall I think the most important thing is that both my husband and I are now looking forward to the big day arriving. We now highly recommend Natal HypnotherapyTM, particularly the workshops, to other friends, and wish they were run in more hospitals and overseas!”

Commenting on the success of the programme, Alison Dodds, Lead Midwife for Chelsea and Westminster’s Birthing Unit, said, “We are excited to be able to offer hypnotherapy antenatal workshops at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. We are increasingly supporting women who have used hypnosis as a technique to cope during labour. These women appear to use less pharmacological methods of pain relief, and as a knock-on effect tend to have less intervention, which can improve overall maternal satisfaction. As a Trust, we are committed to improving the services we offer. We are about to build a new midwifery-led unit and believe that the use of coping mechanisms such as hypnotherapy can only improve the birth experience for our women and satisfaction for our midwives.”

Maggie Howell, founder of Natal HypnotherapyTM, commented, “We recommend attendance between 28-38 weeks of pregnancy. Couples learn a range of tools and techniques including physical preparation, visualisation and hypnotherapy to help them prepare for pregnancy and labour. It’s an opportunity for parents to learn self-hypnosis techniques, how it feels, why it works and to debunk any myths about using hypnotherapy in birth. In addition, they learn how to overcome their fears, manage their stress levels and how to maintain a relaxed, calm state that will help reduce the pain of childbirth.”

“This is an exciting time. Natal HypnotherapyTM has already trained over 1,000 UK midwives and helped over 100,000 parents-to-be across the UK and this month our practitioner training programme received accreditation from the Royal College of Midwives. We believe that the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital workshops are just the beginning of new ways of working in partnership with the NHS that will benefit many more parents-to-be across the UK in the years to come. Our aim in working with both Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, along with others in the UK, is to improve parental outcomes both prior to, during and following birth. We are also exploring with these Trusts new ways of financing and communicating a more holistic ante natal education programme to a broader socio-demographic spectrum of parents and regions.”

The number of attendees on the Workshop is kept to a minimum to ensure a high standard of personal attention throughout. Each couple is provided with a Natal HypnotherapyTM book and accompanying Birth Preparation Hypnosis CD; guidelines to give to the midwife/medical team, birth partner guidance and post course support.

To find out more information on the course content, go to
To book on a Natural Birth Preparation Workshop at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, see your local midwife or call Antenatal Classes team in the Kensington Wing on Tel: 020 3315 7850.

To book on a course at Queen’s Birth Centre, contact Parent Education Midwife, Khim Lee, on Tel. 01708 504305 or email

- Ends -

Notes to Editor:

For further information, to set up interviews or to obtain case studies, contact:

• Emma Pryke or Maggie Howell at Natal HypnotherapyTM
T: 01252 716859/Tel. 07768 583305 (Emma mobile)/07710 019068 (Maggie mobile)
Email: or
• Katie Drummond-Dunn, Communications Manager
Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Tel. 0203 315 6829
• Nicola Eves, Queen’s Hospital Communications Director
Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
Tel. 01708 435000 or 0845 130 4204

Supporting statistics and information

• The NHS is funding a major research clinical trial, the SHIP Trial, into the value of antenatal hypnosis which will report in June 2013.
• The following statistics on Natal HypnotherapyTM are based on the retrospective study presented at the world congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2011 and published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The survey based on 1,251 indicated that the women using the CDs (this did not include women attending workshops for whom the outcomes would be even better) reported:

• A high level of satisfaction with 95% feeling that Natal HypnotherapyTM had been beneficial to their birth experience
• A dramatic reduction in fear of labour (86% felt less fearful of labour)
• The learnt skill of relaxation (89% felt relaxed prior to birth and 74% able to stay relaxed during labour)
• A high perceived ability to deal with the pain of labour (61% felt able to significantly manage pain using the HypnotherapyTM techniques)
• 19% needed no analgesic or anaesthetic requirements
• A further 37% only required entonox
• A caesarean rate of 15% (both planned and emergency)

Based on these initial findings, and on the recommendations outlined in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, a large scale randomised trial on the use of Natal HypnotherapyTM CDs is currently in the planning stages with a leading London teaching and research hospital.

• Over a 100,000 women have used Natal HypnotherapyTM products and services
• 97% of women go on to recommend Natal Hypnotherapy to other women.
• Natal HypnotherapyTM is recognised for its quality materials
- Award winning CDs and book – there are four CDs in the main series Prepare to Conceive, Pregnancy Relaxation, Birth Preparation and Fast Post Natal Recovery. Others include: IVF Companion, Overcoming Morning Sickness, Relaxation and Stress Management, Labour Companion & Breastfeeding Companion.
- [Effective Birth Preparation CD is regularly in the top 5 best-selling pregnancy titles on Amazon.
- Effective Birth Preparation – Your practical guide book|] often reviewed as “the best thing a mum bought during her pregnancy” with a 5 star recommendation on Amazon. This won the Practical Parenting Book of the Year in 2012.
• Natal HypnotherapyTM is recognised and respected amongst leading midwives and birth professionals – over 2,500 have contacted us for resources to pass onto women
• Natal HypnotherapyTM has partnered with NCT over six years for the provision of Self Hypnosis CDs for women to support antenatal education.
• There has been recent media coverage that the Duchess of Cambridge has used hypnotherapy to alleviate her symptoms of severe morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Natal Hypnotherapy in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, Medical & Pharmaceutical, for more information visit