the question of whether hypnobirthing is a load of old twaddle or if it really works is likely to become a hot topic.
With the rumours that the Duchess is pregnant again, plus the eagerly awaited results of the first major UK trial into the efficacy of hypnobirthing (SHIP trial) due out any day, the question of whether hypnobirthing is a load of old twaddle or if it really works is likely to become a hot topic. Maggie Howell, the UKs leading expert on the use of Hypnotherapy for pregnancy and birth is available for comment.
The increase in the use of hypnobirthing has risen steadily over the last 10 years as, more and more women have heard, mainly through word of mouth, that learning and practicing a few simple techniques can help them reduce pain, feel more in control and reduce the need for medical intervention.
The increase in awareness went sky high last year when it was reported that the Duchess of Cambridge used [hypnosis to help overcome morning sickness and then again as a method to prepare for labour. Some may argue that the hypnobirthing techniques enabled her to stay super calm and have a natural birth whilst under the scrutiny of the world’s media in a hospital where the overriding majority of women have epidurals or caesarean sections.
However – is this just wishful thinking or is there any clinical evidence to back this up?
In realty there is little clinical evidence to show if it does or does not work. However, in the next few weeks, the results of the SHIP trial (funded by the NHS) will be published which will provide much needed clinical evidence to either support or refute the efficacy of this growing trend.
For an expert opinion and insight into the conclusions of the trial, Maggie Howell is the UKs leading and most established clinical Hypnotherapist who has dedicated the last 12 years into the development and use of Hypnobirthing. An experienced, articulate broadcaster and media spokesperson, Maggie will be available for interview to answer questions about the use of and reported benefits of hypnobirthing, especially on the impact that it can have on a mothers’ ability to reduce fear and anxiety in the lead up to and during the birth.
Maggie Howell has been a leading force in the UK, helping women move away from a fear fuelled approach to birth to one which promotes confidence and normality which recently earned her the title of finalist in the “UKs normal birth champion” awards. Her award winning Natal Hypnotherapy range of hypnobirthing CDs/MP3s, book and classes, the training for which is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives, have been used by over 100,000 parents-to-be in the UK and around the world. She works closely with a network of high profile midwives and antenatal educators and has trained over 1,000 midwives on the concepts, uses and benefits of hypnobirthing and on how Midwives, doulas and doctors can support women choosing this method. She is also mother to 5 sons, all of who were born whilst she practiced what she preaches.
Maggie Howell is available for interview or comment: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07710 019068. To receive a review copy of her book or CDs contact 01252 716859
• The NHS is funding a major research clinical trial, the SHIP Trial, into the value of antenatal hypnosis which will report in August 2014.
• The following statistics on Natal Hypnotherapy 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) reported:
o A high level of satisfaction with 95% feeling that Natal Hypnotherapy had been beneficial to their birth experience
o A dramatic reduction in fear of labour (86% felt less fearful of labour)
o The learnt skill of relaxation (89% felt relaxed prior to birth and 74% able to stay relaxed during labour)
o A high perceived ability to deal with the pain of labour (61% felt able to significantly manage pain using the hypnotherapy techniques)
o 19% needed no analgesic or anaesthetic requirements
o A further 37% only required entonox (gas & air)
o A caesarean rate of 15% (both planned and emergency)
o 97% of women would recommend Natal Hypnotherapy to other women.
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 Hypnotherapy CDs is currently in the planning stages with a leading London teaching and research hospital.
• Natal Hypnotherapy has been created and developed alongside the UK maternity services, reflecting the same aims as the Royal College of Midwives to normalise birth
• Over 100,000 women have used Natal Hypnotherapy products and services
• Natal Hypnotherapy 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 Hypnotherapy is recognised and respected amongst leading midwives and birth professionals – over 2,500 have contacted us for resources to pass onto women
• Natal Hypnotherapy has partnered with NCT over six years for the provision of Self Hypnosis CDs for women to support antenatal education.
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