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  • Writer's pictureShira Carmen Aji

Exciting New Research on the Effectiveness of Hypnobirthing

As HypnoBirthing educators, we've always believed in the power of the Mongan Method to help women have easier and more satisfying births. Paula herself has attended over six hundred HypnoBirths and can attest to them being gentler and more empowering than the average mainstream. But nowadays, more and more formal research is being done that backs these beliefs and provides evidence regarding the effectiveness of Hypnobirthing. This new exciting study from 2022 is making waves!

In January 2022, two registered nurses from Turkey- Gonca Buran, RN, Ph.D., and Hilmiye Aksu, RN, Ph.D., published the results of a trial called- "Effect of Hypnobirthing Training on Fear, Pain, Satisfaction Related to Birth, and Birth Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Trial."

They led the trial aiming to determine the effect of Hypnobirthing training on fear of childbirth (FOC), birth pain, birth satisfaction, and birth outcomes. What they found was evidence to support the claim that Hypnobirthing can help reduce fear of childbirth, pain during childbirth, and birth-related satisfaction.

The authors received no outside financial support or funding and declared no conflicts of interest.

The reason they sought these findings was due to the 54.4% cesarean rate in Turkey, many of which are elective cesareans- a rate that's a staggering 44.4% higher than the 10% recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As explained in the study, high cesarean section rates are an important issue and negatively affect maternal and infant health while also increasing health expenditures and costs. Therefore, in recent years, the Turkish Ministry of Health has started to provide childbirth preparation courses, hoping to reduce the rate of elective cesarean sections. However, these courses are all managed by physicians, obstetrics nurses, and midwives.

Buran and Aksu set out to find evidence that with the help of a childbirth education program like Hypnobirthing (which is taught by Hypnobirthing practitioners), the fear surrounding birth could be reduced, satisfaction could rise, pain could lessen, and the rate of elective cesareans could drop.

Their trial study was conducted with 80 healthy, first-time pregnant women, divided into two groups of 40 women: one that took a Hypnobirthing course and the other that did not. They excluded women who also attended other prenatal training techniques like yoga and Pilates so that the findings could be attributed exclusively to Hypnobirthing. Furthermore, the healthcare team didn't know who had been assigned to each group, so the data would remain unbiased. We recommend checking out the study for more info regarding how the group members were selected and how they remained anonymous.

After analyzing the data, they reached the following conclusion:

"This study revealed that the women who received four weeks of hypnobirthing training for three hours a week had less labor pain and fear of childbirth and higher birth satisfaction than the women in the control group. The absence of elective cesarean section in the experimental group showed that hypnobirthing training increased the rate of vaginal delivery, decreased the rate of labor interventions, shortened the duration of delivery, and quickly initiated first skin-to-skin contact and first breastfeeding.".

With their findings in hand, Buran and Aksu recommended that nurses, midwives, and policymakers use these training programs in conjunction with other routine prenatal care, clinical care, and education programs. They urged nurses to allow couples the space to apply the relaxation, breathing, and massage techniques and exercises learned in Hypnobirthing. Furthermore, they asked that nurses "allow pregnant women to consume fluids during labor and move freely in the clinical room and assume their desired position and allow the spouses to enter the delivery room with the pregnant woman and provide social support."

Another interesting point made by the study is that all the women who took the Hypnobirthing course were accompanied by their spouses, who, in turn, with new knowledge in hand, participated and supported them throughout their pregnancies and births. Buran and Aksu point out that other "studies have reported that lack of support during childbirth, fear of childbirth, severe labor pain, long delivery time, and interventions during delivery decrease birth satisfaction." This goes to show that spousal support increases birth satisfaction and reduces fear of birth, "leading to fewer interventions and shorter delivery periods."

It caught our attention that the study included only middle- to high-income women with a high school education or more. We hope that in years to come, more, larger-scale studies will be held on the subject, as well as studies that include low-income women, women who've already given birth (vaginally or otherwise), and women with high-risk pregnancies.

This groundbreaking data clearly demonstrates how powerful HypnoBirthing can be and how vital childbirth education is for our physical and mental health and our children's development. We as a society must re-educate ourselves to stop fearing childbirth and start embracing this moment of creation. Pregnant women must receive support from their spouses, friends, and families. And healthcare providers must allow pregnant women the agency to practice whatever techniques they see fit, to move freely during their births, and to give birth in whatever position they find comfortable.

Link to the study:

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