Hypnosis key to easing birth pains
A TECHNIQUE involving self-hypnosis is to be taught to midwives in Scotland to help women to ease the pain of childbirth.
There are currently just five people in Scotland qualified to teach HypnoBirthing and all of them are hypnotherapists.
HypnoBirthing is based on the belief that severe discomfort to the mother and distress to the baby is not a natural accompaniment to labour. Women instead learn self-hypnosis, including relaxation and breathing techniques, which leads to an easier and sometimes pain-free birth.
Renee Buchanan, a hypnotherapist and member of the UK HypnoBirthing Advisory Board, will be running the first course of its kind in Scotland at Stirling Royal Infirmary's conference centre in September. "Many women are afraid of childbirth," she said. "They hear stories about dramatic and painful births, which are also depicted on TV.
"This causes tension, which in turn causes pain and doesn't allow the birth to progress as naturally as it should.
"HypnoBirthing doesn't promise pain-free labour, but says labour should be much more comfortable. It allows women to enjoy having their babies, instead of it being something they fear."
HypnoBirthing was developed in the United States 15 years ago and is based on the work of an English obstetrician and founder of the National Childbirth Trust, Dr Grantly Dick-Read.
He noticed that women who were calm and had positive expectations of their labour experienced less pain than those who were frightened.
Shirley Black, a community midwife in North Fife, is one of those joining the course. "I'm very much into women having as natural an experience as possible," she said.
"In the long term, it would be great to see the Scottish Executive funding this, as people attending these courses currently have to pay out of their own pockets."
GIVING BIRTH WITH HELP OF HYPNOSIS
ALISON Gean Davis experienced difficult births with her first two children.
When Caitlin, 5, was born at Stirling Royal Infirmary she weighed 10lbs 5oz and was delivered using forceps.
Two years later she planned to have her daughter, Arwen, at home in Dunblane but complications meant going into hospital. It was then, Alison learned about HypnoBirthing, a technique she used for the birth four months ago of her third child, David.
Alison had David at home in a birthing pool using the self-hypnosis techniques, and said her pain level on a scale of one to ten was lower than four.
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