OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of a brief course in self-hypnosis for childbirth on duration of the labor and other birth outcomes. DESIGN: A randomized, controlled, single-blind trial. SETTING: Aarhus University Hospital Skejby, Denmark. POPULATION: A total of 1222 healthy nulliparous women. METHODS: A hypnosis group receiving three 1-h lessons in self-hypnosis with additional audio-recordings to ease childbirth, a relaxation group receiving three 1-h lessons in various relaxation methods and mindfulness with audio-recordings for additional training, and a usual-care group receiving only the usual antenatal care were compared. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Duration of labor, birth complications, lactation success, caring for the child, and preferred future mode of delivery. RESULTS: No differences were found across the three groups on duration from arriving at the birth department until the expulsive phase of second stage of labor, the duration of the expulsive phase, or other birth outcomes. Fewer emergency and more elective cesarean sections occurred in the hypnosis group. No difference was seen across the groups for lactation success or caring for the child but fewer women in the hypnosis group preferred a cesarean section in future pregnancies because of fear of childbirth and negative birth experiences. CONCLUSIONS: Learning self-hypnosis to ease childbirth taught as a brief course failed to show any effects on duration of childbirth and other birth outcomes.
Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 2013, Vol 92, Issue 7, p. 816-23