Self-Hypnosis in Childbirth: What You Should Know

Some people's philosophy in life means that the use of self-hypnosis in labor is the best option for a mother-to-be.
Self-Hypnosis in Childbirth: What You Should Know

Last update: 15 January, 2021

Controlling your fears and the pain that can occur in labor is possible through self-hypnosis in childbirth.

Hypnosis can be defined as a state of relaxation of the mind. However, we always associate this idea with the image of a person with a pendulum in front of another person’s eyes, talking to them softly.

Self-hypnosis in childbirth (also called hypnobirthing) has nothing to do with this idea though, and mothers use it during childbirth to control the pain. We could say that it’s a type of “self-anesthetic.”

Preparing for self-hypnosis in childbirth

In the same way that mothers attend classes to prepare them for childbirth, you should also take classes if you decide to use this “psychological epidural” technique when the time arrives to give birth.

These classes will begin in the seventh month of pregnancy to prepare you for the big moment. They’ll usually comprise around eight sessions.

The first class

In the first class, the therapist will explain the self-hypnosis procedure, and all the information a mother-to-be will need to bear in mind during delivery.

The first class is what helps mothers decide whether they really want to opt for this type of help, or not, by taking into account all the information offered to them. In addition to this, they can even do a brief test to see if it really works for them.

Self-Hypnosis in Childbirth: What You Should Know

The second class

From the second class onward, the instructor will start to go deeper into our states of mind, as well as teaching a series of muscle relaxation techniques. The goal here is for the mother to begin to learn how to make herself relax.

The third class of self-hypnosis

The women will learn relaxation techniques by means of breathing exercises from the third class onward. When the mother has placed all her confidence in the process of self-hypnosis in childbirth, then she’ll really begin to relax.

During labor, it’s very useful for a mother to learn how to do breathing exercises. This will help her to focus on, and control, her breathing, and to try to forget about what’s going on around her.

The fourth class onward

From the fourth class onward, the women will start to learn induction techniques to enable the mother to reach the state of hypnosis that she wishes to reach.

When the mother is able to perform this induction technique herself, she’ll be prepared to perform it during birth as well. It’s important that, once she masters the technique, she continues to practice it during the remaining weeks of her pregnancy so that she’ll be able to apply it well during delivery.

Self-Hypnosis in Childbirth: What You Should Know

Advantages and disadvantages of self-hypnosis in childbirth


Self-hypnosis in childbirth is ideal for women who, because of their beliefs, or simply because of their philosophy in life, want to avoid medication as much as possible, or, in some cases, to not use any at all.

This is an advantage, because the use of hypnosis doesn’t carry any sort of risk to mother or baby, whereas medication can. In addition to this, many women will feel happy and relaxed with themselves when they see that they’re able to control their body and mind.

Disadvantages of self-hypnosis in childbirth

The mother may practice the techniques during pregnancy and attend preparation classes, but then, when she’s in labor, she may not be able to put it into practice. As a result, doctors will have to use medication or an epidural, and this can sometimes traumatize the mother because she hasn’t been able to carry out the self-hypnosis successfully.

It’s also possible that the mother-to-be hasn’t practiced it enough during pregnancy. This is essential in order for everything to go well during labor.

Finally, another major disadvantage of self-hypnosis in childbirth is that the courses are costly. Not everyone will be able to afford it.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ramón y Cajal Agüeras, S. (2002). “Dolores de parto considerablemente atenuados por la sugestión hipnótica.” Trébede: Mensual Aragonés de Análisis, Opinión y Cultura.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.