Everyone has different pain thresholds and frequently find their own coping strategies. Some need a lot of analgesics, to anaesthesia. Fear, anxiety and stress cause pain to feel more acute (as highlighted by studies into the fear – pain – tension expectancy links). It is your right to ask for pain medication at any time.


It is generally believed that women suffer great pain and discomfort during childbirth. Indeed the average woman has had this fact dinned into her so consistently throughout the years, that she is bound to suffer pain at her confinement because her mind has been so conditioned to expect it.

Grantley Dick-Reid”s recognition of this fact, and his explanation of the fear-tension-pain syndrome, has done much to alter the whole approach to obstetrics. The methods to be employed during your hypnosis for childbirth training are very similar to those which he successfully employed to deal with this, consisting of education, relaxation and suggestion. Although he described a “trance-like” state which occurred in some of his patients during labour, he stoutly denied that hypnosis played any part in the techniques he evolved.

Nevertheless suggestion forms such an integral part of the Dick-Read procedure that there is not the

slightest doubt that hypnosis can greatly enhance the use and effectiveness of his methods. Since the causes of pain during childbirth are largely psychological, it is obvious that the most effective methods of dealing with them must also be psychological. It must be remembered, however, that the hard work and effort connected with labour cannot be avoided, but the pain and mental anxiety can. Training you,

the mum-to-be, in achieving relaxation and where possible the hypnotic state can teach you to exercise aremarkable degree of mental control over your bodily functions.


In obstetrics there are three essential requirements that the ideal anaesthetic agent should fulfil:

1. It should be capable of affording complete relief from pain however severe;

2. It should not interfere with the normal mechanics of labour;

3. It should not depress either the respiration or the circulation of the child.


Whereas the best chemical anaesthetic agent is at best a compromise, hypnosis fulfils all these conditions and has been rightly called the ideal anaesthetic agent in midwifery.