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  • Writer's pictureClaire Norris

Pain relief in labour

Updated: May 21

You may be wondering will hypnobirthing work for you?

Will it be enough on it's own?

Can hypnobirthing be used alongside traditional pain relief?

You may be wondering can I still have an epidural with hypnobirthing ?

Some people assume that hypnobirthing is instead of pain relief, and that they can't use other methods with it. Birth is a personal experience, and everyone's journey is unique. With an array of pain relief options available, it makes no sense to be set in stone that it is one or the other. However, the myth persists that in order to be successful with hypnobirthing, you need to avoid pain relief.

Hypnobirthing is a technique that uses self-hypnosis, relaxation, and breathing exercises to manage pain and promote a calm birth. But what if you want to combine hypnobirthing with conventional pain relief methods? The good news is, you can!

You can absolutely use pain relief alongside hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing and traditional pain relief methods are not mutually exclusive and can be combined to create a more comfortable and positive birthing experience.

As a hypnobirthing teacher, I would never tell you to avoid pain relief in birth. We cover all of the available pain relief options in my course, and I would absolutely encourage their use if you feel you need or want them. Some people come along to hypnobirthing sure they are having an epidural from the start - it is their choice and that is great for them. They still use hypnosis to deal with the mindset and to keep them calm and feeling confident. Other people have been advised to have an epidural on medical grounds, and still use hypnobirthing alongside it.

Others may be open minded and decide to take it step by step, as you just never really know how you will feel on the day. You could start off early labour using your coping and self hypnosis techniques and surprise yourself with how far you get with just those - remember though it is not an endurance test to see how far you can get!

Additional pain relief can be a wonderful way of giving you something to take the edge off so you can continue to use your mindset and comfort techniques alongside it. The two can work together beautifully to help labour to be a better experience.

Everyone is different - in my birth where I was using hypnobirthing I went into it with the intention of having any drug or pain relief the hospital could offer - but I found that I never needed them - my hypnobirthing got me though it, which really surprised me!

Clients tell me they have such differing experiences - I have had clients sleep through their labour or get through the whole thing thinking "oh I'll have pain relief when I need it", then find they don't. Others tell me the hypnosis is amazing at keeping them calm and relaxed, but they just needed something to manage the contractions as they were very intense. Or, if your labour is very long and you are tired, pain relief can give you chance to rest.

It is really very much an individual choice, and nobody should feel they can't combine hypnobirthing with any other pain relief they choose.



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