Labour pain? It's in the mind

Kate Robinson, pregnant and sceptical, tests out hypnotherapy
Births on television always mean crisis. If it's a period drama, there are shouts for hot water and towels. If it's an American production, the whole episode might as well be entitled Primal Scream.
At six months pregnant, I have been as much exposed to the notion of birth as a noisy, painful affair as any first-time mother.
So when the clinical hypnotherapist Maggie Howell tells me "I birth silently - the only time anyone knew I was having a contraction was when I lifted my finger", I'm cynical. Silent with that amount of pain?
Howell became interested in self-hypnosis when having her first child, and says that the relaxation techniques she used during his birth, and her subsequent two, ensured she was able to enjoy "an exquisite birth experience".
It took two days on Howell's Natal Hypnotherapy Birth Preparation Course to begin to understand what she was promoting.
The first part of the course is much like an AA meeting: "Hello, my name's Kate, I am having a baby and what scares me most is…well, probably not drinking for nine months, actually."
Listening to my fellow participants, I am surprised by how many fears I could have been harbouring. Calming those fears, according to Howell, is key to a less painful birth.

Source - Telegraph


  1. Anonymous9:45 am

    OH no it isn't!!

  2. Actually all pain is in the mind. Signals shoot through our central nervous system to our brain.

    This article is very good at explaining how pain works:-

    I'll be very interested to find out how she gets on when labour begins.

  3. Anonymous6:22 pm

    Is that why acupuncture is asid to work?

  4. Well it is said to stimulate the production of endorphins (natural pain killers) and block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. I have to say that I've had success with acupressure for my back, but I've never resorted to acupuncture (fear of needles). ;-)