800 first time mothers are to take part in an 18 month NHS trial to test the effectiveness of hypnobirthing. Experts hope that by teaching mothers-to-be to put themselves into a trance-like state during their labour, they can avoid using costly drug treatments such as epidurals, laughing gas or morphine.
The trial is being headed by Professor Soo Downe, a specialist in midwifery at Central Lancashire University who hopes that this new method will help women to control pain themselves, reducing the need for supervision from midwives.
Victoria Parrot is one example of a mother who had a positive experience with the method when she gave birth to her daughter Martha last year.
She said: ‘I can honestly say I felt no pain at all. All I felt were gentle sensations as Martha passed through my pelvis.
If the results of the study are promising, trials will continue with the ultimate intention of providing free hypnobirthing training on the NHS.
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