Hypnobirthing on the NHS and pain relief to be axed by NHS

Hypnobirthing has been around for some time but in the last five years the demand for it has shot up significantly. As NHS trusts are trying to cut maternity units and midwives money has to be saved and trialling hypnobirthing and phasing out pain relief looks like the most likely option.

What is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is when you are hypnotised before giving birth so that you are in a trance-like state, it gives you better control and is said to reduce the pain you feel during labour. It’s used as alternative to drugs such as pethidine, epidurals and laughing gas during labour. As many women are scared of epidurals due the needle used to administer it only pethidine and laughing gas are offered as alternatives. Having an epidural means you are numb from the waist down, labour and recovery are also slow as you cannot feel when you have to push and you have to wait to get feeling back in your legs before being able to move around.

In a new trial being offered by the NHS more than 800 women will be taught hypnobirthing in a new measure that is hoped will save the NHS thousands. Currently hypnobirthing is offered privately at a cost of at least £60, you are taught to self hypnotise at the right time to ease labour pains and have a stress free and near enough pain free birth.

As the NHS continues to look for ways to cut spending this is the latest, many women around the country have complained that they were denied or made to ask up to six times for an epidural during labour. Epidurals need to be given at the correct time, having one too soon will slow labour down and too late will have no effect. Women have said that they were made to beg for epidurals whilst midwives fobbed them off; when it was time to push they were left traumatised.

Not everyone has a high pain threshold and to make a pregnant woman beg for pain relief is unacceptable. If money is an issue then maybe they should ask patients who want one to pay for it, I’m sure many would like to have this as an option rather than being in so much pain the end up needing assisted deliveries such as forceps or even a caesarean.

Currently for every epidural that a woman requests it costs the NHS around £500, the cost is high because it needs to be done by an anaesthesiologist and not a midwife or nurse. So by trialling free hypnobirthing classes to pregnant women they will in time save millions. Critics argue that hypnobirthing only works for one in four women and if left alone for a longer period of time complications can arise. When pain relief is administered midwives are advised to stay with the patient as high blood pressure and a distressed baby can be a sign that things aren’t going as smoothly as they could but hypnobirthing will mean that the woman will be in a trance like state giving the impression that everything is ok.