Hypnosis for induction of labour

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Background: Induction of labour using pharmacological and mechanical methods can increase complications. Complementary and alternative medicine methods including hypnosis may have the potential to provide a safe alternative option for the induction of labour. However, the effectiveness of hypnosis for inducing labour has not yet been fully evaluated. Objectives: To assess the effect of hypnosis for induction of labour compared with no intervention or any other interventions. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Groups Trials Register (31 January 2014), handsearched relevant conference proceedings, contacted key personnel and organisations in the field for published and unpublished references. Selection criteria: All published and unpublished randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and cluster-RCTs of acceptable quality comparing hypnosis with no intervention or any other interventions, in which the primary outcome is to assess whether labour was induced. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors assessed the one trial report that was identified (but was subsequently excluded). Main results: No RCTs or cluster-RCTs were identified from the search strategy. Authors conclusions: There was no evidence available from RCTs to assess the effect of hypnosis for induction of labour. Evidence from RCTs is required to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of this intervention for labour induction. As hypnosis may delay standard care (in case standard care is withheld during hypnosis), its use in induction of labour should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Future RCTs are required to examine the effectiveness and safety of hypnotic relaxation for induction of labour among pregnant women who have anxiety above a certain level. The length and timing of the intervention, as well as the staff training required, should be taken into consideration. Moreover, the views and experiences of women and staff should also be included in future RCTs.




Nishi, D., Shirakawa, M. N., Ota, E., Hanada, N., & Mori, R. (2014, August 14). Hypnosis for induction of labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD010852.pub2

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