Rumors are swirling that Kate Middleton is considering hypno-birth as her strategy to deal with the challenges of labor pain.
Briefly, hypno birth is a strategy to calm, relax, and self-hypnotize the body in an effort to reduce the pain of childbirth. Deep breathing and other relaxation techniques are used in hopes of decreasing the fear, anxiety, and pain of labor.
Most advocates of these methods admit these techniques, at best, reduce (but do not eliminate) the pain of labor.
How effective the techniques can be likely varies from person to person. There is little hard evidence out there that hypno birth techniques are “healthier” and less painful.
And since Kate will be delivering in hospital, she fortunately will have an anesthesiologist (or anaesthetist, as they are known in the UK) and epidurals at her disposal.
For most healthy persons, epidurals are very safe and have a favorable side effect profile. They are the most effective method of labor analgesia available.
Here is a great video that shows how an epidural is placed.
Either way, I wish Kate a very safe and memorable labor and delivery experience!
Please share your experiences with hypno-birth techniques and/or epidurals in the comments below.