The characteristics of women who use hypnotherapy for intrapartum pain management: Preliminary insights from a nationally-representative sample of Australian women

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2016, 25 pp. 67 - 70
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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Objectives: This manuscript presents a preliminary examination of the characteristics of women who choose intrapartum hypnosis for pain management. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of 2445 women (31-36 years) from a sub-study of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH), employing Fisher exact tests. Setting: Australia. Main outcome measures: Use of intrapartum hypnosis, or hypnobirthing, for pain management during labour and birth. Results: Women using hypnobirthing were more likely to have consulted with an acupuncturist or naturopath, or attended yoga/meditation classes during pregnancy (p < 0.0001). Use of CM products such as herbal medicines, aromatherapy oils, homoeopathy, herbal teas or flower essences (p < 0.001) was also more common amongst these women. Women choosing hypnotherapy for intrapartum pain management less commonly identified as feeling safer knowing that an obstetrician is providing their care (p < 0.001), and were more likely to labour in a birth centre or in a community centre (i.e. at home). Conclusions: This analysis provides preliminary analysis into an as yet unexamined topic in contemporary maternity health service utilisation. The findings from this analysis may be useful for maternity health professionals and policy makers when responding to the needs of women choosing to use hypnotherapy for intrapartum pain management.
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