Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Hypnosis to Ease Childbirth?
I am pregnant with my first child and currently exploring my options for childbirth education classes. I am particularly interested in hypnobirthing and was hoping to get your opinion about the technique.
Answer (Published 12/8/2003)

Hypnobirthing is simply the use of hypnosis during pregnancy and childbirth. Hypnosis can reduce morning sickness, anxiety and labor pain. I'm enthusiastic for personal reasons. Three weeks before the birth of my daughter, I asked hypnotherapist Steve Gurgevich, a friend and colleague, to do a session with my then-wife Sabine in the interest of a timely, quick, uncomplicated delivery. The baby was in a posterior presentation at the time, which worried us. Steve did an hour-long session and encouraged Sabine to talk to the baby and ask her to turn around before the beginning of labor and help make the labor quick. Afterwards, Sabine was very relaxed. A while after Steve left, she suddenly clutched her belly and bent over. "I think the baby's turning," she said.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Whole Body - Foods, herbs and drugs can all interact, sometimes in unexpected ways. Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor takes known interactions into account when developing nutritional supplement recommendations, to help safeguard against adverse effects. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor recommendation today.

It happened that our midwife was coming for dinner that night. She examined Sabine and reported that the baby was now in an anterior presentation, having turned within 20 minutes of being asked to do so. The baby came right on her due date. Labor lasted a mere two hours and six minutes.

Steve tells me that hypnosis can be used as the sole anesthesia for Caesarean sections and that many such deliveries have been documented on film. This makes for much better bonding between mother and baby. If you're interested in using hypnosis during pregnancy and childbirth, Steve suggests consulting a qualified doctor of medicine, clinical psychologist, social worker, nurse or a Doula trained to teach these methods to pregnant women. To find a certified professional in your area, go to, the Web site of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Steve Gurgevich has his own hypnobirthing program available on CD.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here