Hypnobirthing is best known for providing women with pain relief during childbirth. But hypnotherapy can do a lot more for those planning and preparing for pregnancy or childbirth.

Hypnosis and fertility: can hypnotherapy help you get pregnant?

Hypnosis is unable to resolve medical issues that are preventing you from becoming pregnant. However, it can help to keep you calmer and more relaxed while you try to conceive. Studies show this may increase your chances of becoming pregnant because it reduces the number of stress hormones in your body, which can interfere with ovulation. [1]

For example, one study showed that women who used mind/body relaxation techniques alongside IVF had a 42-55% conception rate. For those who undertook IVF alone, it was 20%. [2] In another, women with untreated depression had a 24% pregnancy rate within 6 months. If the depression was treated this increased to 60%. [3]

If you’re trying to get pregnant, your hypnotherapy sessions will be tailored to you and your situation, but they might include:

  • stress reduction generally,
  • reducing anxiety around the issue of infertility itself, and/or any related medical interventions (for example, needle phobias),
  • weight control, smoking cessation, or motivation to follow a healthier lifestyle, if your doctor has said these things might help,
  • dealing with any unresolved issues such as generalised anxiety or depression, past trauma, or unresolved issues about becoming a parent.

Can you use hypnotherapy when you’re pregnant?

If you have issues that are not related to your pregnancy, such as a fear of spiders or flying, it’s best to deal with them after your baby is born. However, hypnotherapy is safe for most mums-to-be and it can be used to help make your pregnancy easier.

Up to 80% of women experience some level of ‘morning sickness’ (though it can happen at other times of day too). There is evidence that using hypnosis can reduce this, to ‘allow a more comfortable pregnancy and healthier foetal development and could prevent cases that might otherwise proceed to full-blown hyperemesis gravidarum’ (excessive nausea and vomiting). [4] A session or two usually does the trick and I can teach you some suitable techniques to use at home.

Physical discomfort can be part of pregnancy as your body changes. Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis can often help to decrease minor aches and pains. (See this link for more information.)

Emotional fluctuations due to hormone changes are practically a cliche of pregnancy, and you might also have sleep issues or concerns about new routines such as having regular blood tests. It’s also quite normal to worry about the baby’s well-being and what it’s going to be like to give birth, especially if it’s your first time or you’ve had a poor birthing experience in the past. Hypnotherapy can help you deal with worry, get a good night’s sleep and release fears.

Hypnobirthing – a personal approach

A review of studies showing the effects of using hypnobirthing concluded that it is useful for ‘alleviating fear and pain related to childbirth, enhancing postnatal well-being, and empowering women to feel more confident and in control of their emotions during childbirth.’ [6]

I work one-to-one and offer a personalised service, not a pre-designed programme that ignores your individual needs. This is usually four to six sessions, starting when you are around six months pregnant. We design your programme together, but it might include:

  • relaxation techniques to use before and during childbirth,
  • addressing any fears or worries you might have about the birthing experience,
  • getting a good night’s sleep,
  • teaching you hypnotic pain relief techniques,
  • teaching your birthing partner to help you use the techniques,
  • developing confidence around giving birth and being a parent.

Some people prefer to keep one of their sessions for after the birth when we can look at sleep patterns, confidence, relaxation during breastfeeding or similar. You are welcome to do this, just ask when you contact me.

If you would like to know more about using hypnotherapy for any of the reasons mentioned here, please get in touch.


[1] https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/beauty/mind-body/a26895263/hypnotherapy-help-conceive/
[2] The Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association 1999 and The Journal of Fertility and Sterility 2000. (Studies conducted by Alice Domar, PhD, director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Behavioural Medicine Program for Infertility in Boston)
[3] Journal of American Medical Women’s Association, 1999, vol. 54.
[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10655831/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499279/
[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0266613820300395

Author: Debbie Waller is a professional therapist, specialising in stress, anxiety and related issues, including gut-directed hypnotherapy to help with the symptoms of IBS. She also offers EMDR/Blast which is used for trauma, PTSD, phobias and OCD. For more information on any of these services, phone 01977 678593. 

Researcher: Rae Waller is an experienced researcher and writer with a special interest in mental health issues. Rae offers drafting, fact-checking, proofreading, and editing for anything from a leaflet to a website, a blog or a book, and can also provide diversity reading, especially for LGBTQ+ and autism-related issues. Please contact rae@debbiewaller.com for further information.