The NHS is beginning an 18-month-trial of teaching HYPNOSIS to expectant mums to enable them to hypnotise themselves during labour rather than relying on costly painkilling drugs.
More than 800 women are to take part in the 'hypnobirthing' trials which will run in hospitals in Blackburn and Burnley as part of a study by Professor Soo Downe, a specialist in midwifery at Central Lancashire University.
Professor Downe said: 'There is good evidence that hypnosis works well in other areas of health management.
'The idea is to give women the capacity to manage their labour themselves. If the results are promising we will do further trials. The intention would then be to provide free hypnobirthing training on the NHS.'
Hypnobirthing is already a popular form of pain relief for some mums, with around 250 qualified
practitioners operating through the UK.
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