Did anyone else have hypnosis / hypno... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Did anyone else have hypnosis / hypnobirth during pregnancy


Hi all,

i suffered from pp in March 2014, hospitalised on day 13, spent three weeks in general mental health ward, difficulty bonding with baby on discharge but resolved after a month. Almost full recovery after three months. Still on aripriprizole 5mg until trying for baby number 2.

my question is - did anyone else have hypnosis as i query whether this triggered the pp (no research on this). Apparently hypnosis, pp, and milk production is all the same part of the brain.

any response even to say no hypnosis appreciated

18 Replies


I didn't have hypnosis, I read a hypnobirthing book (well some of it!) and tried to follow some of the general principles for staying calm but no actual hypnosis.

That's an interesting question though, I'll be interested what others say. The thing about milk production is interesting too...

So much still to understand!

my wife and I did hynobirthing and waterbirthing, but it all went wrong. 4 days of contrcations, mirconium, mother fever, high baby blood pressure, forceps and emergency C section

My wife is in MBU unit and blames hypnobirthing



I didn't have hypnosis, though I doubt it was available in the 70's and early 80's.

Sorry to hear about your wife Bendia but hopefully she is improving in the MBU.


Interesting...I did have a home birth with no pain relief (I thought I was just in pre-labour and the midwife turned up and said I was fully dilated and needed to push, it was a v quick labour!!). I did listen to a hypnobirthing CD quite a bit before the labour (a few weeks before), but mainly used stuff I read in ju ju Sundin (I think it was) birth skills book which did help with the labour.

But it is interesting what you say. And looking back the birth in a way was a bit traumatic. It looked perfect in some way - home birth as planned and natural, but v quick and I wonder if I went into denial / shock a bit during the labour as I must have been in pain, but honestly thought it was pre-labour pains. Or maybe I've just got really good pain threshold and the book / CD I used worked wonders.

Your labour and mine were the same. I didn't go to a 'professional' hypnotherapist, I only used a CD, however I do think that was a factor in my PP. I didn't suffer from any pain during home birth and this shocked me greatly, part of my PP was thinking I was dreaming and that I hadn't given birth yet. Thanks for your insight x

in reply to Mims2014

Hi that's really interesting, I know what you mean. In some way I felt very detached from the whole birth too though I don't remember thinking I was dreaming and hadn't given birth yet. I do remember shouting when I was ill saying people think it was a good birth but it wasn't it was really traumatic etc... I wonder if I went into some kind of shock.

I haven't heard anything about pp and hypnosis but I have heard pp is tied to traumatic births. Sometimes those who choose non medicated births experience trauma/ptsd from the pain/experience. My labor was 28 hrs after they had to induce by breaking my water. During that time I was un medicated, at the end I finally had an epidural which helped me completely dilate also no sleep during the whole birth. There were so many complications during the labor it was the most trauma ive ever been through. I had a severe pp episode 10 days later.

No hypnosis for me but 60 hours of labour and no sleep throughout or afterwards for 5 days before PP struck. The psychiatrist said mine was most likely caused by sleep deprivation and a hormone imbalance, but obviously nobody ever really knows.


No hypnosis for me either but like sunnyandwild, I did listen to a CD in the weeks beforehand. In hindsight, I'd personally prefer to have a clear head & be in my normal state of mind to be able to recognise any early symptoms.

You're right, there's no evidence at all of a link between hypnobirthing & PP but I guess as it's becoming more popular, statistically some who use it are likely to have PP. I don't know much about hypnobirthing but it aims to reduce stress during labour - supposedly increase oxytocin - but there's little evidence that it has an effect on stress and if it does, how it works, & what the hormonal connections are.

I also had a traumatic labour, no pain relief - I was told it was a normal birth, but it was traumatic to me - this among other things, affected my sleep. As JoLou80 says, nobody really knows the causes of PP. Traumatic deliveries could be associated with prolonged labours & lack of sleep which could contribute – but hormonal changes seem to be the most likely component. Science will give us the answers we want one day!

Just to throw into the loop...

1st birth, no meditation, lots of pain relief, intervention, trauma, no lactation = pp

2nd birth, lots of meditation, no pain relief, fantastic birth, breast fed for 10mths = pp

I tried everything different second time to evade postnatal illness. My doctors said something in pregnancy and birth is not good for my chemicals! However, my mother's whole family have a history of undiagnosed mental health disorder. Which puts me in the higher risk category.

in reply to CathDuff

Thanks for your reply, doesn't seem to be a link. What medication did u take to breastfeed on second time around? X

Hi, my acute team started me off on Sertraline which is recommended for BF, when that didn't hit the spot they added on a low dose of Olanzapine. I was told to take Olanzapine at night and not feed for at least 7 hours. My hubby offered a formula feed in between, and we continued like this for 10 months. This tablet made me feel really well, but I gained lots of weight. I stopped BF at 10 months so I could change the anti-p.

Rightly or wrongly I did what my consultant said- he said my body would metabolise the drug in that time. My health visitor was happy with the plan and wanted me to continue feeding...I'm so glad I did, it kept the bond, produces the love hormone and relaxes mum and baby. My consultant was top for the area and said if I hadn't of been feeding they would have admitted me and treated the pp more aggressively!

I know some women are not given the choice, I didn't have any info on drugs and feeding, but so glad I had the opportunity to continue. Xx

I had a hypnobirth for 17 hours up until it ended in an EMC. In my case I think it was more due to lack of sleep (worrying about induction, being induced, baby in HDU and waiting for MRI to see how brain damaged he was from seizures he had 24hours after birth ) that contributed to my developing PP, oh and being too committed to getting my milk to come in by expressing and then over producing.

Hi, I have used a lot of self hypnosis cds and have had psychosis - I'm on here because it may have been "weaning psychosis" - I got it when I finished breastfeeding. I've found it difficult to find any evidence about hypnosis and psychosis but there is quite a bit of stuff now about mindfulness and psychosis if you Google it! I bought a mindfulness book recently -from what I can see it is quite similar. It's a bit worrying because mindfulness is being promoted as the new cure for mental illness. There were probably lots of factors involved in my illness but hypnosis may have been one. One hypnosis cd tells you to notice every detail about ordinary things - this could be a trigger for looking for coincidences and reading things into them.


I don't have experience of hypnotists or hypnosis, perhaps others here will have more experiences to share. When I had pp I know that obsession and seeing links in every detail were big things for me. I also really struggled to breastfeed after a difficult birth which ended in an emergency c section. There seems to be lots of common threads of all our symptoms even tho pp is such a complex and at times unknown illness. Xx


It's interesting you say that there are links between mindfulness and psychosis. I can see how that can be as you slow down and notice the meaning / beauty etc in every small thing.

However I can see that mindfulness can help take your mind of negative / stressed / repetitive thoughts, or 'unreal' thoughts, and keep you in the here and now, and be really beneficial for mental illness. Today I did practice some mindfulness as I was walking as my mind was going over a lot of things with work (on my day off) and I have to say it did really help focus me in the here and now and I think I managed to be more present than I would have done.

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