Category Archives: Research

Cutting umbilical cord early is a ‘risk to babies’

Cutting umbilical cord early is a 'risk to babies'

Cutting umbilical cord early is a ‘risk to babies’

The currently accepted practice in the UK is to accelerate the arrival of the placenta with an injection and clamp and cut the cord immediately… something known as ‘assisted third stage’.

Back in 2006, when we had our eldest, the midwives were astonished that we didn’t want to ‘hurry things along’ like everyone else, even though there was no compelling medical reason to do it.

Most other mothers, it seems, faced with convention and deferring to ‘medical advice’ just go along with the practice.

But according to the BBC, that Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have warned that clamping and cutting the umbilical cord immediately after birth puts the baby at risk of iron deficiency.

Their research showed that babies who had their umbilical cord clamped immediately after birth had lower iron stores for up to six months, which increased the risk of brain development problems.

The college recommends that the umbilical cord should not be clamped earlier than necessary and should always be based on clinical assessment of the situation.

The suggestion is that the cord should not be cut until it has stopped pulsating naturally – anywhere between two and five minutes after birth – as this allows the blood in the cord to transfer to the baby.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says official guidelines are currently being examined it will publish new guidelines next year.

Bye for now
Heidi

Stress in pregnancy gives babies mental health issues

Stress in pregnancy can affect the development of an unborn child’s brain

Stress in pregnancy can affect the development of an unborn child’s brain, causing disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

Stress in pregnancy can affect the development of an unborn child’s brain, causing disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

Research from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine in the US, reported in the Daily Mail, showed that the damaging effects of stress are transmitted across the placenta to the unborn child.

Scientists believe it could explain known links between maternal stress and disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, which are more common and serious in male offspring.

As part of the research, female mice were exposed to mild stresses such as strange noises and the smell of foxes during the first week of pregnancy.

They found that an enzyme called OGT was present at lower levels in the placentas of stressed mice than in unstressed mice. Male offspring placentas also had lower natural levels of OGT than those attached to female offspring.

Further research showed that cutting levels of OGT triggered changes in more than 370 genes in the brains of unborn mice.

Many of these genes play a role in functions critical to neurological development, such as energy use, protein regulation and creating nerve cell connections.

Analysis of human placentas discarded after the birth of male babies showed evidence of reduced OGT levels.

The results suggest that OGT may protect the brain during pregnancy. Males have less of the protein to begin with, placing them at greater risk if their mothers are stressed.

This research adds even more reasons to avoid stress in pregnancy as much as possible.

It’s worth remembering, however, that for most mothers-to-be, one of the biggest sources of stress and worry is pregnancy itself.

Whether its fear of giving birth, concerns about being a good parent or the expense of bringing up a child or just worry that something might go wrong, pregnancy puts a huge strain on every expectant mother.

Most of these stresses can be overcome, and Blissful Birth will help you deal with your fears and learn how to stay calm and relaxed so you can give your baby the best possible start.

Bye for now,
Heidi

Research Snippet on Hypnosis for Childbirth

The UK National Council for Hypnotherapy has issued a “research snippet” on the effectiveness of Hypnosis for Childbirth. In it they say:

Studies [Hoffman & Kipenhaur (1969)] reported that hypnosis eliminated or substantially reduced the pain of childbirth for 50% (median) of women, with individual studies reporting success rates ranging from 35% to 90% of cases. That suggests that the chances of having a painless childbirth with hypnosis varies enormously, depending upon the specific characteristics of the study, i.e., the way hypnotherapy is conducted and the characteristics of the women participating, including their level of motivation, expectations, etc. Roughly half the women typically experienced substantial freedom from pain in these old studies.

Yes, that’s an AVERAGE of 50% pain reduction for women using self-hypnosis, with up to 90% pain reduction in women who were motivated to use it.

Across three studies, involving 142 women in total, they found that the hypnotised group were about half as likely to require pharmaceutical pain relief (analgesia) during childbirth compared to women giving birth without hypnosis. More specifically, 62% of hypnotised women (mean) did not require analgesia compared to only 26% of non-hypnotised women.

So you more than double your chances of giving birth without needing chemical pain relief – just by learning to focus your mind in self-hypnosis…

[In] a study by Mairs (1995) … hypnotised women rated their pain as 5.41 on average compared to 7.58 in the non-hypnotised group, excluding those (n=7) who required caesarean sections.

Read the full snippet here.

The great thing is that these studies show what learning self-hypnosis can achieve all by itself.

Our Blissful Birth programme goes even further – teaching you how to overcome your fears so that you can be more relaxed in labour too – which can speed up the whole process.

But even if you only managed to reduce the amount of chemical pain relief you needed by using self-hypnosis, it would be worth learning, wouldn’t it?

Give me your thoughts below…

How To Cut Labour Pain By Half

An article in The Independent (30th Jan 2007) reports:

Research at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, where hypnosis is used for women in labour, shows it is highly effective. Women who had the therapy, which was given after 37 weeks gestation, used fewer epidurals – 36 per cent compared with 53 per cent in other women. A second study showed that women taught self-hypnosis reduced their need for analgesia by half, epidurals by 70 per cent, and were more than twice as likely to be satisfied with their pain management in labor compared with other women.

Bye for now,
Heidi

Ps – Why not start learning self hypnosis for childbirth today…

Cognitive Hypnotherapy found most effective

Scientific research has consistently found that cognitive and behavioural approaches, and hypnotherapy, work better than other forms of therapy. New research confirms that used together, they are the most effective.

Research by Smith et al (1980), who conducted a meta analysis of 475 controlled studies employing tens of thousands of participants, measured the “effect size” of different types of psychotherapy, and found that only four categories performed better than the average of all therapies. Specifically,

“Cognitive, cognitive behavioural therapies, hypnotherapy, and systematic desensitisation appeared most effective.” (Smith et al., 1980: 124).

Efficacy of Different Modalities of Psychotherapy
(Smith et al.)

1. “Other cognitive therapies.”
(Including Cognitive Hypnotherapy, d=2.38)

2. Hypnotherapy.
(Mainly of a psychodynamic nature, d=1.82)

3. Cognitive-behavioural therapy.
(d=1.13)

4. Systematic desensitisation.
(Which often employed hypnotic induction, d=1.05)

Comparison of Effect Size Graph

It appears that the use of hypnotherapy creates a “synergistic” effect when combined with cognitive-behavioural therapy.

This conclusion has been supported by the multi-factorial, controlled studies of Donald Tosi and his colleagues, which established the benefits of Cognitive Hypnotherapy over either traditional hypnotherapy or CBT alone for a range of conditions.

Similarly, an influential meta-analysis of 18 controlled studies, using 577 subjects, published by Irvine Kirsch proved that 70% of CBT clients experienced more improvement when CBT was combined with hypnosis (i.e. Cognitive Hypnotherapy).

As experienced Cognitive Hypnotherapists ourselves, it is great to see the approach we use being scientifically validated (and proven most effective!).

And, of course, the Blissful Birth programme is firmly based on the principles of Cognitive Hypnotherapy.

Well, what else would you expect!

Bye for now,
Heidi