Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

You are here: Home Hot Research Yes, Virginia, You Are More Hypnotizable when You’re Pregnant

Yes, Virginia, You Are More Hypnotizable when You’re Pregnant

11 Oct

Hot damn, I knew this was true.  My guess is, it’s even more true for women in childbirth.  But I digress.  Researchers from Women's & Children's Hospital in Adelaide, Australia investigated whether there was a difference in hypnotizability between pregnant and nonpregnant women.  (Hypnosis during pregnancy and childbirth has been shown to reduce the use of pain medication during labor and other medical interventions.)

Study participants had hypnotizability measured by the Creative Imagination Scale (CIS) in the third trimester of pregnancy and subsequently between 14 and 28 months postpartum and again, further beyond that.

The 37 participants who completed the study gave birth between January 2006 and March 2007. CIS scores were significantly increased in women when pregnant (Mean 23.5, SD 6.9) as compared to when they were not pregnant (Mean 18.7, SD 6.6), p < 0.001. The mean effect size was 0.84 suggesting that the hypnotizability change was both statistically significant and clinically meaningful.

Our study findings support previous evidence showing that women are more hypnotizable when pregnant than when not pregnant.

Citation: Alexander B, Turnbull D, Cyna A. The effect of pregnancy on hypnotizability. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. 2009 Jul; 52 (1): pages 13-22.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award