Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is once again pregnant and once again, is suffering from a condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a form of extreme morning sickness that may cause dangerous results such as dehydration, weight loss, temperature spikes, irregular pulse rate and jaundice. Women suffering with unrelenting cases of this affliction may even opt for therapeutic abortions.

Interestingly, there is evidence that this problem is largely reserved for more civilized societies, leading researchers to believe that there is a strong emotional component influencing the condition. A psychoanalytical viewpoint poses that there may be an antagonism to the pregnancy, which manifests in a gut reaction of disgust and rejection that promotes vomiting. This theory is supported by research which shows that women find relief when hospitalized, but regress quickly when returned home to their normal environment.

Hypnosis has a long history of being used for intervention in obstetric cases, whether it is utilized for improving chances of conception, enhancing and making gestation easier, or assisting in a reduction of suffering during delivery. There is much research that indicates the efficacy of hypnosis in relieving not only mild bouts of nausea related to pregnancy, but also in more serious cases, such as the one Kate is experiencing.

Conventional hospital treatments for Hyperemesis Gravidarum may include drug therapy, isolation by hospitalization, intravenous administration of fluids, and the use of placebo. Placebo therapy involves providing a patient with an inert pill, while telling them that it is a medication. Despite the deception, the patient’s mind takes hold of the belief of a cure and the body follows suit.

Hypnotic intervention for this serious complication may be provided in individual sessions or it may be included in natural childbirth group sessions. In both venues, treatment involves inducing a trance state through a variety of methods including relaxation, eye fixation, or suggestions of feelings of well being and comfort. A feeling of dissociation is often utilized to distance the client from her discomfort. This new perspective is also utilized to help her gain new perspective on her situation and to gain a sense of control over it.

In addition to changing perception, there are several different hypnotic techniques that may be applied to address the problem:

1.      Perceiving the nausea as an object and then, in trance, changing the object, therefore eliciting a different, preferred response to it

2.      “Dialing down” the level of the discomfort while “dialing up” levels of comfort and well being

3.      Releasing any negative emotional charge that may be related to the pregnancy

4.      “Future Pacing”, engaging in an experiential mental rehearsal of a healthy and comfortable pregnancy

Duration of these sessions can be as brief as thirty minutes or as long as an hour. Most clients find relief within a session or two; multiple sessions can be used to augment that relief and further empower the mother-to-be so that she can not only enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy, but be able to use the power of her own mind to experience a more comfortable delivery.

A qualified hypnosis practitioner can help alleviate distress from obstetric conditions like Hyperemesis Gravidarum and set the tone for the natural wonder and joy that every woman having a child deserves. If you are struggling in any degree with pregnancy symptoms, give me a call and we'll get you more comfortable!