Hyperemesis gravidarum and the Duchess of Cambridge

The recent press report that the Duchess of Cambridge is in hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum prompts the question: can hypnosis help?


And the answer is YES. The last published study seems to have been in 1980, involving 138 women with severe vomiting in the first trimester of pregnancy. All but two women showed some improvement, with 61 being cured of vomiting and nausea, and 24 cured of vomiting but still with some nausea. An interesting aspect of the trial was that some patients were treated in groups and others individually.


Treatment for hyperemesis gravidarum would include relaxation, ego strengthening suggestions, and direct suggestions for the abdomen to feel warm and the baby to be comfortable. I would normally teach the client self-hypnosis and provide a CD so that the client could relax whenever required and train their body to respond to the suggestions, which would also include the importance of nutrition for the baby, together with reassurance about the future birth.