Yes, it’s true. Gisele Bundchen had a painless childbirth using hypnosis, meditation and deep breathing techniques.
As a hypnotherapist, I have only had a few women who have asked me to help them make the childbirth experience more comfortable. And, in my limited experience the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
There are hypnotherapists who specialize in what is called “hypnobirthing”, which involves teaching clients relaxation and hypnotic pain control techniques. A few of the advantages of hypnobirthing are that the mother can be fully conscious, relaxed and even comfortable during the birth. She learns too that she can control pain at will. Of course, suggestions are give that if anything abnormal or dangerous is happening, the mother will experience enough pain to alert her doctors and herself that something needs to be attended to.
The way that hypnosis works for pain control is different than drugs. Drugs alter the chemistry of the nervous system to reduce of eliminate the production of pain impulses. Hypnosis simply eliminates any awareness of pain. The pain receptors of the body are sending signals. They just do not ever come into conscious awareness.
Hypnosis is not equally effective for all mothers for pain control in the birthing process. Some mothers get no little or reduction of pain, and it is important that they be taught that using drugs is perfectly all right if they are needed. Typically, lesser amounts of drugs are needed for mothers with hypnosis training for childbirth. And, of course, some mothers complete labor in minimal or no discomfort after being trained to use the self hypnosis techniques of hypnobirthing.
Hypnosis is a great alternative for mothers to be who do not tolerate drugs or who just do not want them to be a part of the birthing process. The vast majority of women who try hypnosis to prepare for labor report being glad that they did, even if they eventually opt for drugs to assist the birth.