Can Hypnobirthing be used for a Caesarean?

Wondering if your hypnobirthing course will only work for a natural birth?

Its a misconception that hypnobirthing can only be used for a natural pain relief free birth. This really isn’t the case. Hypnobirthing is about creating a positive birth experience. Asking questions, understanding what you’re consenting to. Owning your birth is a fundemental part of the process. Trusting your body and being heard during pregnancy and birth. Having a caesarean or an induction doesn’t mean that you can’t use hypnobirthing.

I’ve often heard women say ‘lucky we didn’t do that hypnobirthing course. It would have been a waste of money as I had a caesarean’. This really isn’t the case as hypnobirthing teaches you to be in control. So if your birth did mean a caesarean was recommended you and your partner would feel calm and in control. Not stressed out by the being told that a caesarean was needed. Which again I’ve heard a lot of women and birth partners say that’s how they felt.

Positive caesarean births

I recently had the pleasure of working with two ladies who’s births took them down a caesarean birth route. The outcome for both was positive births. Both expressing how much they felt hypnobirthing had supported that outcome. Coincidentally these women both gave birth on the same day.

As part of my teaching I will always encourage expectant parents to think about the unexpected within their birth proposals. So in the eventuality of a caesarean they have their wishes respected from their birth proposal. This way should their birth go down that route they feel they still had a positive birth outcome. Having what was important to them. For example – skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, the drip not in their dominant hand. Its often that clients say to me they wouldn’t have even considered what they would want if they had a caesarean.

Client testimonial – low risk to high risk

One of my clients, who I started working with in February of this year opted to do a hypnobirthing course due to her fear of birth. She’d been recommended to me by friends that I’d also taught. It’s always lovely to receive recommendations.

After our first session together Ali sent me a lovely message expressing how she felt so much more relaxed even after just one session. This was music to my ears. We had four successful sessions together ending in April. Our last session together felt very emotional for me as the change i’d seen in Ali was amazing. Gone from being fearful to excited about birth.

I had a call from Ali and her husband as she’d gone from a low risk women hoping to use the birth centre to developing a rare form of pre-eclampsia. A rare form develops in around 1-2% of women. It had been decided the next day she would be induced. We spoke about how the hypnobirthing would help keep her relaxed, trust her body. Reminding them both of the techniques to use that we had practised during the sessions.

I waited the next day in anticipation of hearing any news of babies arrival and it came that afternoon. Due to my Ali’s platelet levels continuing to drop after our call the evening before it had been decided a caesarean was required. She’d given birth to a beautiful baby girl. With permission to share these are her words about her birth.

‘Hi Ali, I am still in hospital as I developed a rare form of pre eclampsia last Tuesday resulting in the c section. Our baby is perfect and just lovely so I hope I can get well enough to get us both home soon! 

Although the c-section was stressful we actually found it all so calm – I’m sure due to hypno. Since then I’ve had a lot of hospital stuff happen which I would’ve usually been scared about but have taken in my stride. Again I’m sure due to feeling relaxed and in control. It’s a shame I can’t use it to treat my condition!

Thank you for your time and the course and, although a hypno water birth was furthest from what actually happened, I think having spent months visualling meeting my baby – it made the whole experience really positive.

Interestingly several midwives came to see me regarding the birth. They had all read my hypnobirthing birth plan and thought I may be very disappointed/get the baby blues as it wasn’t what I wanted. I actually feel really happy about Lexie’s birth and so proud of myself- regardless of the way she arrived. I think hypnobirthing has just made me believe that I grew a healthy baby, my body did the best it could and in the end there was no alternative.

Ali’s words in her final paragraph are so poignant as she feels proud of herself and happy with the birth outcome. This is what hypnobirthing teaching is all about positive birth experiences.

Client testimonial – breech position

I started working with Louise at 36 weeks. Louise was considered high risk throughout her pregnancy having gestational diabetes being one of the reasons. As she was high risk she was unable to use the natural birth centre at her local maternity unit West Middlesex Hospital.

Louise still wanted to have the most natural approach to her birth regardless of the interventions she knew she was highly likely to come up against due to medical reasons. She knew about hypnobirthing from her sister and wanted to incorporate it into her birth. We spoke at length about how hypnobirthing can be successfully used for induction and caesarean. I wanted Louise & Edd to feel as prepared as possible for either of these birth outcomes therefore tailoring the course for their needs.

Due to the baby being in breech presentation and Louise knowing due to her circumstances that it wasn’t advisable for her to go beyond 40 weeks in her pregnancy Louise had elected to have an ECV (external cephalic version) at 37 weeks. This is to try and turn the baby into a head down position. We spoke how the breath work, visualisations and relaxations could help Louise during this procedure.

Louise had also been trying all the recommended natural approaches too. Moxibustion, accupuncture, yoga, exercises, inversions and now her hypnobirthing techniques. Babies will choose the best position for them. So for some being in a breech position is the right position.

Thankfully West Middlesex were able to support Louise with their caseloading Daisy team midwifes. Caseloading means they aim to provide care with the same midwife throughout a woman’s pregnancy – pre and post natally. Evidence shows that women who have consistency of care during pregnancy have more positive birth experiences. Therefore this team were able to support Louise through her choices and reassure her.

After the ECV at 37 weeks didn’t work, Louise was booked in at 38.5 weeks to repeat the procedure. This time if the procedure worked she would then be induced or taken in for a caesarean. I had spoken to Louise before her ECV so i awaited her news. I was delighted when I received news of her beautiful baby boy arriving. With permission to share her words and wonderful photograph.

‘Introducing our baby boy, who arrived yesterday morning. Determined to enter the world bottom-first, he was born via elective c-section which was a very relaxed affair. He was born at 38.5 weeks and weighs in at 8lb 7oz so I think he is fully cooked. We’re all pretty tired but he seems quite chilled about life so far. He is amazing! Xx

This photo pretty much sums up the c-section vibe. Your support and advice was central to making it this way, thank you so much! Xx’

The imagine Louise sent me and is featured on this blog spoke a thousand words. This family looked completely relaxed having skin to skin. Not stressed, anxious or upset by the birth outcome. Such a positive birth experience even though it wasn’t they way Louise had originally imagined it to be. Given Louise and I met at 36 weeks she then had her baby at 38.5 weeks. Within 2.5 weeks her mindset had changed about how birth could be.

There is also another beautiful picture of Edd having skin to skin posted by the Daisy team.

Interested in booking a hypnobirthing course? What to know more?

I offer weekend group courses at The Heart, Twickenham as well as evening weekday courses at Gymboree, St Margaret’s.

I teach private hypnobirthing courses in Barnes, Cobham, Hampton, Isleworth, Kew, Kingston, Richmond, St Margaret’s, Surbiton, Sunbury, Teddington, Twickenham, Walton, Whitton and surrounding areas.

Pregnant at the same time as a good friend? I offer the regular group course price of £295 for 2 or more couples but in the comfort of your own home.

So to find out more about hypnobirthing  or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – I’d love to hear from you.

Follow me via my blog,  FacebookInstagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

Can Hypnobirthing be used for a Caesarean?

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