Posts Tagged :

caesarean

An Empowering Hypnobirth

Welcome to the World Arthur – An Empowering Hypnobirth

I’ve wanted to share this empowering hypnobirth story that Emma sent me for weeks! Unfortunately a house move and a holiday got in the way. I did take the laptop to Portugal in hope that i’d get some work done. Who was I fooling with a 3.5 year old and 6 month old. The laptop didn’t even get open. So finally on this sunny Sunday morning I’ve got to share it with you. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Teaching Emma & Tom was such a pleasure and i’m so pleased I got to meet Emma through hosting courses at Gymboree in St Margarets.

Emma & Tom’s Hypnobirth Story

I still can’t believe that Arthur is here, in my arms and feeding as I write this. 7th of August 2018 marked a turning point in my life as it took me from being a woman, to a woman with a birth story and the moment our family was complete. I have two wonderful children already from my partner’s previous relationship so I was no stranger to family life with young children but being able to experience pregnancy and birth is something I will never forget.

Happy New Year!

When Tom and I found out we were pregnant on New Year’s Day we embraced every moment of it. We shared the news with our children, Georgia and William straight away and with close friends and family. Although some found this to be taboo since we did not wait until the ‘12 week mark’, we wanted to share the news and chose to remain positive and enjoy every minute.

I was extremely lucky and had an amazing pregnancy. I loved everything about being pregnant. However, I was always concerned about how I would be during the birth.

I met Ali through my job and found her to be such an upbeat and genuine person. I had heard positive Hypnobirthing stories from others I knew and when I found out that Ali offered courses I jumped at the chance to join hers!

Tom and I only ended up attending two out of the three sessions since Arthur came a month early. This was enough to help me through my birthing experience. Turning a dreaded induction and c-section into a positive birthing story. One that I love sharing as to be honest I just feel like I never hear enough of them. So here’s mine.

35 Weeks Pregnant

My waters broke at 35 weeks and I was kept in hospital for three days before they decided to induce me as nothing had started on its own accord. Since my plan for birth was at the birthing centre and ideally with use of the birthing pool, I quickly came to realise that none of this was going to happen. Ordinarily this would have left me anxious, disappointed and stressed, but the techniques I learned during my Hypnobirthing course helped me stay calm and relaxed and let my body do what it had to.

Using hypnobirthing techniques for an induction

At 10am on the Monday they started the induction process with the gel, by 6pm still nothing had progressed. The whole time I kept using the relaxations I had learned. Tom encouraged me to use breathing techniques to stay calm and manage any discomfort I was having during examinations. The relaxations, breathing and staying active definitely helped me. The midwives could see surges showing on the monitor but I was not in any discomfort. I was finally induced by the drip at 9pm. The hours went by and the drip increased and still our little Arthur was showing no signs of making an appearance. However, understanding the miracle of birth in more detail through the Hypnobirthing sessions, kept me extremely positive and happy to do what I needed. My only requirement was that I did not want an epidural and I can happily say that I got my wish. At 3am I was stung by a wasp in the delivery room too, just to add to it all!

Making an informed decision

With nothing happening after being examined and the rest of my waters being broken, at fourteen hours and only 1cm dilated, Tom and I decided a c-section was the only way we were going to meet our son.

The thought of this during my pregnancy filled me with dread. How would I be able to cope after? Would I be left with an ugly scar? I wouldn’t have a natural birth! However, in the delivery room I felt empowered and nothing was going to phase me. Hypnobirthing gave me the strength to ask the right questions, make the right decisions for me and still feel in control, even though I didn’t deliver the natural way and the way I wanted.

The experience in theatre was like no other. An amazing, positive memory will always be with me as our son Arthur was finally born at 36 weeks. We are so lucky to have him here.

Three weeks later, I am up on my feet like normal, over the moon and enjoying everything about my amazing family.

Still wondering if hypnobirthing only works for a natural birth?

I hope this lovely birth story reconfirms that it’s 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 as Emma & Tom did. 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 and have an hypnobirth.

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. If your birth did mean a caesarean was recommended as it was in this case 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.

Want to hypnobirth? Interested in booking a hypnobirthing course?

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 and around London. Including 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 £295 group course price 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

An empowering hypnobirth

A Magical C-Section Birth Story

A very magical c-section birth story

I recently blogged about using hypnobirthing techniques for a c-section births. How we can apply all we learn for all birth scenarios. Sharing how two clients had recently used their techniques for a c-section.

Louise, who I spoke about in this blog kindly shared her birth story with me to add to the blog. It was so beautiful it deserved its own post. So here it is in all is gorgeous glory.

I hope it empowers other women to believe they can also achieve a positive birth from a birth scenario they initially didn’t envisage.

The birth of Stanley

The arrival of our son Stanley marked the end of a very challenging five years for Edd and me. It took us 16 months to conceive, which sadly ended in miscarriage. I then needed a D&C operation which unfortunately caused Asherman’s Syndrome, a condition where the uterus walls stick together. It took two surgeries to repair. Due to the trauma to my uterus I then had four further miscarriages. The whole process was physically and emotionally draining, and took its toll on our lives for a long time.

So Stanley was extremely precious cargo. In the main the pregnancy was straightforward; we had more scans than I can remember. So while we were extremely nervous we had regular reassurance that all was well.

The birth we wanted vs the birth we needed

There were some additional risks around the birth associated with Asherman’s, and I also developed Gestational Diabetes, so we knew we would be delivering on labour ward. I made my peace with this early on: Stanley’s safety was the most important thing. However, he settled into breech position (bottom-down) from about 30 weeks and refused to budge, no matter how often I hung upside down off the sofa.

As the diabetes meant I was to be induced early, a breech birth meant a c-section was the safest option (or so we decided after looking at all the facts). This was something I had not considered. The medicalised environment of the operating theatre felt worlds away from the natural birth I had hoped for.

Hypnobirthing

I had done some Hypnobirthing with my sister when she was preparing for birth, and decided on a refresher with Ali from Hypnobirthing Mumma. Hypnobirthing is designed to empower parents to make their own decisions. This can seem to be entirely anti-intervention. I was reassured that Ali was prepared to apply the principles to our individual situation, accepting that it would not be a ‘natural’ birth. Ali made several suggestions for inclusions on my birth plan that would create the environment we wanted even in theatre. This was a real turning point for me as I felt I had some control, and could shape the experience to be as relaxed as possible.

Prep before birth

Edd read the Hypnobirthing scripts to me every night for the fortnight before our scheduled date. I listened to mp3s in the day when I had a nap. I also did yoga most days with a 10 minute mindfulness relaxation at the end. All from a pregnancy yoga DVD that I had followed throughout my pregnancy. My Gestational Diabetes meant I had to walk for 15-20 mins after lunch and dinner to help control my blood sugar, which also helped me physically and mentally. Over the two weeks I felt myself becoming so much calmer and more relaxed in myself, and in how I responded to the occasional challenges of everyday life.

Birth plan

I wanted to have skin to skin and to breastfeed immediately. So we chose to have ECG dots on my back and my gown open loosely at the top. We asked for chatter to be kept to a minimum so I could focus on my breathing and relaxation techniques. We made a playlist of meaningful songs to us and had that playing. They even dimmed the lights around my head. Our midwife was extremely supportive, and took the plan to brief the team. We were very lucky that the staff at West Middlesex Hospital were very respectful of our wishes.

Birth day

We arrived at hospital at 7am and were prepped for theatre. We were lucky enough to be first, and walked into theatre. I sat on the table as they inserted the spinal and then lay down. Feeling the warmth of the anaesthetic flood through my toes and legs. I always have cold feet so this was quite nice! I was even pretty relaxed during this due to doing Hypnobirthing scripts in advance and I was generally able to bring about a state of calm when I needed to.

Our baby was breech so they tried to turn him first. Had this been successful we would have gone for an induction instead of the c-section, but he was very comfortable where he was. I had been harbouring some hopes. This was my last chance for a vaginal delivery – but I was prepared for either eventuality and the thought of meeting our son in minutes rather than hours was suddenly very exciting.

Edd sat at my head and we listened to the beginning of our playlist, together getting very emotional that we were about to meet our baby after a five year journey. All the heartache of that time seemed at once so close, and yet about to come to an end in the most wonderful way. I barely felt anything, the occasional prickle but not much tugging and pulling as I had been prepared for. I saw our midwife preparing to lower the drapes so we could see our baby born, and felt even more like one of the most important moments of our lives was about to happen.

They birthed the legs and then lowered the drapes so we could see our baby born. I don’t clearly remember the moment he emerged but I do remember seeing his head and face for the first time, held aloft by the surgeon, elongated due to the breech position and covered in vernix, looking a bit like an alien (as I exclaimed at the time). They put him on my chest and I felt his hot, damp little body next to mine, skin to skin. I had spent so long imagining what he would look like. What combination of Edd and my features – but I hadn’t expected to be so overwhelmed by how beautiful he was. After a few moments they took him to one side to encourage his breathing as it was a little slow, and Edd kept an eye on what was happening to reassure me. After a minute or so we heard that first cry, and he was brought back to me. I fed him then and there, tucked into my hospital gown. The three of us spent the rest of the time in theatre together, his soppy parents unable to take our eyes off him.

There was only one time I felt anything during the c-section, when they delivered the placenta, but I was so focused on Stanley that it didn’t bother me. After what seemed like no time at all they had finished and I was taken to recovery.

My ideal birth would have been at home, in water. Due to all our complications I made my peace early on with a hospital birth, but there was a time when a c-section seemed furthest from the peaceful, active birth I had hoped for. Hypnobirthing helped me challenge the expectation that I would have no control. The supportive attitude of the staff at West Middlesex Hospital meant I was confident that our wishes would be honoured. The result was the most magical birth I could have hoped for. The end of one long journey in a place of peace and positivity for our new journey as a family.

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 and around London. Including 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 £295 group course price 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? A Magical C-Section Birth Story

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?