Is there room for hypnobirthing in a caesarean birth?
April is Caesarean Awareness Month, so I thought it would be timely to address an assumption that is often made about hypnobirthing – that it can’t ‘work’ or be used for C-Section births. In short, this is simply not true.
Hypnobirthing is not a pain-relief method just for natural births – it is for all births – I’ve said this a lot and I really truly mean it! We are incredibly lucky that we have C-sections as an option to us in if we choose it or need it unexpectedly. So, how can you use hypnobirthing for a Caesarean birth?
Understanding the process of birth and birth options – attending a hypnobirthing antenatal course will provide you with a good understanding of birth physiology, the maternity system and your choices. As the saying goes, knowledge is power – knowing what’s going to happen and how you want your care to look is incredibly empowering. After all, this is your body, your baby, your birth.
Being prepared for Plan A and Plan B – whether you chose to have a C-section, or you require one during the process of your birth, a hypnobirthing approach will give you the space to prepare for all eventualities. You’ll spend time thinking about how you might want your C-section to look (however it may arise). Options you might consider include what’s known as a ‘gentle’ or ‘natural’ C-section, where steps are taken to create a peaceful, relaxed environment and incorporate things such as allowing the baby to partly emerge from the womb itself, delayed cord clamping, lowering or clean screens, and immediate skin to skin.
Feeling confident and calm – through a hypnobirthing course you will practice a number of techniques to support your relaxation, helping you to feel safe and calm in birth. These tools include breathing techniques, affirmations and relaxation scripts. All three of these can be used ahead of or during a C-section and can be supported by your partner. These will help you remain calm, relaxed and positive.
A hypnobirthing approach can support a positive and empowered birth experience even in a medicalised, clinical and for some scary environment. However, or wherever you choose to birth – you’ve got this – you can do it. Remember – all birth is amazing.