Using hypnobirthing for a c-section
A c-section is where your baby is born abdominally, using surgery a cut is made through the belly and womb. A caesarean is a major operation that carries a number of risks, so it’s usually only done if it’s the safest option for you and your baby. That said they are also very common, around one in 4 births in the UK are via c-section.
Most people think that hypnobirthing is for calm, natural births. So can you use hypnobirthing for a c-section? Yes! Hypnobirthing is for all types of births, and can be especially useful for medicalised births. The techniques of hypnobirthing are fully adaptable, plus they can help you in stressful situations. Hypnobirthing can help you stay calm and have some control over how your birth goes. Here are some of the ways that you can use hypnobirthing for a c-section.
1. Bonding with your baby
Hypnobirthing techniques need dedicated time to practice, which means you need to dedicate some time to your pregnancy and baby. This can help with bonding before your baby is even born. By preparing for a calm and happy birth, no matter how that happens, you can relax during pregnancy. Reducing stress and anxiety during pregnancy can also help with boding with your baby.
2. Becoming a team with your birth partner
During a c-section it can be tempting to let the medical team be in control, but your birth partner can still play a very active role in your birth. Going over your options for birth with your birth partner can help you become a team, help them to feel more involved in the pregnancy and birth as well as them knowing how best to help you during birth.
3. Using your hormones
Hormones play a vital role in how your birth goes. During any type of birth you need lots of oxytocin in your body. This magical hormone keeps you feeling safe and happy. You can increase this hormone during a c-section with some calming breaths, some reassurance from your birth partner and getting in the ‘hypno’ zone. Using hypnobirthing for a c-section can also reduce your adrenaline, the hormone of stress and anxiety.
4. Focus on the breath
Slow steady hypnobirthing breathing techniques can help to regulate your nervous system and keep you calm. The ‘Up’ breath and ‘golden thread breath’ can both work really well as part of hypnobirthing for a c-section (or caesarean). You can use slow steady breaths in the lead up to birth, whilst having your spinal fitted and during the birth. One of the great things about a caesarean birth is that your heart rate will be monitored and you might see your heart rate lowering as you practice your breathing techniques!
5. Pick your tunes
During your c-section using music or hypnobirthing relaxations can be a great way to set the tone and atmosphere for your baby’s birth. What do you want playing during this huge life event? This will be the soundtrack for your birth! Maybe make a playlist with your birth partner during pregnancy as part of your birth prep, or listen to some hypnobirthing meditations in pregnancy and during your birth. If you want a meditation track of hypnobirthing for a c-section you can download one here. (All of my tracks are included with a hypnobirthing course booking or can be bought separately)
6. Remove the fear of the Un-known
Having a c-section can be very daunting – it is major surgery with a lot involved. Maybe you are anxious about how safe it is or you are worried about the recovery. A big Part of hypnobirthing is birth prep and education, by learning what happens during a c-section you can feel informed and remove the fear of the unknown. Hopefully leaving you feeling calm and ready for birth.
7. The golden hour
The golden hour is the period of time after birth where your baby is held by you and post birth checks are done later. Most people associate this with natural births, but the golden hour can still usually happen after a c-section birth and can include:
- Delayed cord clamping
- Skin to skin with baby
- Baby is born slowly and gently (pulled gently out of the womb)
As you can see there are lots of ways that hypnobirthing can be used for a caesarean birth. On my full hypnobirthing course I go over c-sections in detail so that you can feel prepared for birth no matter how it happens. (To find out more about my group hypnobirthing class in Dartford click here.) If you are having a planned or elective c-section, I offer a three hour hypnobirthing for c-sections course, you can find out more here.