Hypnobirthing for Caesarean? YES! by Maxine Da Silva
“Was it worth it since you ended up having a caesarean?" "Do you need hypnobirthing? You're having a caesarean!" I've been asked several times in the past about whether hypnobirthing is relevant or helpful for a mum having a caesarean and my answer is always yes. YES!
ALL birth needs care, attention and preparation
It's a common misconception that hypnobirthing is just a bunch of breathing and relaxation techniques for labour. It is that, but it is also so much more. It is a complete antenatal education comprising the physiology of birth, tools and techniques to encourage relaxation and positive suggestion and reframing of our perceived notions of birth as a society. It is also guidance on the statistics surrounding birth choices and options as well as tools to help navigate your choices surrounding your birth options.
For those reasons, it can benefit couples who are planning a caesarean and want to feel calm and confident for the day. It can give them the tools to be able to plan and prioritise what they deem important and talk this through with her chosen care providers. They can learn about their options and potentially discover things about a planned caesarean that they may not have been informed about without seeking education around it (gentle caesareans, skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and so on).
Likewise, the couple who are planning a natural birth can find it beneficial to receive information about caesarean and how to navigate the changes that can unfold during labour. Birth is not always a straightforward path and, for some, just having the information and tools they have been taught can help them to be able to feel informed and relaxed should their circumstances change. It can be the difference between their birth experiences leaving them feeling empowered or potentially disappointed.
Whenever I work with couples, I encourage them to write multiple birth plans - one for home (if they're considering a home birth), one for the hospital and one for a caesarean. This way it can help them, as a couple, prioritise what they deem to be the most important factors regarding their birth within any given situation. It's a useful tool to help them visualise what different scenarios may look and feel like and what choices are the most important for them.
Sharing the information, tools and relaxations with people on their journey to birth and parenthood can be so beneficial:
It can help mothers to feel empowered and knowledgeable about their choices and how to navigate the ever changing path that birth can take.
It can ensure that they have educated themselves about birth and are able to make informed decisions that weigh up the benefits, risks and alternatives in any given situation prior to, during and after the birth.
It can help them to feel calm and confident about birth which in turn can make them feel more positive about their experience regardless of how the birth unfolds, because they were in control of the situation.
It can put them in a place which ensures that they are respected and treated as individuals within a system that sometimes forgets that this is a one time deal for these parents - they don't get to redo this birth.
It can make them feel like they've dedicated time to nurturing themselves during this pregnancy, labour and birth.
Ultimately, hypnobirthing is useful in any birth as it can make such a fundamental difference to how empowered a couple feels during their birth experience. I want you to look back and think, 'the work we did in preparing for this birth helped'. I want you to feel positive about it.
If you would like to find out more about hypnobirthing and how it can benefit you please browse the website or you can pop me an email at email@example.com. I’m also on instagram if you’d like to follow what I get up to: @max_zenbirth
Maxine Da Silva is a ZenBirth antenatal instructor and hypnobirthing practitioner based in North Kent, as well as being an NCT-trained breastfeeding peer supporter and baby-wearing advocate with many years experience working with babies and toddlers.