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Caesarean Birth

Hypnotherapy can be very beneficial for caesarean birth. By using self-hypnosis and effective relaxation techniques, you can manage fears, calm your mind and make informed decisions. With a planned caesarean, we can completely personalize the whole course to you, focusing on preparing your mind for caesarean birth.

  You can still have some control over how your birth happens - during classes we can discuss lots of ways to make the birth a better experience for you and your birth partner. All of the hypnosis and hypnobirthing techniques can be used for caesarean birth - and if anything they can be even more effective in keeping you calm.

In cases of unplanned caesarean the techniques, you have gained on your birth preparation course will still be extremely effective - communication with your medical team, staying calm and effective self-hypnosis.

In fact, many people who have planned for a vaginal birth using hypnobirthing and gone on to have an emergency caesarean have still found the techniques extremely effective. 

Birth stories below shared with kind permission.

Katie & baby Luca


My first baby was breech and I ended up having a planned c section, I really wanted to try and have a natural birth second time around but I was worried about the whole experience (and pain, I'm a wimp!) and thought that hypnobirthing would help keep me relaxed and help my body do all it could to let me have a natural birth

I loved the classes, they were calm, relaxed and friendly and were a great way to take some 'me' time and relax. I really felt that the hypnobirthing element worked and I totally 'zoned out' during the sessions. I ended up with another planned c section, I was really disappointed, but the hypnobirthing still helped, it kept me calm during the section and I really felt like I recovered quicker. 

I definitely helped me to recover quicker and handle the pain post c section much better, breathing techniques etc were really useful in those first few days. 
Thank you for the experience, totally loved it, love 

Katie & Luca xxx

Rachel, Gav & baby Dafni - Bernadette

I planned to give birth at the midwife-led unit at the Friarage hospital in Northallerton. I decided on this hospital because it has a birthing pool (I REALLY wanted a water birth!) and I had heard such great reviews about how relaxed the atmosphere here was. I had decided that I wanted gas and air for pain relief and would consider meptid injection if the pain became unbearable. I in no way shape or form wanted an epidural (which is good because the Friarage does not offer it anyway.)

caesarean birth

Plan b!
Initially baby didn’t want to come on the due date and I refused induction at 41 weeks, believing that my baby would come when it was good and ready. Baby still didn’t arrive by 42 weeks. I contacted Claire as I was so scared of induction. ​Claire was super supportive and sent me some positive birth stories from other Mums who had used hypnobirthing for induced labour and was great about me contacting her for advice. She really took time to chat with me over Facebook. I decided to go for the induction - after all, at least this meant I could regain some control. However, it did mean that I couldn’t go to the Friarage and had to go to the main delivery suite at James Cook (complete opposite of what I wanted) and it also meant I couldn’t have a water birth.  
I rewrote my birth plan to include what I wanted to happen in the case of induction but also left my original plan in my notes so the midwives could see that too.

On the 7th March, My partner (Gav) and I went for lunch together and spent the afternoon at the local park to spend some quality time together and get my oxytocin levels up before attending the hospital ready for my induction. They told me that I would have to go to the induction suite rather than the ward as the ward was full. At 6pm I attended the induction suite and they gave me a pessary- I remembered some of the hypnobirthing advice from my book and the class- being relaxed and happy, making lots of oxytocin is what would help things along.

I have no idea what time it was- I made a conscious decision not to look at the time, aware that my hypnobirthing book had mentioned trying not to focus on numbers such as the time. One thing I didn’t like about the delivery room was how medical it felt- but the lights were low and my partner, Gav set up my Bluetooth speaker with relaxing light and set off my hypnobirthing soundtrack playing, which really helped.

The gas and air took the edge off the pain but the main benefit I had from it was that it helped me concentrate on my breathing! I remembered what we had been taught about labour and how being active during it would help things along- so the entire time I either stood leaning over the bed wiggling my hips or knelt on the bed. I would only lie down when I had to for examinations.

I soon started to get some pains and the midwife had obviously read my original birthing plan. I had a bath with lavender oil, I was soooo relaxed and stayed in there of over an hour . When I was examined, the midwife told me that I was dilating and they would now break my waters before taking me into a delivery room. It took a few goes for them to break my waters but the whole time I used the breathing techniques I had learned and took my mind to my special place on the beach and it was over before I knew it and I was on my way to the room. As soon as I got in there, the midwife had ran me another bath and I spent some more time relaxing, Gav was talking me through my contractions as they were getting stronger and he was helping me to count down. I knew that when I got to 15, it was halfway through the contraction and the pain would go soon.

After my bath I was examined and I had progressed to around 4cm dilation.

At some point, my first midwife’s shift ended and I had another come in- and she brought a student midwife with her. I had specifically said in my birth plan I didn’t want a student as I wanted as little disturbance during labour as possible. BUT- anyone out there who is worried about having a student present- I would say you should seriously consider the positives- I ended up having a great relationship with the student through my labour, she did amazingly well and clearly took my birthing plan and wishes seriously. She often talked me through hypnobirthing techniques and reminded me of positive affirmations when I felt I couldn’t go on.

hypnobirthing for caesarean

There was also times that the midwife and student were talking amongst themselves which meant that Gav and I could concentrate on each other and not what was going on in the room. It turned out I was the student’s first labouring lady!! I am so grateful to the two midwives- despite everything, they tried to make everything as close to my plan as possible. They massaged my back and feet with essential oils and encouraged me throughout. 
Gav encouraged me, breathed with me, held me and looked after me. Hypnobirthing gave him purpose and I didn’t feel annoyed with him once. 

Things seemed to move on quite quickly and I got to 8cm before I knew it and the midwives were placing a pillow on the floor between my legs in case baby decided to come really soon......but that’s as far as I got. I had to have an emergency C section, baby was back to back, tired and not moving on despite them hooking me up to fluids and then the hormone drip which they attached me to at around 6pm- around 24 hours after the initial admission to induction suite. When they had put me on the hormone drip, I agreed to have an epidural. After discussion with the midwives and the anaesthetist, I decided it was for the best. I was exhausted. I just kept some of this positive affirmations in my mind- it wouldn’t be long now until I could meet my baby!!
I was admitted to be induced at 18:00 on 7th March 2018- more than 24 hours later (including over 15 hours of labour) my baby was born via Caesarian section on 8th March at 19:31. A beautiful baby girl. Dafni Bernadette, 8lb 11 oz.! 
As soon as I saw her, I knew that it didn’t matter that my plans hadn’t worked but all that mattered was that she was safe and healthy. Genuinely- I can barely remember parts of the labour and had to ask Gav about parts of it while writing this, plus it really doesn’t feel like it was such a long time.
I believe without Claire’s hypnobirthing class, and the practicing we did afterwards that it would have been more traumatic, but I still feel like it was an amazing experience. For the most part, I felt in control and like I could be confident to question things that were going on and push my wishes forward.

Clare H - unplanned caesarean and total opposite to birth plan

This isn’t the fairytale labour story that everyone hopes for but your training and support were priceless. 
I just wanted to share my delivery experience and to say thank you for all the skills and techniques you taught me that allowed me to remain calm and embrace every moment. You may remember that before completing the hypnobirthing sessions my main concerns were not being able to have a water birth and having to stay in hospital a long time.
Through practicing breathing as a method of relaxation as well as distraction techniques it meant that although my main worries were realised they did not manifest themselves as concerns or stress.
My due date was 15th September and despite having 3 sweeps that date came and went. I was scheduled for an induction on 22nd and despite hearing that induced labours can be longer and more painful this didn’t phase me. I am putting the calm feelings down to the skills you taught me.

On arrival at the hospital, I was told I couldn’t be treated as a low-risk induction because my blood pressure was high enough to be of concern. That instantly dashed my hopes of a water birth but by reminding myself that the goal wasn’t the labour process it was the baby I would have at the end of it I was able to go with the flow.
After having my waters broken and being on a Syntocinon drip I started to get contractions. These were very manageable and I found concentration and controlled breathing allowed my body to progress towards labour without the need for further intervention. Having got to 14 mU/minute on the drip I found myself asking the midwife for support to use the toilet. While helping me to the loo she was surprised to learn I was yet to have any pain relief as some women are demanding drugs by 2mU/minute. She strongly suggested I have some pain relief as the artificial contractions caused my the drip would be much stronger than those if I was in labour naturally. I asked for paracetamol and was told that it would have no effect as I was past that stage. I then asked for gas and air and was told the same. The only way I believe I was able to get as far as I did was with the colour breathing you taught me. Despite the midwife believing that it was too late for gas and air I insisted that it would be enough in conjunction with the hypnosis techniques I was employing. 
I am really proud of how far I was able to get with my hypnobirthing skills and gas and air. As I wasn’t progressing and my blood pressure continued to rise to critical levels the medical intervention had to increase and I was left with no choice but to have an epidural and Caesarean. Despite these being hand in hand with my biggest worries for labour I was able to ask the right questions and remain in control of the experience. As a result of the challenging birth I had to stay in hospital for 4 days, and again I took this in my stride.
With only the hypnobirthing skills in my arsenal I genuinely believe they were solely accountable for me feeling as though my labour, delivery and recovery were positive ones. 
I now have a happy and healthy baby girl, who by the way did not suffer any stress during her birth, again I believe that my calmness as a result of the self-hypnosis was the only reason she remained so stable. 
This isn’t the fairytale labour story that everyone hopes for but your training and support were priceless.
I recommend you to anyone that will listen, thank you so much for your help. - Claire H

Kemi & baby Monroe Lennox

Although this is not the birth I would have chosen or planned I feel I handled it better than I ever could of before hypnotherapy. ​ Things did not nearly go to plan but I still feel it was a positive experience.

My waters broke at 1 am and I began having contractions by half-past. I visited hospital following midwife advice and expectedly returned home only 1cm dilated. Once at home I got wrapped up nice and warm sitting in my nursing chair using my relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques to manage my contractions. I did this until about 7 am when my contractions were very strong and frequent. 

On return to the hospital, my cervix was completely softened and thinned out the midwife said I had done really well to get to this point but unfortunately I was still 1cm but due to the frequency and intensity of the contractions they kept me in in fear that once I dilated things would progress quickly. I spent a further 8 hours with these strong contractions remaining at 1 cm, the midwives were surprised that I had not dilated as I was having regular intense contractions however they continually commented on how relaxed I was.  

Eventually reaching 3cm 4 hours later I was taken to the labour ward, at this point I did request gas and air (having already utilised 3 amazing lavender baths throughout the day) as things were beginning to take their toll, I think mostly because of the length of time. Shortly after this, I became dehydrated, observations were high and they discovered I had an infection so was placed on high dependency and given numerous drips and various other intrusive procedures.
This continued for 7-8 hours during which time I remained calm and relaxed, and continued to use my breathing and relaxation techniques and gas and air to manage the pain and distract from what was happening around me, again midwives commented on how calm I was and each new person I saw was shocked that I had not had any pain relief. 
However my labour had still not progressed and due to infection and concerns for the baby I was taken to have a c section at around 3:45 am on what was now the following day, and my beautiful little girl was born.

My partner, mother and sister (who popped in several times during the event) commented on how well I had handled such an intense and stressful situation and said themselves that they did not think I would have been the same without hypnotherapy. Even afterwards I am remaining positive knowing that I did everything I could and unfortunately sometimes things are unseen and out of our control. 
So I'd like to thank Claire for your wonderful classes and support even when you're off the clock :)"

Donna & baby Heidi Maya

Even though your labour doesn't go to plan, hypnotherapy still works! It was really a wonderful experience and I would do it all again in a heartbeat! ​My beautiful baby girl Heidi was born on May 24th (her due date). My waters broke on the 22nd and we went down to hospital to check that everything was ok and got sent back home. My contractions started through the night, I had lots of baths which helped. When we got to hospital I was 6cm and went straight through to the delivery suite. I felt really good that I had managed to get that far.
Once I was in the delivery suite, I had gas and air which really helped. I tried to use different strategies like going to a relaxed place and standing up. One thing that really helped was using the dial and visualising the pain getting weaker. This was something that I didn't even think would work and I didn't really think I would use it, but it just goes to show how much the relaxation works and how much you take in even if you fall asleep when listening to the cd!
My partner knew the right times to speak to me and for most of the time I didn't speak a word to him, apart from giving him thumbs up. The midwife was fab and she kept saying how strong my contractions were coming, however when she examined me 5 hours later I hadn't dilated any further! I did get an injection of meptid as I felt quite disheartened, but it didn't really do much. I kept going using the dial and a few hours later I was ready to push! I pushed for an hour but baby Heidi didn't want to come out!
They took me to theatre and gave me an epidural. They tried to turn her but it didn't work so I ended up having a Caesarean. 
Baby Heidi Maya was born at 00:38 weighing 7lb 9oz and was just perfect!
I can honestly say it was not distressing at all! 
Everything was so calm and I knew that everything was going to be ok and it would soon be over! I don't think I would have been so calm and relaxed of it hadn't have been for natal hypnotherapy!
Thank you Claire for the wonderful sessions, it really made the labour experience so much better than I could have imagined! Xx  

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