How to have a Positive KGHypnobirthing C-Section
KGHypnobirthing (KGH) can turn a scary and clinical experience into a safe and empowering one – knowing how to have a calm, confident and informed c-section experience allows you to feel some of the benefits of a natural birth and have a positive birth experience, even if your birth takes an unexpected turn.
I have been told I need to have a caesarean, who can I talk to?
- Senior midwife in the hospital
- Independent Midwife
What is a gentle or natural caesarean (cesarean)?
Creating the atmosphere to give birth to your baby in a peaceful and relaxed environment is at the centre of this type of caesarean. A gentle caesarean aims to create many aspects of a natural birth, and this can be included in your birth plan. What you learn during a KGHypnobirthing course is very relevant for you if you need to have a c-section and you will most definitely be able to use some, if not all, of your KGHypnobirthing tools in the operating theatre.
If you need or elect to have a caesarean section you can still have as close to a ‘natural’ birth as you want in terms of feeling calm, relaxed, in control and informed using Hypnobirthing techniques, tips and advice on how to personalise your experience.
What about Oxytocin?
Oxytocin is the star of the show so to speak, and the amount you produce in labour dictates the strength, length and frequency of your surges (contractions), which is essential for a natural birth - but how does it support you when you are having a c- section?
- By using your ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ birth breathing with your birth visualisations, you can send a surge of calming hormones throughout your body at a time when your baby needs it the most.
- Your birth breathing will negate the impact of cortisol and adrenaline produced when you are in the fear mode, allowing your body to relax and let go of any fear or stress.
- With your muscles relaxing, you will find it easier to accept a potentially uncomfortable medical treatment such as a spinal block / IV line.
Am I allowed to have a natural c-section?
It is your right to explore ‘natural’ options in theatre to support your body and mind to produce the same happy feel good hormones as you would expect to produce during a calm Hypnobirthing birth. If you need more support about your rights we recommend you contact AIMS, an independant organization supporting women in pregnancy and childbirth.
How to have a natural c-section Hypnobirth:
There are a number of ways to emulate a natural KGHypnobirth in theatre and we recommend the following ideas:
- KGHypnobirthing affirmations / scripts:
Most theatres have CD players / ipod docs and speakers which you can plug your own ipod / ipad into so that you start listening to your KGHypnobirthing MP3 as soon as you enter the room. Alternatively you can of course bring your own ipod with earplugs. Check to see if the hospital has their own speakers or if you need to bring your own. If you bring your own then you’ll need to ask what their protocol is as some hospital trusts require you to bring it in for safety testing or other variations of this.
- Photos / affirmations cards:
Unlike hospital or home, you cannot bring your own pillow or blanket into the delivery room for hygiene reasons but you can ask your birth partner to bring in your affirmations or affirmation cards, read from one of your favourite KGHypnobirthing scripts or have photos of your children or opening rose buds, whichever it is that works for your mind/body connection. These tools will support your mind in focusing on being calm and relaxed instead of worrying about what is going on behind the screen.
- Essential Oils:
Essential oil of lavender can calm you before the operation and aid your recovery.
- Cutting the cord:
Even with a caesarean birth it can be beneficial to the baby to wait before clamping and cutting the cord. You will learn about all of this on your KGH course and can discuss it with your midwife or obstetrician and include it in your birth plan.
- Skin to Skin:
This period immediately after birth is recognised as important for bonding of both mother and baby. In most hospitals, the baby is immediately passed to the mother after a caesarean (cesarean) and skin-to-skin contact is standard. Make sure this happens in your hospital.
Instead of the monitors being placed on the chest or fingers, you can ask for them to be placed on the side of the chest or the toes so that the wires do not interfere with holding your baby.
- Low lights:
It is possible to dim the lights in the mother’s part of the theatre so that the baby does not have the shock of the bright lights when it arrives in the world.
- Initial tests:
Whilst your baby is having the initial tests, you can ask that they stay with you rather than routinely being taken away.
- Lowering the screen:
You may wish to watch your baby being born – if so, include it in your birth plan, and make sure your care-givers are aware of this.
The KGH techniques are useful during recovery as well and, if you are calm and relaxed, the hormones produced in labour can aid recovery and help to establish breastfeeding.
If you find yourself in the position where a caesarean (cesarean) is needed, then you can be confident that the KGHypnobirthing techniques are also beneficial in the operating theatre and can give your baby a positive start in life.
Every woman who has attended the KGH course and then gone on to need a caesarean has invariably said that she was so glad that she did the course as it made such a difference to her experience of giving birth.
Cesarean Birth - Your Questions Answered
Author: Debbie Chippington Derrick, Gina Lowdon and Fiona Barlow
This book answers the questions that women who are planning or have had a caesarean frequently ask. It provide a woman centre practical guide and includes quotes from women.
Your Baby's Caesarean Birth CD/MP3
By Katharine Graves
This natural caesarean audio helps you prepare for a caesarean birth so that you experience your baby’s arrival as a positive and happy event. Available in CD or MP3 format.
Cesarean Hypnobirthing Stories
Chloe Lambert describes her KGHypnobirthing experience in The Daily Telegraph:
"On a cold, cloudy Saturday morning last December, my daughter was born. All things considered, it wasn’t the most fun of evenings - ending, as dawn broke after three days in hospital, in an emergency Caesarean section. Holding my sleeping baby in my arms, her tiny chest rising and falling against mine, I was wheeled out of the theatre, exhausted, bruised, but so happy I thought my heart would burst...."
"Hypnobirthing meant even though my birth wasn't 'normal', it still felt special." Read the story here.
We have a collection of cesarean birth stories here.