Can hypnobirthing help with a Cesarean delivery? – Rebecca’s story

People often think hypnobirthing can only be beneficial for natural vaginal child birth but can it help with a Cesarean delivery too? We are delighted to share Rebecca’s story with you and the huge and positive impact that hypnobirthing had on her baby’s delivery and her future plans.

Can hypnobirthing help with a Cesarean delivery-

Rebecca’s Story

I attended a Mindful Mama workshop in Nottingham when I was about 32 weeks pregnant.  Prior to the workshop I had read the book and had been listening to the hypnobirthing track every day from about 24 weeks.  I was also doing active birthing classes and tried to remain relatively healthy during my pregnancy and was still at the gym 3-4 times a week up to 40 weeks in the hope that this would help make labour a bit easier.

What I loved about the course was that it wasn’t at all how hypnobirthing is often portrayed.  A lot of people think hypnobirthing is only for those who want a home birth or that those who do it are all hippies, this wasn’t the case at all.  The tools and skills I acquired from Mindful Mamma can be utilised at any type of birth, it didn’t just promote undisturbed birth it also encouraged the use of hypnosis for birth alongside mindfulness techniques for medicalised births, such as inductions and caesareans.  This was fortunate as I soon discovered that my birth wasn’t going to go to plan.

One of my birth preferences was that I would do as much as the labour as I could at home and then go to the tranquillity of the Sanctuary Midwife Led Unit at QMC, Nottingham, where I would have a drug free water birth and intervention would be kept to a minimum.

I soon found out that baby my baby had other ideas.  Week 40 came and went as did week 41.  I was listening to my hypnosis tracks, using my birthing ball, side stepping up hills and stairs, walking and reciting my affirmations, you name it I was doing it.  Whilst on the one hand I was feeling extremely calm, relaxed and even excited about giving birth I was also aware that time was ticking before talk of induction would be raised.

I delayed induction and was monitored but after discussions with my husband and using the questions we had been taught on the course we made the decision to proceed with the induction process.

With the induction underway my husband and I did lots of walking and I started getting tightening’s.  They seemed quite intense and were coming every three of four minutes for about 5 hours.  I stayed overnight at the hospital and used a TENS machine and listened to my hypnobirthing tracks to help me relax enough to get some sleep.  When monitoring me and baby the midwives kept commenting on how well I was handling the discomfort and the fact that the baby was remaining extremely calm.

The tightening’s were intensifying but my cervix wasn’t opening I continued use breathing techniques to help,  repeated my affirmations, took a bath and my husband was brilliant talking me through my breathing and reading through the relaxations for me.

Unfortunately there was still no sign of baby and after some discussion with my husband and medical staff I decided that a C-section would be the best option.  Although this had been the last thing I thought I wanted Mindful Mama ensured I  had the knowledge and confidence to ask the questions I needed answered and enabled me to make an informed choice that I felt was right for me and my baby.

I remained focused and calm throughout the surgery.  The theatre team even commented on this, as I chatted away.  Otis Vincent Slater made his very chilled arrival into the world on Wednesday 25th November at 4:22pm weighing 7lb 14oz.  Nearly six months on one of the main things people comment on is how content and calm he seems.  I think Mindful Mama has played a big part in this as it helped me relax and stay calm not only during the birth but also throughout the pregnancy which I feel Otis benefited from.

I was so impressed by my birth experience that I have since trained as a Mindful Mamma hypnobirthing practitioner.  I think that many people feel that they have had a negative birth experience because they see birth as something that has happened to them rather than something that they have had a say in and control over.  I became a Mindful Mamma practitioner as I want more women and their birth partners to feel empowered by birth and this can be achieved by helping with creating positive mind-set through a variety of hypnobirthing and mindfulness techniques and also by giving them the tools they need to feel confident enough to ask questions that will help them make the decisions that are right for them and their baby.

I will be holding classes once a month at Acorn Natural Health Centre and also offer private classes in the comfort of your own home. To find out more visit

Positive birth affirmations (that don’t make you cringe)

A few years ago, we wrote a post about birth affirmations and how hypnobirthing suggests repeating your affirmations regularly throughout the last few months of pregnancy to prepare yourself for the safe arrival of your baby. If you find you have fears and concerns about birthing your baby, using affirmations can help to dispel these.

I found some of the affirmations made me cringe, let’s not mention the suggestion that “My cervix is like a rosebud, ready to open” but I have revisited some of the positive birth affirmations that assisted me and that I was comfortable saying out loud.

Positive birth affirmations that don't make you cringe

I trust my body to grow my baby, and I trust my body to birth my baby.

I feel confident. I feel safe. I feel secure.

My baby is healthy and innately knows when to begin labor.

I am proud of my body and I trust it to birth my baby.

Every contraction brings me closer to our baby.

The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is you.

My mind has released all fears and trusts birth.

Birth is safe for me and my baby.

This is what my body was designed for and my body knows how to give birth.


We previously said that choosing the right affirmation for you is what will make them work. It is good to choose the ones that you are comfortable with, or write your own but whichever ones you choose, you just need to believe in them.




Self taught hypnobirthing – Jenni’s story

We often hear stories about hypnobirthing classes but what about self taught hypnobirthing, is it as effective? We are therefore delighted to share Jenni’s story about her experience of hypnobirthing during her pregnancy and birth of baby Lucas.

Can you teach yourself hypnobirthing

When I was pregnant I was adamant that I didn’t want any pain relief during labour, including gas and air. I wanted to be at the birth fully without medications impairing my mind. I also wanted to have a water birth in a maternity unit. To prepare myself I listened to hypnobirthing cds whilst I fell to sleep at night, joined an aquanatal class and prenatal yoga.

Both the aquanatal and pre natal yoga helped to increase strength and stamina needed for carrying the extra weight and for when I went into labour. They also helped the flexibility of muscles that become weaker during pregnancy. The poses during yoga released my tension and any anxiety I was feeling. The breathing exercises also transferred into helping throughout labour. The yoga class also involved sound work and massage which relieved tension and aches as well as preparing for labour. Aquanatal exercises really helped with my pelvic floor muscles.

I looked into local hypnobirthing classes but there was no way I was going to pay the ridiculous amount they were asking and also due to my job I may have had to miss some due to my shifts. I downloaded a couple of apps but didn’t think much of them. In the end I purchased a set of 3 CDs from for just under £20.  CD 1 ‘Relaxation for a Gentle Birth – Colour and Calmness’ helps you prepare for birth and give you optimism and a positive outlook. CD 2 ‘Fear Release before Birth – Confidence and Power’ shows you how to release your fears and achieve the birth that you want. CD 3 ‘More Relaxations for a Natural Birth – Peace and Relaxation’ gives you four further deep relaxations for variety. I think the idea of CDs is to listen to them and meditate during the day as well as putting them on at bedtime but I only used them in bed. I fell to sleep to one each night and if I woke during the night which happened often in the third trimester I would pop it back on to relax me back into slumber land. I can still remember me lying in bed, letting go of any fears and imagining my cervix (sorry for over sharing) opening easily as that is exactly what the female body was made to do. I have a rubbish memory so the CD obviously had an impact as that is pretty much what it said.

As we got nearer to the due date and Lucas wasn’t showing any signs of making a move my midwife offered me a sweep. As I didn’t really want any interference I declined it. Once I got to 41 weeks I knew I had to say yes so I had a sweep but nothing  happened. At this point my anxiety was increasing, I was begging Lucas to get moving and I was crying in panic over the thought of being induced and having to go to a different hospital that I had planned on.

2 days before I got to 42 weeks, I was induced (Feb 14th, Happy Valentines Day) in a hospital I didn’t want to be in. I stayed overnight without D as it wasn’t a maternity unit.  D returned in the morning and my labour pains started to increase. I was vomitting every time I tried to eat or drink. I think D would agree that I wasn’t in the best of moods. At about 3pm my waters broke naturally and we were taken up to the labour unit. Luckily the birthing pool was free and I was offered it. This turned my labour around. The little plan I had in my head throughout pregnancy was coming together. I took CD 3 with me, planning on using it during labour but I ended up being quite happy with Smooth FM so I didn’t ask the midwife to put it on. I loved the pool and I loved our midwives (1 qualified and 1 student). The midwives kind of left D and I to it, just checking on us, which was exactly what I wanted. The water relaxed me so much, the midwife put the gas and air next to the pool in case I decided to have some. I loved that the pool helped me feel weightless, the water relaxed me more and I could freely move when I wanted to. I’m happy to say that I didn’t have any pain relief, including gas and air. Lucas was born naturally at 5.40pm and I put that down to the preparation during pregnancy. The breathing exercises I learnt in yoga, the exercises to prepare my body in aqua and the positive thinking from my CDs. I am not going to say it didn’t hurt but it was an incredibly amazing experience.

Jenni blogs all about her family adventures over at if you want to hear more.

The alternative maternity bag checklist

We have all seen the essential hospital bag checklists but no maternity bag list of necessities would be complete without with a few special  things that mums would REALLY like to help them keep sane.

The alternative maternity bag checklist

Hypnobirthing music – If you are planning a relaxing hypno birth then your relaxation music is a must. It will include all those triggers that you need to get yourself into a calm and relaxed state to welcome the new arrival of your baby.

A sweet treat – Usually after birth you are given a cup of tea and some toast, so get some chocolate or your favourite treat to reward yourself for all your hard work after labour!

Notebook – A personally created notebook for writing important things down like times of feeds, or just for the general information that nurses and midwives share with you. It will not only be useful but will in later years become a treasured item. Pen and paper may become essential if you need to produce lists for bewildered family members, for all the things that you didn’t think you would need.

Fairy lights – white Christmas lights, or stand alone baby nightlights, can turn out to be your favourite thing. Hospital lights can be very harsh. If it is possible to turn them off you may benefit from using the ambient light from your lights making everything more peaceful and dreamy – perfect for that first nights sleep!

A picture perfect pack – Happy mum and baby photos are an inevitable must. A travel hair brush, dry shampoo and a shiny lip balm can help any new mum to her feel more human for when guests arrive. Hair ties can also help after being in a hospital bed for hours, so moms can tie away the mess. There is no better feeling like waking up the next day as a new mother, then showering, and putting on some easy makeup to get ready for doting guests.

Special siblings – If it is not your first baby then it might be a nice idea to pack a present for the new baby to give their older brother or sister. It is a bonding experience if your children are going to meet in the hospital for the first time, it is easier to pack something nice before the birth than have someone else rush around afterwards for you.

New mum memory makers – You will most likely not feel up to savouring the memories of the birth, but later on you may wish that you (or your family around you), have documented some of the experiences. Take chargers for the camera on your phone. A baby book can be started as you mean to go on.

Bespoke pain relief. – Alongside the hospital recommended pain relief , a hot water bottle can be a help to soothing a backache during contractions, and if has been personalised for you with a special cover, it can be surprisingly great for effective pain relief. Long BBQ tongs can also be a useful addition if you can fit them in your bag especially after a caesarean, as bending down to pick up things can be a painful task.

Essential oils – Witch hazel or lavender can be sprinkled on the maternity towels that new mums need as they can be used to help sooth and calm after the birth. Witch Hazel gel is extra useful for smearing on pads and can ease in soothing stitches and also be used for hormonal skin post birth. These can be teamed with IOU massage gift cards from caring partners.

Lastly, a do not disturb sign may be very useful in some shared hospital bathrooms!

Would you add anything to the list?