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.
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 http://www.mindfulmamma.co.uk/rebecca-slater-ilkeston-heanor-and-surrounding-areas/