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In this blog post, our friends at The Positive Birth Company explain how hypnobirthing can be beneficial for all births (yes, even caesarean births like I had with Etta & Uma).

Let’s start by explaining what hypnobirthing actually is. Hypnobirthing is a logical approach to childbirth - think of it as a science lesson and mindfulness practice in one. It’s a fully comprehensive program of antenatal education, which is scientific and evidence-based. It will leave you feeling calm, confident, and excited about your birth. “Is hypnobirthing for me?” you might be thinking, and the answer is yes! Hypnobirthing can be used for every type of person and for every type of birth. 

You learn about birth physiology, how your body works on a muscular and hormonal level, and what you can do to help make your birth easier, quicker and more comfortable. You’ll learn why it's so important to be relaxed, and how to achieve this, so your body can work comfortably as it's designed to, allowing you to navigate your birth (no matter how it pans out) feeling calm and most importantly, in control.You’ll also learn about induction and caesarean births, as well as other interventions which may be offered to you. 

One of the most important things you’ll learn in hypnobirthing is the B.R.A.I.N decision making framework. This handy little acronym will help you decide if any interventions offered to you are right for you and your baby, so that you feel in control throughout. Here’s what it stands for: B - Benefits, R - Risks, A - Alternatives, I - Instinct, N - Nothing. So if you’re offered an induction, a caesarean, another form of intervention, or anything else, ask yourself; What are the benefits? What are the risks? What are the alternatives? What does your instinct tell you? What happens if you do nothing for X period of time? All of these questions will help you make the right choice for you and your baby.

Let’s do a little roleplay, so you can see how you might actually use your BRAIN in a particular situation. Imagine your pregnancy has been completely straightforward and you’re planning a home birth. You go to your midwife appointment at 34 weeks and they tell you that they suspect your baby is breech. You go away and do all of the things you’re supposed to do to try and turn them, come back for a scan at 36 weeks and your baby is still breech. You are given 2 options at this point, try for a vaginal breech birth, or plan for a caesarean. You ask yourself, and your midwife, what are the benefits of each option? What are the risks involved in each option? Are there any other alternatives? What does your instinct tell you to do? And what happens if you do nothing for a period of time, say 1-2 weeks? Once you have gone through these questions, you should be in a much better headspace and have a decision that you feel really comfortable with. If this is not the case, ask for a second opinion from another Midwife, ask your birth partner or someone you trust for their input. And remember, this decision is yours to make. It’s your body, your baby, and your birth.
So no matter what birth you’re planning, or how your birth pans out, there is no scenario where hypnobirthing won’t help you. 

Thank you team PBC. I did a hypnobirthing course when pregnant with Etta and I can honestly say I use the practice, especially the breathing techniques, even to this day when in a stressful or painful situation. It helped me tremendously during both mys labour and c-sections by keeping me calm and focussed on the outcome, and it was particularly helpful when administering post c-section injections for ten days.. as a needle-phobe! So I'm a big advocate for it.

Find out more about The Positive Birth Company and hypnobirthing here: