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5 steps to a calm c-section birth

And why everyone should write a c-section birth plan!

a woman holds a newborn baby on a hospital bed after a c-section

April is c-section birth awareness month.


Around 25% of all births in the UK are c-section births, which includes planned and unplanned caesareans. But having a c-section can feel like a scary and overwhelming thought for many people.


As a hypnobirthing specialist and a mother of two, I understand firsthand the anxiety and worry that can come with the idea of giving birth via caesarean.


But I want to reassure you that having a c-section birth can be a really positive and empowering experience.


Whether you’re planning a c-section or not, I would absolutely encourage you to read this blog post, fully research the procedure yourself and, most importantly, make a c-section specific birth plan that you feel happy and confident with.


Why?


Because the truth is that birth can be unpredictable. Even with all of the prepping, planning, courses and reading in the world, sometimes mother nature simply has other ideas.


This is why I encourage all of my clients to make birth plans for all types of eventualities, including c-section births.


Planning for birth in this way really helps you to build an unshakeable confidence and ultimately this is how you have a positive birth experience. Please remember that a positive birth isn’t how birth happens, it’s how you feel about it which matters the most.


Of course it's really important to weight up the benefits and the risks of having a c-section and decide in which circumstances this would be your preference for birth. You can absolutely request a c-section and this right is protected in law. You can read more about your rights to a caesarean birth here.


In this blog post, I'm going to guide you through the top 5 steps to a calm c-section birth.


1.    Talk to your healthcare provider


a pregnant woman talks to her doctor in newcastle

This one might seem obvious, but a lot of people fear the unknown when it comes to thinking about having a c-section.


Talk to your healthcare provider about what to expect during the surgery itself, as well as the recovery process. Knowing exactly what to expect can really help alleviate some of the fear and anxiety surrounding having a c-section and ultimately can help you to feel more confident.


Here are some questions you might want to ask your midwife/obstetrician about a c-section:


·       Who will be in the operating room with me?

·       What kind of anaesthetic will I have?

·       What happens during a c-section?

·       How long will it take?

·       Can I eat beforehand?

·       Where will my incision be?

·       Can I hold my baby straight away?

·       What is the recovery process like?


You might also want to read some positive c-section birth stories to give you an insight into other people's experiences.

 

You can find more information about caesarean births over on the NHS website and the RVI here in Newcastle also have the below video to support you to understand more about the procedure:



 

2.    Hypnobirthing magic


It might surprise you to know that Hypnobirthing can be used for c-section births too!


Using Hypnobirthing can have a huge impact on how you feel about your c-section experience. Techniques such as deep breathing, visualisation and positive affirmations can really help you to stay calm and centered during your baby's birth.

 

Not all Hypnobirthing teachers and providers take this inclusive approach, so do make sure to do your research before signing up to a course.


We're very clear that the Hypnobirthing we teach is for all births, and all of our courses are inclusive of all birthing choices.


 

3.    Understand your rights and options


a woman holds a newborn baby in skin to skin on her chest at the RVI

This is your birth experience, and you have the right to have a say in how it unfolds. Your own personal preferences and individual needs are so important.


A c-section may be recommended as a planned procedure for a variety of different reasons, or you may want to request a c-section yourself. This is know as a maternal request

caesarean birth and you have the right to make this decision. Occasionally, c-sections are also performed in emergency situations.


You can read more about your caesarean birth rights here.


Many people are surprised to learn that they still have a wide range of choices with a planned c-section birth.


Did you know you can request:


  • A calm and gentle c-section 

  • A maternal assisted c-section 

  • To have your own music playing in theatre

  • To watch your baby being born

  • To discover the sex of your baby yourself

  • To use aromatherapy oils

  • Immediate skin to skin cuddles


There are so many ways to make your c-section birth positive. It's worth talking to your health care provider about your own preferences.



4.    Write a C-Section Birth Plan


a hypnobirthing teacher in newcastle writes a birth plan

I believe everyone should write a c-section birth plan, whether they're planning a caesarean from the start of their pregnancy or not.


Having a well thought through caesarean birth plan can make all the difference in feeling empowered and confident about your experience.


Sometimes birth can be unpredictable and no one can tell you exactly how your birth will unfold on the day. But by planning for a c-section early on in pregnancy, you're setting yourself up to have the most empowering experience no matter what.


It also gives you time to weigh up all of your own preferences, options and choices.


Here are some questions to ask yourself before you write your c-section birth plan:


·       Under what circumstances would I opt for a c-section?

·       Are there any alternatives I would prefer?

·       Would I like to delay the decision about having a caesarean?

·       What are the risks associated with a c-section?

·       What are the benefits of a c-section?

·       Who do I want with me on the day?

·       Do I want to be talked through what is happening during the procedure or not?

·       Which hand would I prefer the IV in?

·       Do I want immediate skin to skin with my baby?

·       Do I want delayed cord clamping?

·       Would I like to discover the sex of my baby myself?

 

The visual birth planner guide is an amazing resource to help you start thinking about your c-section birth plan.

 

5.    Celebrate Your Strength


a woman lies on an operating table holding a newborn

Birth is miraculous no matter how it happens and a c-section birth can be just as positive and empowering as a vaginal birth. Whether you know you want a planned c-section from very early on in your pregnancy or you just want to make sure that you’re as informed as possible about all of your options for birth, please know that a c-section can be a truly fulfilling experience.


The most important thing is that you feel informed, listened to and supported in all of your decision making.


So there you have it, my 5 steps to a calm c-section birth.


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!


Leave a comment below.


Love Emma

Hypnobirthing and Antenatal specialist

xxxth





Who am I?


a hypnobirthing teacher holds a workbook and smiles

Hey, I'm Emma!


Tea lover, self confessed birth nerd, mama of two and the founder of Blooming Births Hypnobirthing.


I pride myself on offering honest, bespoke and evidence based antenatal courses which put YOU at the very heart.


After giving birth to my own two babies, I continue to work closely with the Newcastle Maternity units and stay up to date with current working practices so that you are well informed about what to expect from your local trust.

 I'm also an affiliate member of The Royal College of Midwives and a breastfeeding peer support volunteer.



I'm here to support you to start feeling informed, confident and totally ready for your birth!






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