Every Birth is Birth
“I feel like I didn’t give birth because I ended up having a Caesarean section”
I’d read this statement before. But it wasn’t until I was sat at the dinner table when the words were coming out of my friend’s mouth that what she was saying really hit me. “She can’t really believe that,” I thought. But she did, I could see it in her eyes and it filled me with heartache.
We were pregnant together, due a week apart. We both planned a natural birth. I went into labour five days before, had an amazing experience, which, due to how in awe I was, loved (and still love) to talk about. Five days later, my friend’s baby was born via caesarean section which was far from the experience she had been hoping for. Since then she’s watched me grow a whole business built on the passion stemming from my birth experience, whilst trying to come to terms with her experience AND feeling like because she had a c-section, she hadn’t even given birth to her baby. There you have it: disappointment in herself and her body made worse by comparison.
The assumption is that the aim of hypnobirthing is for every woman to have a vaginal birth. And yes, in a perfect world, wouldn’t that be lovely? But us hypnobirthing teachers know that we do not live in a perfect world, and a caesarean section can be a life-saving procedure when things go astray. Aren’t we lucky that we have the medical advances to have one as an option?! The actual aim of hypnobirthing is for every woman to have a positive birth - vaginal or not.
The caesarean section rate in the UK is the highest it’s ever been. It’s gone from 10% thirty years ago, to 25% today. The World Health Organisation recommends a caesarean rate of between 10% and 15%, so we must question why our rates are 10% higher than the recommended, and why they have shot up so quickly. On a hypnobirthing course, you will gain the tools to be able to make the decision which is best for you and your baby, whichever road your baby’s birth takes. And, either way, you can still have a hypnobirth.
To me, every woman who has had a baby has given birth. Whether they give birth through their legs or through their tummy, they have still given birth. But to my friend, and sadly many other women, they feel like they failed, like their body failed them.
There are no medals for vaginal births. C-section mothers underwent major abdominal surgery to give birth to their baby. You can have a traumatic vaginal birth and you can have an amazing caesarean birth. You can have an amazing vaginal birth and you can have an traumatic caesarean birth. What really matters is there should be no traumatic birth at all. I believe that mothers should be able have a positive experience either way; which is why my hypnobirthing courses are not just for planned vaginal births, but for all births, including unplanned and planned caesarean sections.
Mothers shouldn’t feel like they haven’t given birth to their babies because they had a caesarean. They shouldn’t feel any less of a mother. They shouldn’t feel any less of a woman. Because they DID give birth to their babies. They are JUST AS MUCH of a mother. They are JUST AS MUCH of a woman.
We all give birth.
To our babies.
And to the mother in us.
If you have experienced a traumatic birth, check out https://www.traumaticbirthrecovery.com. And if you are pregnant again, check out our group and private courses, message us on Facebook or send us an email to find out how hypnobirthing can help you.