April is International Caesarean Awareness Month

Updated: Apr 17

April is caesarean awareness month, the NHS says that around 1 in 4 births with be via caesarean, both elective and emergency. There are still a lot of misconceptions around caesareans, and people can experience negative language and feelings around what is often an absolutely necessary and life saving operation.

Caesarean Facts and Figures

  • The actual birth takes around 5-10 minutes

  • You generally should still be able to have skin to skin contact with your baby immediately after birth

  • Planned caesareans will generally take place slightly before your due date (around 39 weeks of pregnancy)

  • Your scar will be approximately 10-20cm long

Choosing a Caesarean

You may want/have chosen to have a caesarean over a vaginal birth, maybe due to birth phobia, maybe to do with mental health reasons. Waiting for a vaginal birth, not knowing when it will happen, or how it will go can be a huge strain on mental health, choosing to have a cesarean can give you more certainty in those last months.

If you choose to have a caesarean for these reasons you will have to discuss it with your midwife or consultant and have it agreed upon, you may be referred to the perinatal mental health team for some extra support.

Remember, you do not know anyone an explanation for why this is your choice, you know your body and your baby better than anyone else, and are able to make the best choices for you.

When Health Professionals Recommend a Caesarean

Sometimes health professionals will recommend that the safest way for you to give birth is via caesarean, this could be because you are carrying more than one baby, or your baby is breach, or other factors.

If you are still hoping that you may be able to have a vaginal birth, doing research can be very helpful to help you make a decision. What are the benefits of caesarean to you and your baby? What are the risks to you and your baby when attempting a vaginal birth? It is always beneficial to be armed with as much information as possible, this enables you to make an informed choice.

If, once you have gathered all your information, you decide to accept a planned caesarean, please take time to reflect on your feeling, it is okay to be disappointed that you will not get the birth that you maybe originally wanted, please allow yourself to feel those emotions and give yourself time to grieve if you need to.

Experiencing an Emergency Caesarean

Having an emergency caesarean can be a traumatic experience, particularly if you felt like you or your baby were at risk. Losing out on the birth experience that you had wanted or even dreamed about can feel like a huge loss, especially as you are then thrown into recovering from major surgery at the same time as getting to know, and being responsible for a brand new person. This time can be such a whirlwind you don't really get a chance to catch your breath and process what happened.

When you are able to, it can help just to write down what happened, even if just in the notes section of your phone, ask your birth partner to fill in any details you are unsure about.

If you need to you can request copies of your notes from your hospital, or even request a birth debrief from the team.

Allow yourself to feel any emotions you need to, you can be grateful and happy that your baby is here safely, but you are also allowed to mourn the birth experience you had hoped to have.

Is it also okay to feel great about your birth experience, even if it didn't go how you originally hoped! Trauma is very much about what felt traumatic to you at the time, two people can have identical experiences, one can find it incredibly traumatic, the other might not, its all about how your brain processed those experiences as they happened and in the time following.

Is Hypnobirthing Helpful Even if I Might Have a Caesarean?

Yes!! During your hypnobirthing classes you will learn self-hypnosis, a tool which will be incredibly useful at lots of different times in your life!

I have used self-hypnosis on long haul flights, at the dentist, on those first days establishing breastfeeding, during my toddlers tantrums!

The techniques you will learn during hypnobirthing are all about staying calm, confident and relaxed, as well as learning about your body and the muscles and hormones involved in birth, what interventions you might be offered and your choice in these. All these tools can come in hugely helpful if you are offered a caesarean during your birth, as you will be prepared and know how to keep yourself relaxed and be able to cope with any changes to your original birth plan.


If you are still struggling to come to terms with birth trauma, please arrange a few 15 minute telephone consultation here, we can discuss how it is effecting you and how hypnotherapy can help release trauma.

If you are interested in private or group hypnobirthing classes, please click here for more information

Bryony x

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