I had a C-section without anaesthetic

Self-hypnosis was the only pain control this new mum used during the delivery of her first baby by caesarean.


Flip Dunning, 34, had been hoping for a home birth, and was hoping to avoid all medical intervention. But after she’d been in labour for two and a half days, it became clear that would not be possible.


Flip was adamant that she didn’t want an epidural but by now was totally worn out, so opted for the lowest dose available.

At this point, it emerged that a vaginal delivery was not going to be possible due to a rare condition, so doctors attempted to administer a spinal block.

The first injection into her spinal block had absolutely no effect. Forty minutes later, she was given a double dose but Flip could still feel everything including the freeze spray used to check reaction levels.

Hospital staff were worried Flip could have an allergic reaction to a general anesthetic so they pressed ahead with delivering the baby – the only form of pain control being the self-hypnosis techniques Flip had practised throughout her pregnancy.

Flip explains, ‘The only pain I felt was immediately afterwards when I held baby Bay who weighed 7lbs. After experiencing an invigorating three-minute endorphin and adrenalin rush, I needed to pass the baby to my partner whilst I got ‘back into the zone’.’

Flip’s mum was a strong believer in self-hypnosis so when she found out she was pregnant, Flip bought a self-hypnosis CD.

She complemented this with one-to-one hypnotherapy sessions with local practitioner Monica Black, a leading Master Clinical Hypnotherapist at Hampstead Hypnotherapy.

Flip’s brief to Monica was that she wanted hypnotherapy to complement the home birth she was planning and be in total control of her body whilst enjoying the birth at the same time.

By their second session (of four in total), Monica was able to pinch Flip really hard without her feeling any pain at all.

Says Monica Black, ‘Some mothers are so relaxed, that it can be almost impossible to tell when they are having a contraction. The mother-to-be will always feel pressure, but no pain.

In most cases women have shorter labours during hypno-births and the pushing phase is more like a flowing into the world. The mother’s body is so relaxed that the baby just flows out’.


For further information or to book a session with Monica Black call 020 7419 2211 or visit www.hampsteadhypnotherapy.com.

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