When my second child was born via c-section, I assumed I’d never be able to have a normal birth again. After all, wasn’t it “once you have a c-section, you have to have one from then on”? However, I learned that since about the 80’s, that’s no longer the case. I was thrilled to discover this because I’d experienced both a vaginal birth and a c-section, and the recovery for a vaginal birth is sooooo much easier!
So I decided with my third birth, I’d try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). And not only that, I wanted to try to make it a natural birth as well. I had wanted one during my first pregnancy, but I wasn’t prepared like I needed to be (you can read more about that here).
With my desire for a natural VBAC, I was very aware that I’d have to go about this pregnancy very differently than what I’d previously done. I was going to need to be proactive and intentional to achieve what I wanted. And to be honest, I was a little nervous because I’d heard of other women whose natural birth experiences were awful. But I refused to allow fear to ruin this opportunity for me, so I committed myself to prayer and started learning.
I learned that I would need labor help, so I hired a doula. I got my hands on all the natural birth testimonies I could find. I watched YouTube videos, read books, and talked to moms. I was determined to help myself as much as possible toward my natural birth goal!
When I was doing my “YouTube research”, I started noticing that a lot of the women that had had “easy” natural births were using something called Hypnobirthing. As a Christian, I was a little skeptical of the “hypno” prefix, so I decided to research it.
I discovered that Hypnobirthing uses what’s known as “medical grade hypnosis”. This is a technique that seeks to influence the mind in a positive way so that the mind can influence the body in a positive way. There are actually people that are licensed hypnotists that help surgery patients speed healing and reduce anxiety with hypnosis techniques.
That sounded intriguing, and I kept seeing, day after day, testimonies on YouTube of women who’d used it and looked like they were in total control during labor. Some of them were even silent during the pushing phase of birth. One woman even birthed her baby and then said, “That was so easy”. Their husbands or partners also appeared to be well-prepared with what to do and say during labor. It looked like the answer to a pregnant mama’s prayers!
I couldn’t get past the fact that something about it didn’t sit well in my spirit. I’m not exactly sure what it was, and to this day I’m still not sure what it is. But when it comes to any form of mind manipulation, I get uncomfortable.
I’ve had firsthand encounters of spirits that have sought to influence my thoughts, and I’ve come to understand that this is how the enemy works. He tries to get us to agree with what he says (no matter what the situation is) so that he can bring destruction into our lives. So I personally believe that we have to be super careful what we allow to influence our minds.
I started thinking about the principles they were using in medical grade hypnosis and it occurred to me that these are actually Biblical principles. Philippians 4:8 says this:
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
This passage makes me understand that not only does God desire for our minds to dwell on what’s good, but it’s imperative for us to control our thoughts. God wants us to fill our minds with truth. And I knew that there would be the potential for me to read about and think about way too many negative things related to having a natural VBAC. But I wasn’t trying to fail, I was trying to succeed. So I needed to think thoughts in that direction.
So while other Christians had used the Hypnobirthing series, I personally wasn’t comfortable with it. Here’s what I did instead:
I stuck to Philippians 4:8
As I was browsing through YouTube videos, I would notice that some were dedicated to women’s failed attempts at natural birth. And I’ll admit, I used to be an I-need-to-know-all-the-possible-things-that-could-go-wrong type of person. But I’ve learned the hard way that that’s the quickest way to be overcome by fear.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was well aware of the cons of having a natural VBAC. My doctor made sure he educated me thoroughly. But I took this to the Lord and laid it at his feet, trusting Him to make my birth a success. And that’s as far as I went in thinking on the negative.
Philippians 4:8 exhorts us to keep our minds focused on positive, uplifting things. We are what we allow our thoughts to be. God, the designer of our body, soul, and spirit, knows exactly what it takes for us to be healthy from the inside out, and healthy thoughts are essential to our success!
I made declarations
Not only do I believe in the power of healthy thinking, but I also believe that making Scriptural confessions over yourself can greatly influence your birth experience. If you haven’t purchased Childbirth in Glory, I highly recommend you get a copy. These are fabulous Scriptural declarations over the baby, the mom’s body, and everything related to pregnancy, labor, and birth.
During my pregnancy and labor, I used Childbirth in the Glory as a reference for blessing everything related to the birthing process. I know our words are powerful, so I made sure that nothing I was saying was going to work against what I was believing for.
I trusted the process
I know that God created the birthing process, so I know that my body knows what to do during that process. I trusted that. During labor, I would tell myself your body knows what it’s doing. I would even allow the pain to wash over me because I knew that it was accomplishing something.
During contractions, I would also thank God that He formed my body with the ability to birth my baby. I was confident in this, and that the process He put in place would bring me success.
When I was in labor with my third child, I had tried to pray that God would take the pain of labor away. I had read a fabulous book in which a Christian woman experienced absolutely no pain at all during labor, and I was inspired.
While He did not take away my pain, He did see me through to the natural VBAC I desired. It was an amazing experience, and I was so thankful to the Lord for making it a success!
During labor with my last baby, this prayer came out of my Spirit, based out of Philippians 4:13:
Thank you, God, that I can even handle the pain of labor with You.
It actually made me smile as I realized that with God, even the pain of labor was conquerable!
If you’ve been thinking about using Hypnobirthing, I hope this post has provided some good things to think about. I can’t, and won’t, recommend what you should do either way. But I will say that God desires us to be successful in what we do (Psalms 1), so if we trust and appropriate His Word, we can see some good things happen in our lives!