Hypnobirthing or Epidural: Royal Baby Birth Chat

Hypnobirthing or Epidural: Royal Baby Birth Chat


Katie Coble is a Kate’s Clothes 
Contributor, she writes the blog Charlene: Princess of Monaco, a member of the Acorn Étoile family, of which both Kate’s Clothes and From Berkshire to Buckingham are parts. Ms. Coble resides in New York with her husband and charming toddler. Here, she focuses on parenting. 

As the Great Kate Wait 2 continues, royal watchers are saying the same things over and over again: “All’s quiet on the Lindo Wing front.” “No sign of the Royal Baby!” “Kate’s not in labor…yet.” While we’re all patiently waiting for Kate to give us the signal that now’s the time, let’s pause for a moment to think on the birth itself, and what Kate might opt for this time around.

Royal baby leaves the hospital

It was lightly rumored that with George, Kate practiced Hypnobirthing in order to prepare herself for the birth. For those of us who are unfamiliar with it, Hypnobirthing is a preparation that allows a woman to enter into – and don’t laugh here – a state of hypnosis while she births a baby. This makes birth a more pleasant experience, mostly free of pain and, at its worst, labor pains are reported to just feel merely “uncomfortable.” The success rate is something like 70%, which is outrageously high for something that sounds so, well, outrageous. (If you need proof of that and if you are not squeamish, you can always search it on YouTube and watch women give birth with, at most, a very focused look and then poof! A baby. It’s amazing and infuriating all at once.) There is a lot of practice involved prior to the birth, including loads of calming music and scripted visualization. On a personal note, I tried Hypnobirthing and it did not work for me: I wanted to simultaneously kick the midwife in the face and make out with the anesthesiologist.

Kate is a lot crunchier than her pink satin Prada pumps might suggest, and this is one of the things I love most about her. I’m certain that she has a strong fashion sense, and I’m equally certain that she gave George homemade baby food. Her hair and makeup are always the picture of perfection, and yet she can rough it with the Scouts without even batting an eye. She has a passion for participating in competitive team sports, and she still embraced holistic yoga as a discipline when pregnant. Given all those things, when I heard about the Hypnobirthing, it didn’t seem far-fetched. Why not give it a try, right? Granted, she didn’t join the Hypnobirthing class at her local birthing center (wouldn’t THAT have been fun for the other moms!), but the reports indicated that she received all the class info privately.

It’s impossible to say how Kate’s labor and delivery went, since none of us are privy to that information. But if we give her the benefit of the doubt and lump her into the 70% of women for whom this delivery method works, we can assume that it all went smoothly. Kate’s in-hospital labor was actually relatively quick – about 10 hours, when the average first-birth is around 20 hours – which suggests that she was calm and relaxed about her birth. Since pain usually gives people a “fight or flight” mentality, the panic can actually stall birth, causing many to go for a much longer time in the throes of labor. The quick progression in Kate’s case gives me the impression that she managed her pain very well (though an epidural can help with that too – praise the Lord for medical technology), suggesting that perhaps it’s not such an outlandish suggestion that she successfully used hypnosis to help with her delivery.

But like I said, whether Kate delivered sans epidural or by getting one right from the start, it’s impossible to know. The baby eventually came out healthy and happy, and that is all any of us can hope for with this baby, too. While it may not look like Kate is in labor yet, remember that Braxton-Hicks contractions have probably been hitting her for weeks now, and she’s probably not going to book it for the hospital until contractions come every five minutes – each lasting for one minute in length – for an hour (that’s the 5-1-1 Rule for second births – first births follow the same rule, but every 4 minutes, so it’s 4-1-1), so William is probably up there in Kensington Palace with his stopwatch dutifully in hand for every time she has a contraction. She’s in the homestretch now, so for those of you outside the Lindo Wing, hang in there. Once you see her, it will not be long: birth is usually a much quicker production the second time around.

Now everyone send calming vibes to HRH for a relaxed, peaceful, pain-free delivery – whether by the mercy of drugs or by hypnosis. Hang in there, Kate, and let that baby choose a perfect birthing-day!

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3 Responses

  1. Jane Barr

    Katie, I know next to nothing about labor and delivery. Thanks for the food for thought! Hopefully this baby comes soon! xoxo, Jane

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