Choosing a Cesarean Birth 

Choosing a Cesarean Birth

Part of our job as doulas is to help our clients learn about all the options available to them for pregnancy, birth, and as a new parent. One option for birth is to choose a cesarean birth, and while it is not as common as say choosing a water birth or an epidural, it is still an option that is available to those giving birth in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. As always, it is best to check with your specific health care team to determine what type of birth is best for you, your body, and your baby. 

Why Schedule a Cesarean Birth? 

There are several benefits to scheduling a cesarean birth at on of the seven area hospital (WakeMed Raleigh, WakeMed North, WakeMed Cary, REX, Duke University, Duke Regional and UNC). Each person may have specific goals associated with their birth plan, and as doulas, we will support any and every client through her or his own process, whatever that process may be. The bottom line is, if your medical team feels that a planned cesarean birth is a good option for you, there is no more questions that need to be asked because we are confident in your decision. 

Reasons to Schedule a Cesarean 

  • Previous Cesarean: Your first birth may have ended up as a planned or unplanned cesarean birth, and sometimes the best course of action is schedule a second cesarean. 
  • Multiples: Some providers find it best to schedule a cesarean birth if you are pregnant with multiples. Their reasoning varies, and can include sizes and positions of the babies, maternal health, fetal health, and/or gestational age of the babies, but the end goal is always to have the best outcome for both the birthing person and the babies.
  • Previous Sexual Trauma: If you are a survivor of sexual trauma, birth can be a really scary option. The idea that you may or may not be in control of who is present during your labor and delivery, may be too much stress for you, so empowering yourself by planning a cesarean can be a great option for these individuals. 
  • You Want a Cesarean Birth: Your medical team will have to give the final approve for this, but being able to take come control birth experience can be very important for some individuals. 

Doula Support During a Planned Cesarean 

While you will not be laboring like you would be if you attempted a vaginal birth, and hip squeezes and counter pressure might not be the most effective comfort measures, we are prepared to support you however you need. While your doctor will give you a time to show up at the hospital, there can still be a lengthy wait to north your baby as more emergency situations can come up that require the medical teams attention.  Furthermore, there is a longer time in the recovery room prior to being moved to your postpartum room. Our doulas will stay with you during each stage of labor and delivery to ensure that you are completely support. 

Family Centered Cesarean Births in the Triangle

Our hospitals are really amazing, and are always adapting to the needs of their patients. Depending on the reason for your cesarean birth (i.e. planned versus emergency), there are many options available to you while in the OR to have a more enjoyable birth experience. 

The following options may be available to you depending on the hospital and medical professionals opinions. If any of the following interest you, please speak to your medical team to see what you may have access to doing your birth.

  • Pain Management: You may choose from a heavy dose epidural, spinal block, or general anesthesia 
  • Room Atmosphere: You may request conversations kept to a minimum, music to be played, or the lighting changed.
  • Placement of IVs and Other Straps: You can request that you have one arm free to hold your baby, and/or all IVs and straps are on your non-dominate side.
  • Drape: You can use the traditional blue drape, or a clear drape so you can see your baby the second he or she is born.
  • Support System: Most ORs allow for both your support person and Doula to be present. This can be great if you baby needs to be taken out of the room, as your partner can follow the baby and your doula can stay with you.
  • Newborn Procedures: Just like with a vaginal birth, you can request delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin, immediate breastfeeding, and any other newborn procedures to be conducted while you are holding your new baby. 

Birth is Birth

We strongly feel there is no hierarchy of birth. So if you are planning on a cesarean, that is amazing that you have the strength to plan the best way to birth your baby(ies). We would love to talk to you more about your plan and how our support can fit into that plan!