Four Ways to Prepare For a Cesarean Birth
We have a three part blog coming up about how to prepare for a cesarean birth before the birth, during the birth, and after the birth. As doulas, are ultimate goal is for our clients to feel empowered and confident in each decision they actively make during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. We believe this is done most by helping to educate our clients about plan A AND plan Z. So while a cesarean birth may or may not be part of plan A, we want our clients to feel great about their birth because it is always an amazing time. Here are our top four ways to prepare for you a cesarean birth:
Know Your Options
Depending on your medical teams’ opinion and the reasons for your cesarean birth, you may have a few options to customize your birth. Our birth doulas will gladly walk you and your partner though all possible options available, so that you can speak to your medical team to see what will work for you.
Some options include*:
- Two support people in the OR: That means you can have your doula and your partner to support you in the room. The added level of support is wonderful for the birthing person to know two people are there, but can also be great if the baby needs to taken out of the room. One person, usually the partner, can go with the baby, while the doula stays with the birthing person
- Clear vs blue drape: You may have a medical background, and would like to see more of what is happening, and that is great! Many area hospitals allow for a clear drape. Or maybe you just want to see the baby, and nothing else. That is also great, you can have the traditional blue drape. The point is you have the choice.
- Newborn Procedures: Even in the OR, delayed cord clamping, skin to skin, and breastfeeding are still possible! You may just need an extra set of hands to help hold your baby on your chest.
- Amount of conversation: You may request that conversation is kept to a minimum so the birth space is still honored, even if it might be a little cooler than you might like.
- Level of the lights: Some medical teams will allow you to ask to lower the lights so it is a bit more comfortable when your baby is born
- Music: You may ask to have music playing to welcome your baby into the world. It would make the OR seem a bit more update or relaxed, depending on your playlist at the time!
*Please note: while these options can be available, it is always up to the discretion of the medical team at the time of the procedure if they will be available during any particular procedure.
Adjust Your Packing List
If your cesarean is planned, you will know that will not need any comfort measures for labor. But you may need some items to keep you occupied between admission to the hospital and the actual procedure. A book, magazine, or even an iPad with the current season of whatever binge-worthy show you are watching now are all great things to keep you occupied.
Prepare Your Home
During our postpartum planning sessions, we always take the time to talk about your home +1 and how to make that a more seamless process. Our favorite tip is having a snack station (for you) near where you will be feeding the baby. This can include: easy one handed snacks, water, phone charger, book, and basically anything that will make feedings easier. However, after a major abdominal surgery, you might need to change your home a bit more. Consider trying to reduce times when you will be using your abdominal muscles to help you move. Our favorite tip: lower the bed so its easier to get in and out without straining too much.
Enjoy Your Last Meal
With a planned cesarean birth, your medical team may tell you to stop eating at a certain time. For a pregnant person, the idea of not eating can seem close to impossible, but it just means you get to meet your baby soon!
Enlist the Support of a Doula
Doulas are for planned cesarean births too! We can help you learn your options, plan and prepare for the big day, as well as help with postpartum planning. Our hip squeezes may be replaced with more emotional support, but facing a planned surgery may bring up some emotions where having an unbiased doula may be exactly what you need.
Preparing for a cesarean birth can be a bit stressful, but our goal is make it a bit less stressful. Look for our next blog in a few days about how to prepare yourself for the day of the birth! As always, give us a call if you have any questions!