With the continuing rise in c-section births, moves are beginning to empower women having one, much as the ‘natural’ birth movement has done for vaginal birth. We wrote recently about the innovations being practiced by Dr Fisk In England.
Common for many planning vaginal birth is the expectant mom creating a birth plan. This is one way women who know they are going to have a c-section delivery can empower themselves and begin to influence their birthing experience. It is also a good idea for women doing a vaginal birth plan to have a c-section delivery plan should an unforeseen emergency c-section become necessary.
Birth is of course one of the most difficult things to plan, as many women who created a birth plan, thinking that’s how it would work out know. Cesarean sections are of course different. Other than emergency c-sections, they are planned and there is a specific procedure. For this very reason a cesarean birth plan can be effective and create a birth experience that is as intimate and honoring as possible.
Below are some points to consider for drawing up a c-section birth plan.
Before Delivery Would you like
- To meet the OR staff before they have their surgical masks on?
- A full explanation of the procedure and medications to be used?
During Delivery Would you like
- Your partner or other relative with you during the delivery and in the recovery room?
- Music playing in the OR during the delivery?
- To have photos or video taken as would be acceptable with the surgeon and anesthesiologist?
- In the eventuality the baby needs medical care outside the OR would you like a friend or doula to stay with you while your partner or family member goes with the baby to give comfort. In addition to be told or have your partner told what is needed and why.
- To have the curtain lowered and the baby held for you to see at the moment of birth.
- The umbilical cord not to be immediately cut but to remain attached to the placenta. (you might suggest a specific time in consultation with your doctor)
- Your arms to remain free so you can touch your baby after delivery.
- To have your baby placed skin to skin on your chest as soon as possible while still in the OR.
- To breastfeed your baby in the recovery room as soon as is possible.
- Minimize the number of people who touch or have contact with my baby to only those on staff as needed and my husband (partner/family member).
- To have skin to skin bonding time with my baby before she/he is bathed or fully dressed.
- To participate in babies first bathing.
- To delay immunizations, eye ointment and vitamin K.
- No formula or sugar water given to your baby.
- No tests to be performed or medications administered, etc. without you or your partner/family members consultation & consent.
These are some basic ideas for you to consider and look into. When you write your c-section birth plan have on the top, your name, medical/insurance details, partner, husband, attending family members or doula’s name and contact info. Write it in the first person ie I, my etc and write it some time in advance so you can show and discuss it with your caregivers and others connected with your birth.
Remember this is your child’s birth, this is a miraculous and sacred moment, be empowered to make it as intimate and special as you really want it to be. Just because c-section delivery is being done a certain way doesn’t mean it can’t change, you can help that happen. Remember to take your C-Section Recovery Kit to the hospital with you!
photo By Raphael Goetter