When it comes to preparing for your birth, most mamas only want to envision everything going to plan. We acknowledge there may be bumps and deviations, but thinking about the details of a big change, like a cesarean section, is not on the radar.
I love helping families get their birth preferences down to paper. I'm there to help make those preferences a reality, but I always make sure we talk about options for if things don't quite go as planned.
April is Cesarean Awareness Month. Even though most mamas don't plan to have a cesarean, it's important to have your preferences outlined for if you do have a belly birth. The great news is most hospitals are accommodating for gentle cesarean births, keeping most of your immediate postpartum desires intact!
It's best to get these wishes written down just in case. It's a lot easier to enact preferences you have on paper, rather than working to remember what you want after a big turn of events. Today I've jotted down some things to think about regarding cesarean birth preferences.
Who would you like present?
Unless you'll be under general anesthesia, most hospitals will allow your support persons to be present during birth. Partners are almost always welcome in the delivery room with you, but you may be able to include another person or your doula as well!
Having a second person present during birth, like your doula, ensures that no one is left alone during this tender time. If you baby needs a little extra care, your partner can be with them while your other support person stays with you. Such a big deviation from your birth plan may be a lot to digest, so having someone present with you as you reflect right away can be comforting.
What wishes do you have immediately after birth?
Many hospitals have started focusing on gentle and family-focused cesarean births. This is wonderful news for mamas and their babies, opening opportunities for many of the same benefits as having a vaginal birth.
Take some time to outline what you would prefer to happen immediately after you baby is born. This can include everything from immediate skin-to-skin with mama, to immediate breastfeeding, even delayed cord clamping! Mamas who want to use their placenta should also make this known to ensure it is saved to take home.
Also, many mamas are wanting to witness the belly birth of their babies. You can let your doctors know you'd like to use a clear screen or lower the screen during the birth of your baby.
If you've hired a birth photographer or your doula is photographing the birth, let your team know. Though different than you originally envisioned, cesarean birth photos are just as breathtaking and gorgeous!
If possible, give your birth team heads up you'll want photography. Some hospitals may require your photographer to sign a release to enter the OR and take photos.
Also note with your photographer what photos you're comfortable having taken during your belly birth. Some mamas may want photos of the baby's birth, while others may only what pictures of baby after they're born.
Developing a birth plan, including options for if plans change, can be overwhelming. Sometimes seeking guidance can help make firming up your preferences less stressful.
I'm always happy to help develop birth and postpartum plans, check it out here!
The Sown Seed
Belly, birth & beyond. Our mission is to help women embrace change, find inner strength and live with unapologetic joy.
the sown seed/2018