Many of our clients choose planned cesarean births for a multitude of reasons and we are honored to support each client through the birth of their dreams. We have compiled five tried and true cesarean birth preparation tips!
- Create a birth plan
You might feel that since you are birthing by cesarean that a birth plan is not for you. This is not true! Creating a cesarean birth plan will empower you and your family and help you to have the birth experience you desire. Some important things to include in this birth plan are:
-What would you like to hear during your baby’s birth? Options might include narration of the events, idle chatter, silence, your favorite music…
-Do certain scents bring you comfort? You might consider an essential oil inhalation stick or a dab of your favorite perfume on your/your partner’s wrists.
-Who might be present for your baby’s birth? Your partner, your doula, your photographer? Typically the anesthesiologist makes this decision so it is a great idea to find out your options prior to the big day!
-Would you like to see your baby as soon as possible? Explore options for a clear drape, lowering the drape, or passing the baby under the drape quickly after birth.
-Is skin-to-skin bonding important to you? Ask your birth team if you can hold your baby skin-to-skin immediately after birth with the assistance of your partner or doula.
-Is placenta encapsulation important to you? Discuss this with your care provider ahead of time to ensure protocols are taken to store your placenta safely so that a trusted friend or family member can transport it to your home soon after your birth.
- Hire a Doula
Hiring a doula with personal or professional cesarean birth experience is important. Stars and Stripes Doulas have a mixture of both on our team and we are confident in our ability to support families birthing by cesarean. Melissa birthed both of her children by cesarean–one emergent and the other prematurely, and Melanie had the unique experience of supporting a family in the operating room at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. Understanding and feeling comfortable in the operating room and knowing the roles played by each staff member in the OR helps us to share with you what to expect on your big day!
- Prepare your body
Cesarean births are major abdominal surgeries. Women are superheroes and we often downplay the physical toll this birth process takes on our bodies. We can do our best to prepare for a cesarean birth by exercising regularly, eating/drinking lightly before the birth, and getting adequate sleep or rest. It is typical that we stay up nesting and preparing for the big day but rest is SO important. Relax, trust your providers, set your alarm for your wake up, and get a good night of sleep.
- Prepare for coming home
Gather all of the things you may need for your recovery ahead of time and set them up conveniently in your home. You will want several soft items of clothing, a belly binder, sanitary products located conveniently in the bathroom so you do not have to reach for them, a basket with snacks, drinks, and easy to reach items that is stocked and located next to your bed so that you can minimize getting up and down, and easy personal care items like waterless face wipes, lip gloss, hand sanitizer, and lotion.
Create a mantra, choose a song, or create a special prayer that you can think of if you feel overwhelmed. Talk to your baby and tell him/her what is happening and how excited you are to meet him/her. Also talk to your birth team and allow them to help you through these moments. Some positive affirmations include:
-I can do this.
-In peace, out smile.
-I will meet my baby soon.
-I trust my care team to keep my baby and I safe.
-I am a strong and capable mother.
-I love my baby.
We would be honored to support your growing family and embrace your choice to birth your baby by cesarean. We’d love to celebrate this special day with you. Please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more!
Written by: Melissa Nauss