Are you cesarean prepared?
Every birth is a beautiful gift no matter which way your baby decides to come. Most women yearn for a natural, vaginal delivery despite the discomfort and pain associated with it. However, this may not always be the outcome, even with a healthy pregnancy. There are several reasons why women end up with a cesarean birth and some just prefer this method by choice.
Why a cesarean?
- Scheduled by choice
- Fear of vaginal birth
- Vagina Vanity
- Previous cesarean
Scheduled Cesarean due to health and safety of mother and child:
- Placenta Previa
- Placenta Abruption
- Maternal health problems / High risk
- Baby with birth defects
- Vaginal Infection
Unscheduled Cesarean:(during labor a decision is made, but not an emergency)
- Labor is not progressing
- Contractions are too weak
- Baby is not tolerating labor
- Baby is breech
- Fetal distress
- Cord prolapse
- Uterine rupture
If you know ahead of time that you will be delivering via cesarean you have room to get educated. Share your thoughts with other women; you will be surprised how many have delivered this way. It is important to own this experience, it is still your birth and the end result of this major surgery is your little baby. Remind yourself that this is the focal point.
Hypnotherapy can help with any fear or trauma surrounding the idea of a surgical birth. Meditation and breath work is extremely important and can aid you in the weeks leading up to your birth, in the pre-op as you prepare, in the OR and after in recovery. It will be helpful to still create a birth plan, discuss with your doctor what your options are to make the experience your own within their guidelines. Here are some topics you can discuss:
- What type of incision repair will be done, staples or surgical glue?
- Where will the incision be, have your doctor show you. It can be as low as under the bikini line these days!
- Are you able to walk into the OR
- Are they using an epidural, spinal tap or general anesthesia
- At what point will your partner join you in the OR and will he be allowed to stay with you and the baby the whole time
- Who will be present in the OR
- Make sure all personal chit chat between doctors and nurses is about the birth and not about their weekend plans
- Is music allowed, can you make a playlist?
- Can you have aromatherapy in the OR
- Can the drapes be lowered at moment of birth, or can you raise the baby above so you can see their entrance into the world
- Is a clear drape an option
- Can baby come straight to chest if all is healthy
- Are you able to do skin to skin
- What kind of camera can you bring in?
- Can you have a double suture on the uterus repair if you want to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarean)
- Do you do delayed cord clamping on the baby
- What medication will they be giving you for recovery?
The recovery is intense, but the distraction of a beautiful newborn is exactly what you need to move through this quickly. Having a plan for postpartum is crucial; you will need help for the first two weeks. A postpartum doula would be ideal if you do not have the help of family. Take all suggested medication don’t try to be a hero, no matter how alternative you are. Hospital stay is anywhere between 2-4 days and it usually takes 6-8 weeks to heal. A cesarean is a slow recovery, but everyone’s experience is different. Your first check up is at two weeks. No driving or heavy lifting. Start by having everything you need at the hospital and waiting for you when you get home.
- Pillows (hospital ones are plastic)
- Face Wipes
- True Botanicals Hydrating face mist
- Nucifera Chapstick–
- Roseview LA Essential oils
- Mother Love Nipple Cream Nipple
- Bronner Organic Hand Wash & Santizier
- Friday Baby Peri-Wash
- Nursing Nightgown
- Nursing Bra & High Waisted Undies (To go home in)
- Robe (to walk hospital halls)
- Arnica pills (Internal bruising & swelling )
- Arnica Cream (For IV bruises)
- Lactation Tea
- Prune juice & Cranberry juice (Aid in using the bathroom both ways)
- Mother Bee:Homemade soups, broth and rice puddings for lactation and easy digestion
- Glass baby bottle and bottle warmer to heat soups and teas in your room
- Willaby Swaddle Blankets
- Baby going home outfit – Nature Baby
- Diapers – The Honest Company
Take from the hospital
- Large pads & mesh panties
- The cotton dry baby wipes
- Prescription for meds
- Heat packs
- Belly band
While you have some time try to write out your birth story. You may need to let go of some of the trauma you are holding in that space. Keep meditating and practicing deep breathing, this will also aid in your physical and mental state. Keep reminding yourself this is your birth, it was the best way for you and your baby to be together safely. Many women enjoyed their birth and would not think of having a birth any other way. They know what to expect and that offers them peace.