When you are preparing for childbirth, most women plan a vaginal birth – what most women don’t plan for is a cesarean. It is possible to avoid an unnecessary cesarean but with the current cesarean rate, even empowered mothers have a 1 out of 3 chance of being wheeled into the operating room. Whether your cesarean is an emergency or planned, having your preferences committed to paper will prevent any ambiguities. In most cases, many of the elements that you had desired in your vaginal birth may still be applied to the surgical birth. Below are some topics you can discuss with your care provider in the event you have to have a cesarean:
Who can be in the operating room? The normal response is one person. But some hospitals will allow for two. If the rule is firm with one, ask that the second person come in when the primary support person follows the baby. It’s nice to have someone with mama when they are closing up which can be a long process.
Sedatives prior to surgery: in most cases, you can ask to forgo them if you want to avoid the grogginess for you or your baby
Anesthesia: The two common ones are spinal or epidural. The risks and benefits of the two are the same as with vaginal birth, so if you had a preference before, it most likely still applies. In the unlikely event that general anesthesia is required, your support person can still attend and take photos so you can later view your baby’s precious first few moments.
Comfort measures: certain music playing, keeping casual conversation to a minimum
Combating shakiness: ask for warm blankets
To strap the arms or not?: As long as you are not very shaky from the anesthesia, they may accommodate requests to not have your arms strapped down. This can help to be able to touch your baby after the birth.
Cutting the cord/calling the sex of the baby: You or your partner can still call the sex of the baby, just make sure to mention it again to the OR staff. And if your support partner would like to cut the cord, remind the obstetrician, as this can almost always be accommodated.
Immediate skin-to-skin: Can typically be accommodated as long as there are no immediate medical concerns for mother or baby.
Breastfeeding: If it is important to you to nurse immediately after delivery, many physicians will try to accommodate this by asking a nurse to help position the baby. Otherwise, you can ask to nurse in the recovery room
Newborn tests: As long as there is no medical necessity, most newborn procedures and exams that you may have consented to can wait. That way you can watch and participate. Look at phantom of the opera tickets atlanta.
Rooming-in: Because you won’t be able to get out of bed, make sure you have a support person to stay the night with you to help bring baby to you.
Recovering: take it as slowly or quickly as you are comfortable with. It is said that the quicker you get up after surgery, the faster you heal.
Even if you are planning a vaginal birth, having a “Plan B” can’t hurt and will alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress if a cesarean is required unexpectedly. There are many ways to allow you to be involved in the birth and feel connected to the experience.