These are some ideas and thoughts to think about before your cesarean birth. You can discuss some of these things with your care provider to see if they are possible to have happen on the day of your baby’s birth. Remember, the birth of your baby is a moment in time. Even if it is not how you envisioned it, it is still happening. Be present. Make choices. Celebrate your child's day of birth.
1. Practice breathing and relaxation techniques to use before and during the cesarean. This can help you stay calm and manage stress or discomfort.
2. Create a birth playlist. Play music in the operating room, if allowed. It can help in creating a comfortable and calm atmosphere.
3. Have an additional support person/doula in the operating room and/or recovery room, if allowed. A doula program services may help with relaxation or be a source of emotional support. Research shows that having a doula leads to higher satisfaction with the birth experience.
4. Ask to hold the baby as early as possible in the OR to facilitate early bonding.
5. Before beginning, have someone ask, “Are you ready to have your baby now?” This can help you feel a little more in control of your birth.
6. Ask the doctor to explain the process as it is happening. This can help you feel more present and connected with the experience.
7. Ask to have the cesarean performed slowly with the baby walked out slowly and gently, which is gentler for the baby than a traditional cesarean may be.
8. Have the screen lowered or a mirror at the time of delivery.
9. Have someone take photos of the delivery.
10. Have your partner stand up and watch the delivery.
11. Allow your partner to announce the baby’s sex.
12. Delay cord clamping. Keeping the cord attached longer allows for increased blood flow from the placenta, which has many health benefits for the newborn.
13. Have immediate skin-to-skin contact. This helps you feel connected and gives you lots of good oxytocin to help distract you.
14. Breastfeed the baby as early as possible, in the operating or recovery room, if it feels right.
15. Keep the baby with you in the recovery room to allow for more opportunities for
bonding and nursing.
16. Wait to have the newborn tests and procedures done with the baby after your birth so you can be part of the experience.
17. Have your partner wait for you to be present to tell family and friends the news.
18. Prepare to stay in the hospital for a few days.
19. Get extra help with breastfeeding.
20. Nap with your baby. You are healing from surgery and learning how to parent at the same time. Accept help and ask for help. You will be up and out in the community soon enough.
“BE STRONG ENOUGH
TO STAND ALONE, SMART ENOUGH TO
KNOW WHEN YOU NEED HELP
AND BRAVE ENOUGH TO
ASK FOR IT.”
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