When many pregnant mamas think of their labor plan I’m sure they have many of the same basics.
  • goal: healthy baby
  • process: fast and easy if we’re lucky
  • route: vaginal delivery
There aren’t many mothers I know who have voluntarily chosen to have a cesarean delivery with no precipitating factors (ie health risk to mom or baby). If I’m being honest there aren’t many mothers I know that even truly consider the idea of a c-section.
Of course we know they happen, heck it might have even happened to our own mother if you’re like me, but the idea of actually having a c-section isn’t one we regularly think of.
For example, when looking at the healing process for post delivery, did you look up the healing for post cesarean birth or just for vaginal delivery?
I thought so.
Don’t worry I’m not judging because I didn’t either.

Typically “consider the idea of a c-section” means just that, “consider it” but don’t let it ponder in your mind for too long.     

Somewhere between your second and third trimester your doctor or midwife will ask you for your birth plan.
If they’re anything like mine was, they’ll ask the basic questions:

  • Who do you want in the room?
  • Do you want drugs?
  • Dad do you want to cut the cord?
And other questions along that line.
But aside from the “I want you to also consider the fact you may have to have a c- section”, my doctor didn’t really elaborate much more on what that meant.
And if you ask me, I think she should have.

You may have heard me say it before, but while planning my birth plan and reading countless baby books I never really sat with the idea of having to have a c- section.
When it came to those points in the book I’d skim through or foolishly skip them all together. In my mind if I did everything I needed to do to prepare for this birth then there was no possible way I would have to have a cesarean delivery.
I read the natural birthing books.
I went to the birthing classes.
I even practiced some hypnotherapy.

But the reality was none of those things stopped me from having a cesarean birth.

The CDC reports that in the year 2018 almost 31.9% of births were reported c-section deliveries.
I don’t know about you, but this seems like a pretty high number to me.  That’s over 1/4 of all deliveries.
And the reality is, in that pre-delivery phase it just isn’t talked about enough.

So for all my pregnant mamas, here’s 3 ways I would have looked at my birth plan differently.
  1. Prepare for anything. Notice, I did not say PLAN for anything I said prepare. It’s easy to have the thought in your mind and dismiss it, but it’s another to actually put things in place for it. Research what you might need if you happen to have a c-section. My top picks would be a tummy band, low bed height/high bedside bassinet and some household activities ready to go since you can’t drive for 3-4 weeks post surgery.
  2. Write down the alternative birth plan as well. Again putting things IN place. When I got rushed to the surgery room my midwife had NO idea the things I’d want for a c- section because I hadn’t written it down for her. I would have added: slight delayed cord clamping (even with a c-section), skin to skin immediately with mom (not taken to the side so only dad can see while I’m still stuck on the table), and definitely would have added a clear tarp covering so I could see the baby coming out (hey what can I say, the nurse in me was very intrigued).
  3. Work through your emotions. This one is a prep action and not a full “do” action because it’s hard to fully prepare for something you’ve never had happen. However, my emotions toward a c-section was very present. I didn’t want to talk about it, hence me not reading those parts of the book. Had I spent some time working through and journaling my true fears and dislikes with c-sections it might have prepared me more for the during and after part of the delivery process.

As we all have heard before, the way your baby comes out has no determination on you as a mother.

So if  c- section is not in your plans, great! Do everything you can to prepare your body for vaginal delivery, but don’t ignore reality.  Preparing your mind for the “just in case” c- section is just as important as preparing your body.

Ask the right questions, buy the right things and prepare yourself for delivery!

You’re having a baby mama, no matter how he/she comes into this world remember:

You’re body is opening up to give life and that is the greatest act of sacrifice there is.

Take care of you too mama,
Aysia B.