Preparing For A C-Section
The Idea Behind The Birth Plan
The advent of birth planning has brought a whole new level to the process of childbirth, allowing parents to be actively involved in the labor and delivery of their baby. Birth plans help to highlight and address specific issues surrounding the birth of the baby and they are meant to indicate the preferences of the parents for the birth. What is very important to remember is that even though preferences are stated, things don't always go according to plan and those preferences may not be accommodated. Flexibility is an important facet of making a birth plan and by having alternative preferences stated, there is less likelihood of any kind of negative reaction to the birth process, whether vaginal or c-section.
A Notable Quote:
In his book "The Ideal Cesarean Birth", Robert Oliver writes: "When it is known in advance that the birth will be a cesarean, the ideal cesarean birth will include emotional as well as physical preparation of the mother before she ‘goes under the knife'. She must fully explore her feelings about and fears of the operation and recovery. She must identify with the operation and ‘own' the procedure and see it as the means for her transformation to motherhood, not as a failure of herself or of her womanliness."
Some Ways To Prepare...
A woman can prepare herself mentally for a cesarean section by discussing all of the issues she can with her doctor. There are certain procedures that are customary during a cesarean operation which are not issues in a vaginal birth. The type of anesthetic used is important to discuss first with the anesthetist and then with the doctor. For the sake of proper monitoring of both mother and baby, it is best if the mother is awake during the birth. However, there are times when even this decision can be changed.
Some Things To Decide Upon...
Some hospitals make a practice of tying the mothers hands down during surgery. If you want to be able to touch the baby, then be sure to communicate this to the doctor. The use of a catheter is also a point of discussion and by understanding why they are used a woman can make a decision as to whether she wants one and when she would like to have it inserted if she decides to have a catheter. The cutting of the cord is important to communicate about, since some doctors feel it is more advantageous to both mother and child to delay the cutting of the cord. It is also important to determine who will cut the cord.
And...Some Things To Be Advised Of
In the US it is now common practice to wrap the abdominal organs prior to closing the incision with a material that disintegrates over time. It is used to prevent scar tissue attaching to other organs in the abdominal cavity when such surgeries are performed. Being informed and understanding this process is very important for a birthing mother. Also, there is a screen that is placed between the mother's upper body and the point of incision which can be lowered should the mother want to watch the baby being lifted out. If your birth partner is with you during the operation, then it may be important to you both that your partner hold the baby, skin-to-skin, after birth while the rest of the surgery is being completed.
There are many things to discuss and plan before the cesarean section. By taking the time necessary and obtaining all of the information possible, fear and concern can be kept to a minimum and the experience can be exciting and fulfilling.