Cesarean sections, or C-sections, are major surgical procedures that are performed either in an emergency or planned because of abnormalities or risks with vaginal births. Whether you are planning to have the C-section well in advance or it’s a last-minute option, you should have a plan to have the delivery you want.
If you know that a C-section is in your future, you can put a plan together with great detail. As you plan the date, talk with your doctor about the best time for him and the hospital. Ask when specialists will be available and when doctors are around. Choose a time when the hospital or birthing center will have plenty of hands available in case a problem arises. Schedule a time when nurses and doctors begin their shift to receive fresh, excited attention to your birth.
If you have aversions or allergies to specific medications or anesthetics, write these out specifically. Ask your doctor for the generic names of all the medications you need to avoid. Highlight these in your C-section birth plan. If you have certain medical issues, build your C-section plan around these problems or issues. Don’t rely on yourself or your partner to remember to tell people. If these issues are life-threatening, make your doctor aware before the birth, but also write these out and print out a number of copies. Pass them out to doctors and nurses as necessary.
The First Moments
Whether you are planning a C-section or a vaginal birth, you are probably dreaming of that first moment you get to see your little one’s face. For some, these first moments are almost sacred and need to be a high priority. If this pertains to you, design your birth plan around these. Think about whether you want your partner there and available to cut the cord. If you want to hold your child immediately, even after a C-section, write this into the plan. Talk to your doctor about who will be allowed in the operating room with you. If you want others and this is allowed, write this in your plan.
Not everyone plans their C-sections. Many women go to the hospital with plans to give birth naturally. In the process, they discover their bodies or their babies’ bodies aren’t ready for such a birth. Even if you are planning a natural birth, put together a back-up C-section plan. Although an emergency situation may call for a rushed change in plans, your premeditated plan, with information about medical issues and your personal preferences, will help keep you and your medical professionals on task.