Updated: Apr 30
A positive birth experience for many women isn't just about how the baby is born - but also (and maybe more so) about feeling respected, involved and in control of your options. Whether you opt for a Caesarean birth by choice or it’s at the bottom of your wish list, it’s worth thinking about your preferences and there are still LOTS of choices and options...
And a small note if it isn’t your Plan A, rest assured that you can absolutely still have a birth experience where you feel confident and empowered 🙌
Below are some of the many things you can do to make a Caesarean section into a more positive, gentle, and mum and baby-friendly experience… #cesareanawarenessmonth⠀⠀
"Birthing your baby may happen vaginally or by Caesarean. Both take just as much strength and courage"
Have a think about your preferences and make a Caesarean Birth Plan even if this isn't your Plan A. Have a chat with your care providers about your wishes ahead of time so you know what is possible at your local hospital.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Playing your own music in theatre can help you relax and be a special part of your birth experience. You could also ask for the room to be silent when your baby is born to hear the first cry.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Putting the hospital gown on backwards for the lovely post birth skin-to-skin cuddles. Some hospitals even encourage you to bring your own top with easy access.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Asking for the Intravenous line (for administering fluids and medications) to be placed in your non dominant hand to make it easier for you to hold your baby after the birth.
You can ask for the baby to be placed directly onto your chest for immediate skin-to-skin whilst the stitching up is taking place, delaying the medical examinations until after then. Some checks can be done with your baby on your chest.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
You can ask to be talked through what is going on… or not. Some people may feel reassured by this; For others it may be way too much information so let your care providers know your preferences. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Monitoring dots placed on your shoulders or back, to keep your chest bare for skin-to-skin with your baby post birth. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Asking for the screen to be lowered so you can watch your baby emerge into the world.
Bringing the baby out gradually, or ‘walking the baby out’ where, with a little support from the surgeon, the baby comes out much more slowly, squeezing fluid from the lungs in a similar way to a vaginal delivery. This is one to arrange with your healthcare providers in advance, as not all hospitals can offer this.
Delayed cord-clamping i.e. Delaying cutting the cord so your baby benefits from the stem cells and oxygenated blood cells from the placenta after birth.
If you don't know the sex of your baby, you can ask for you or your partner to find out by yourselves.
Listening to a hypnobirthing relaxation script or using your breathing techniques before going into theatre. A funny podcast or series whilst you wait can also help keep you relaxed and distracted.
Low lighting (though not at the business end!) and bringing your LED candles/battery-operated fairy lights into the theatre. This can help you relax during the operation and be a gentler entry into the world for your baby. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bringing your essential oils sprayed onto a bit of clothing/tissue/pillow to help you feel calm and relaxed.⠀
Bringing your birth affirmations or photos of happy memories and people who bring you joy, to help you feel calm before your baby emerges.