Pregnancy is overwhelming. Take that stress, multiply it by 10, then you’ve got the lovely moment that is delivery. For many first time moms, your birth plan is probably already written out with the specifics underlined and highlighted. But for many other moms, writing a birth plan can be as foreign as writing in another language.
Especially if you are a mom, who is writing a cesarean birth plan. With the increasing rate of cesarean sections in the United States, planning for a cesarean is not an unfamiliar thing. From a c-section momma to another, here are some things to include when you are writing out your cesarean birth plan.
Make Your Intentions For Your Cesarean Birth Plan Clear
This might sound silly, but if you are planning on having a cesarean section birth, then you need to state it. Last minute changes happen all the time in hospitals. Your doctor may be called out or may not even be available the day you go into the hospital (that is if you have not already scheduled your c-section). Make it clear in your birth plan that a cesarean section is not only an option, but it is the option that you want for your delivery. The same is true for the opposite. If you are going in for a repeat cesarean section and are open to the idea of attempting a vaginal birth instead, make that clear as well. First and foremost, make your intentions clear right off the bat when you are writing your birth plan.
Write Down Your Playlist
Going into the operating room can be a scary ordeal. Whether it’s your first time or fifth time, you can help distance yourself from the scary thoughts by providing a playlist. A standard cesarean section procedure can take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour. In that space of time, before you meet your baby, it might be helpful to distract yourself by getting lost in your favorite tunes. The moment in the operating room is all about you. So make yourself at home, and select songs that you know will help you power through the moments before you meet the little one.
To Know Or Not To Know
Some moms like to know every moment of the delivery as it happens. Other moms like myself believe that ignorance is bliss. Knowing the details of when the scalpel will touch your skin or what and when your operating doctor will do next may or may not freak you out. If it does, know that it is alright to specify in your birth plan whether or not you want their commentary. On an added note, you can specify exactly how much you want to know as well. For example, if you want to know the moment your baby will be pulled out from you, say it. If you would rather not know when you are getting stitched back up, include that in as well.
Take Note Of Bedside Manner
One of the most alarming things that I experienced during my cesarean section was the amount of chatter happening. Having a doctor and a midwife operate on me all while they discuss the local cuisine in town was a tad bit overwhelming. Keep in mind that for your doctors, operating is practically second nature. After all, a cesarean section is performed in about one in every three pregnant women in the United States.
If you would rather have silence while your doctor focuses on the operation instead of talking, don’t be hesitant to include that. It’s your operation, so don’t be afraid to take control over it. Don’t worry if you think you might be coming off as sounding rude or impolite. Your doctors have probably been told this before. So chances are, you’re not hurting anyone’s feelings.
Depending on which hospital you are at, you may find that you nurses and doctors will offer you medication. You may get some if you are having pains before the operation. However, you are most likely to receive them after the operation when you begin to heal. In some hospitals, it is standard procedure to give dosages of medication for pain management (unless of course there is an allergy).
If you don’t want to receive any medicine after the surgery, then state it. Especially since you may be loopy and exhausted after the operation anyways. Other medical interventions like IV drips and catheters are up to you as well. If you would like to be disconnected from any medical paraphernalia after your operation, list it and explain why. You and your doctor can have that conversation and come up with an appropriate solution.
Specify Your Intentions For Your Baby’s Care.
Once your baby is born, the doctors will at some point whisk them away to get newborn tests. These tests will include the standard vision and hearing exams. As the mommy of your new bundle of joy, it is entirely up to you where they get their test done. If you would prefer them to have their exams while they are cuddling on your chest or staying in your room, then specify that.
It is extremely important to specify other things regarding your newborn like whether or not you want them in your room as opposed to the nursery. This is especially true if you have taken sedatives after your delivery. Without a birth plan handy, chances are, you probably won’t remember you wishes to begin with.
Go Over It With Your Partner
For many partners, the plan is to have them be present with your through the duration of the birth. If this is true in your case, then be sure to go over the birth plan in detail with your partner. It makes things easier when your partner knows your wishes. They can advocate for you if they see something that doesn’t sound quite right. For other expectant mommas, you may plan on having a family member or support person in the room with you in place of your partner. If this is the case, then you want them to have access to the birth plan as well.
Make a Note of Restraints
While not all hospitals practice this, some hospitals may restrain your hands to the operating table during the procedure. If this is your first or even second cesarean and you experience this, it can be quite alarming, if not traumatic. Double check with your hospital to see if this is something that is practiced. For an added measure of relief, it doesn’t hurt to specify that in your birth plan as well.
Make Copies Of Your Birth Plan
When you go in for a cesarean section, your hospital stay will automatically be longer than a natural delivery. Without complications, you can expect to stay at the hospital for an average of about four to five days. With your extended stay, you will likely meet a variety of nurses and doctors. To make sure everyone is up to date with your birth plan, it’s best to have copies. Don’t be shy about handing out copies to all the staff that will be taking care of you. The more they know what your needs are, the easier their job will be.
With a little planning and a lot of specification, you are sure to get a clear and concise birth plan in order. Whether you choose to go with a doula, have a natural delivery, or a cesarean delivery. Knowing what to put in your plan can be the difference between having the delivery you dreamed of and the delivery that is out of left field.
Although you may have your cesarean section birth plan planned out to a tee, keep in mind that some things can and will go differently than planned. At the end of your delivery day, the number one thing that matters is that you have a safe and healthy baby in your arms. If you plan on having a cesarean section, be sure to follow these tips to have the smoothest delivery possible.
Related Article: 10 Tips To Survive Your First Week With Your Newborn