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Prepare for cesarean birth

If there is a chance that you’d have a cesarean birth planned, I want you to know your options. 
How to prepare for a c-sections ahead of the time and how you can communincate with your care providers about your wishes and possibilities.

If you will be giving birth in Brno, don’t forget that you are the one chosing a hospital, where you’ll deliver your baby. You can easily contact more hospitals and ask them all about their procedures and options, and they can differ from each other.

You can then choose – which hospital will allow for bonding time with you and the father? Where would your husband stay with you in postpartum rooms and help you take care for your baby? 

I’ve added links to these amazing articles that can give you some possibilities to think about.

Some of those tips mentioned might not be standard or possible in Czechia, but as you are the patient/client, you can communicate with the doctors and see, whether they would be able to accomodate some of your wishes.

Here are a few tips that I consider very important

  • If you know you are going to have a cesarean without an opportunity to labor, discuss with your provider if there is any risk in letting the baby pick his/her birth date and you heading to the hospital when your water breaks or gentle contractions start. There are many benefits to your body, your baby and future labors if you allow your baby to initiate labor.
  •  Ask for two support people in the operating room with you. Your partner can be one, of course, and then your doula, family or friend may also be included. Having two people in the OR means that your partner can go over to greet your baby at the warmer, and you can still have support with you right by your head. If your baby needs immediate transfer to a special care nursery, your partner can go with the baby, without worrying about leaving you alone.
  • If you were waiting to discover the sex of the baby at birth, you can still do that. The staff and surgeons do not need to announce boy or girl, but instead can leave that to be discovered by you and your partner.
  • Ask if it is possible to delay cord clamping for even a very short amount of time, if baby is stable. Even 30 seconds of continued pulsing can provide benefit to your baby.
  • Talk to your baby after s/he has been born. Ask your partner to tell you what is going on, and what your baby looks like if you are unable to see — “Oh, honey, he has the same long fingers as you do.” Talk or sing to your baby, so that your little one can hear your voice as it makes the transition to the outside world. When your baby is brought over to you, you and your partner can sing happy birthday or a special song that you may have been singing to your baby during pregnancy.
  • Ask if you can bring baby to your chest immediately after birth. A select number of hospitals that routinely practice gentle cesareans will allow for this practice. This will allow you and baby to have immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth.
  • Ask if it is possible to get skin to skin with your baby in the OR, while your incision is being closed. Prepare for this in advance by having removed or unsnapped your gown, and having just a warm blanket on top of you, ready for the baby. You will always need some support during this time, so make sure that partner knows to keep their hands on the baby for safety. If you are unable or prefer not to have skin-to-skin in the OR, consider letting your partner have some skin-to-skin time with the baby while sitting next to you.
  • Slower delivery. Your baby may be delivered slowly to allow time for the chest to be squeezed on the way out, as in a vaginal birth, to clear the lungs of fluid.
  • Less restrictive equipment. Your hands are not strapped down, and your IV line may be put in your nondominant hand, leaving your dominant hand free to hold your baby. The EKG leads (which track your heartbeat during the surgery) are placed on your back or lower chest instead of your upper chest, so they don’t get in the way either.
  • Request that the talk in the operating room among my providers focuses primarily on the birth, and not traffic, sports, weekend plans, etc.  “Please remember that I can hear what is being said during the birth, and will carry memories of it for many years.”

What helped you?

If you’ve experienced a cesarean birth in the past, what could you recommend other women?
Did you have certain wishes fulfilled?
Were you able to agree on specific things in the hospital, that helped you with the overall experience?

Let us know in the comments 🙂

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