Updated: Aug 12
Nikita Johnson COBST, CD(BAI), LC, CNA
A Cesarean Section, also known as a C-section, is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through incisions made on the abdomen and uterus. A cesarean section is an alternative way to deliver a baby if vaginal birth is not likely possible. There are two different types of c-sections: An emergency c-section and a planned c-section.
Today, this blog will speak on the ways you can prepare for a planned c-section.
As a Certified OB Surgical Technologist(COBST), I've assisted in surgery with over 300+ C-sections. As a doula, I've supported, empowered, and educated over 25 families for a Planned Cesarean Birth. Yes, birth doulas support Cesarean Births too. Here are 6 Ways to Prepare for a Planned Cesarean Birth.
Hire a birth doula: An experienced birth doula will offer educational, informational, mental, physical, and emotional support to the birthing individual and their family in preparation for a Planned Cesarean. A doula will also help establish a written birth plan and postpartum plan and Intra Postpartum Support after birth.
Establish a written birth plan: Having a Cesarean section (C-section) is not something many moms feel like they have control over. But whether you are scheduling a C-section birth or having an unplanned procedure, thinking about your preferences before your baby's arrival can be helpful. You can work through this and communicate your wishes by creating a birth plan. Until you solidify your birth plan, your initial draft can include a mix of requests and questions that will help you shape your final thoughts.
Preferred anesthesia options (epidural, combined spinal-epidural, general)
Who can accompany you during the procedure? Your partner? Your doula?
Can you have the baby placed on your chest (skin-to-skin) in the OR while the surgery is finishing?
Can you have a Family Drape (translucent drape) to see the surgery and baby born?
Is photo taking permitted?
What are the postpartum pain management options available?
Who will go with the baby if he or she needs special care?
When can you begin breastfeeding (if desired) after the procedure?
Attend a Childbirth Education Class: Finding a childbirth education class geared towards planning for a c-section is a little hard to find, but it's possible. I recommend finding a childbirth educator to work with you and your partner one-on-one to offer education and support based explicitly around cesarean preparation. At DMV Birth Doulas, LLC, we offer all-inclusive packages to our families that include childbirth education classes and access to a childbirth educator. Learn more
Two Weeks before your C-section: Increase your iron intake. Increasing the amount of iron-rich foods or the use
of iron supplements can reduce the chances of postpartum hemorrhage and the need for a blood transfusion. Be sure to double-check with your provider when adding any medications during pregnancy.
The Night Before your C-section: You will not be allowed to eat or drink starting at midnight. Try to get a good night's sleep. You may brush your teeth in the morning. Check with your doctor if you are taking any medications. Take a shower before coming to the hospital. Use the recommended Chlora-
hexadine wipes to help reduce the chances of infection. Remember to leave valuables at home and keep your luggage in the car until you arrive on the postpartum unit.
Hire a Postpartum Doula: Recovering from a c-section will take some time due to the number of stitches and the fact that you just had major abdominal surgery. You will be encouraged not to lift anything over a certain weight and climb a lot of stairs. A postpartum doula can help support your newborn, offer emotional and physical support, perform errands and light housekeeping duties, and assist with breastfeeding.