6 Ways To Prepare for a C-section.

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

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.

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Owings Mills, Maryland 21117


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