If you’ve had a baby or are expecting for the first time, you might have heard of a birth plan. It’s an actual piece of paper that you bring with you to the hospital detailing how you want your labor and recovery handled by doctors and the nursing staff at the hospital. This is a great tool that allows your wishes to be clearly stated and gives a sense of control over your delivery. Unfortunately, not all people think past the birth they’ve envisioned for themselves and if a surgical birth is necessary, it often leaves a mother feeling very out of control and “distant” in her birthing process.
But I am here to tell you–you CAN feel in control of your birthing process by taking a little extra time to think through your wishes if a C-section is necessary. For you moms who are still looking to deliver vaginally, here is a link to a great template for a birth plan from The Bump that touches on what to add to your birth plan in case of cesarean. I am going to focus on a birth plan for those who head to the hospital for a scheduled C-section.
My first C-section was scheduled, but I had no idea what to expect (check out my first post here). I figured anything I had hoped for was out the window now that a vaginal birth was out of the picture and I came in TOTALLY unprepared for my surgery. I was asked a bazillion questions in pre-op, and I was just winging my answers, and I had no idea what I had in store. Having a birth plan BEFORE your c-section will have you prepared for all those questions and more!
Break down your birth plan into three sections: Surgery, Baby, and Post-Op.
(These are all suggestions for things you could put in your birth plan)
- No pre-operative medications
- Catheter inserted after anesthesia (standard in most hospitals)
- Husband and/or Doula present in OR
- Husband may take picture/video of birth
- I’m allergic to “XYZ” drug, please do not give me this!
- Please explain what is happening during surgery
- No sedatives after birth, please
- Perform Tubal Ligation (I added this one for the last c-section, they’ll ask you a few billion times if you are “sure”)
- Please use sutures vs. staples for closing me up (discuss with your dr.)
- Please lower sheet when pulling baby out so I can see baby
- Keep cord long enough so husband can cut it
- No eye gel or Hep B vaccine (you usually sign a waiver in pre-op)
- If all is well with baby, please weigh and measure in a place where I can see (I loved watching this, and it gives you something to keep your mind off of them still working on you closing you up)
- Breastfeeding exclusively
- Please do not give pacifiers or sugar water
- Husband to go to nursery with baby and be with baby at all times
- Please bring baby into recovery room as soon as possible to start nursing
- Please check with Husband or me before sending in visitors
- I would like to be up and walking as soon as possible after surgery
- I would like baby to remain in our room at all times
My advice is to put your birth plan in writing and print out for the last OB appointment before your c-section so you can discuss your birth plan with your doctor. Most doctors will try to accommodate your wishes, but it’s smart to discuss it with them, so you aren’t let down for any reason the day of delivery.