Making the Best of a C-Section

Creative Commons License photo credit: Kelly Sue

C-Section Prep

Getting ready for labor and delivery can be complicated and stressful enough in itself. When you’re looking at a C-section, there are even more worries to consider. Unfortunately, many women don’t even know until a week or less before they’re going to give birth that they’re going to need a C-section. For some women, a C-section is a last-minute choice in order to address a complication with birth.

Here are some tricks you can use that will help you get ready for the possibility of a C-section:

  • Address the possibility in your birth plan. Don’t build your birth plan entirely around a C-section, of course, unless you already know you’re going to have to have one. That said, you need to put some measures in place so that, if you do wind up needing to have a C-section, your health care providers know what your wishes are going to be.
  • Find out what the birth center or hospital has in terms of facilities. Find out whether there are specific restrictions or policies in regard to having a C-section.
  • Identify support people. Of course, you’re already planning on having your partner or coach present. If you can, try to arrange for two support people: one for you, one for your baby.
  • Use your breathing and relaxation techniques before surgery. Those childbirth classes were still useful. Use those exercises to help keep yourself calm before your C-section.
  • Talk about anesthesia options as well as other medications with your doctor. Get educated about the sorts of side effects that can come from some medications commonly used during a C-section.
  • Ask if you can have a free hand. Many facilities will be able to set it up so that you’ve got at least one had free during and after the procedure, so that you can begin establishing a bond by touching your baby right away after she’s born.
  • If you intend to breastfeed, talk to your doctor. Find out when exactly it should be safe for you to be able to start breastfeeding, as you’re going to need at least a little bit of time to recover from the surgery.



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