I'm Planning a Cesarean

When you decide what is best for you, your baby and your birth, we are here to support you.

You have decided that planning a cesarean, either repeat or your first, is the best plan for your upcoming birth. Maybe you are a little anxious or do not know what to expect, here are some tips on what to expect and how to prepare for your cesarean.

Here is what will help you prepare for your planned cesarean:

  • Confidence
  • A supportive team
  • Knowing your wishes
  • Postpartum support and planning

Confidence

This is your birth. While you might know the day your baby is expected to arrive, rather than waiting during a 3-4 week window, you still may feel excited, anxious, nervous, scared, and wonder what to expect. Maybe this is not your first cesarean, but you still wonder what to expect with a planned cesarean. Feeling confident in you and your body, knowing that you are bringing your baby into this world in the best way for you all is important. Being confident will help you feel ready and at peace.

A supportive team

You have your provider, you have your partner, but adding an additional support person to help you all know what to expect, answer your questions, and be with you during the before wait and help you adjust in PACU, is invaluable. There is a common misconception that Birth Doulas are just for women planning an unmedicated vaginal birth.  That is far from the truth, at Virginia is for Doulas, we support families for unmedicated and medicated vaginal births and planned cesareans. Regardless of how you choose to birth your baby, you still deserve professional, compassionate, experienced support by your side every step of the way.

Knowing your wishes

Did you know that you can plan a gentle, family-centered cesarean? This means that there are certain wishes that can still be met and the goal is to make the birth "less surgical". Initiating immediate bonding/breastfeeding/skin-to-skin, involving the mother and father, creating more of a special birth for you as you meet your baby. Do you want/not want to see your baby as soon as they are born? Do you want baby to have delayed cord clamping? Do you want immediate skin-to-skin? Do you want to breastfeed in the OR? What is important to you? Create a family-centered cesarean plan and talk with your doctor about your wishes.

Postpartum support and planning

Recovery from a cesarean is not always easy, so planning ahead and knowing that you will only need to focus on resting, bonding with baby, and recovering will ease your transition to motherhood. We have a three part series on planning for postpartum recovery for further details. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Each part goes over three fantastic ways to improve your postpartum recovery with support for emotional and physical healing: Placenta encapsulation. Nutritional and physical healing: Meals and meal prep. Physical, emotional and daily/nightly support: postpartum doula. Taking care of your needs lets you be the best mother and fully recover with your new baby.

How did you prepare for your planned cesarean?