How To Prepare For A Planned C-Section Delivery
If you are planning to give birth to your baby through an elective caesarean section (C-section) there are a few things to bear in mind. Having a plan in place enables you to feel your voice is being heard and your choices listened to during your caesarean section, particularly if you will be awake for the birth. Read on to hear our top tips on how to prepare for your caesarean section.
In preparation for your planned caesarean, you will need to stop eating and drinking for at least eight hours before surgery. Having an empty stomach helps to limit the chances of vomiting and lung complications during your surgery, you will also be given medication to help reduce stomach acid.
2. Your Birth Plan
Your C-section birth plan can let your birth team know your wishes so they can try and accommodate them wherever possible. Let your healthcare provider know what your preferences are through a written birth plan, which can be given to your midwife and doctors in advance or on the day. Key points might include having your birth partner present, taking a camera or asking your midwife to take photos, being under general anaesthetic or being awake during the birth, and you might want to include some more of the tips below.
3. Screen Options
When you are in the operating theatre, you can ask for the screen to be lowered so you can see your baby being born. If you would prefer not to have a screen, you can also speak to your medical team to find out if this is possible. This way you will see your baby for the first time as they are being born and can remain focussed on them during this special moment.
4. Background Noise
You can request to have music playing in the background of your caesarean birth and the playlist is totally your choice. Whatever you would like to listen to, either relaxing ambient music or something more energetic, you can download the songs to your phone or give them to one of your healthcare team. You can also ask for silence so that the first sound your baby hears is your voice.
Skin-to-skin contact with your baby is the most amazing and important bonding time you can have after giving birth. Let your midwife know that you want your baby to be put straight on your chest immediately after they have been born so that you get this special bonding time. You can also request delayed cord clamping so that your baby stays connected to you during these first precious moments, and ensures they receive more of their blood from the placenta, which improves their iron stores and helps with cognitive development.
6. Pain Relief
If you are not under general anaesthetic, then you will be given a spinal or epidural anaesthetic. It takes time for your anaesthetic to wear off and to regain sensation and strength in your legs so you will be given compression stockings to help with your circulation and to avoid blood clots. Focus on being with your baby and ask for extra pillows to keep you supported in positions that feel the most comfortable for you both as you regain your strength in the recovery room.
Having a planned caesarean section can be an empowering birth choice if it feels right for you and your baby. To ensure you have all of the information you need about how to prepare to make your C-section experience less daunting, speak with your midwife and/or take part in a C-section webinar.
About the author
My Expert Midwife was founded in 2017 to help with the physical recovery challenges that women face during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. Working with in-house expert midwives, they have developed a range of award-winning products designed especially for new and expectant mums and new babies. Their midwife-developed products come glowingly recommended by thousands of mums.