14 Aug · Karen Melton · No Comments

How Prepare for a Cesarean Section

I want to give you some great ways that you can be prepared for any kind of c-section. I advocate strongly for mom’s to practice Prenatal Attachment parenting because if you have a strong connection with your baby by the time you get to your birthing, you have a good chance of having an empowering experience, even if it’s a c-section. This is because you are together in the birthing experience no matter what happens, your strong connection sees you through and provides a buffer. Prenatal Attachment – a two way connection and communication with your baby – helps you to keep your baby safe, and prevent unnecessary trauma. When I work with pregnant moms I encourage them to prepare for a c-section even if it’s not in their plan, because it is best to be prepared. Preparation reduces the trauma that can be felt when unexpected major surgery looms, and all other choices are lost.

If you are not used to connecting with your baby in the womb, talking to her, including her, telling her what is happening, what you are going to do today, etc then start now! Even if you only have a couple of days or weeks before your birth, you can forge a strong connection with your baby. How does this help? Even in a natural vaginal birth you can use your connection with baby to stay in touch with how she is doing during birthing. You are doing this together. Birthing is a relational dance, mom is working hard to give birth and baby is working hard to get born. It makes sense then that the two of you need to be in contact throughout. If your birthing progresses towards a c-section you can tell baby what is happening, explain to her what it may feel like, what will be done and stay in contact with her throughout. E.g. when a drug is being given, let baby know it is coming in and what it may feel like for her – reassure her. One of the good things about c-section is that you will probably be conscious for it, so you can maintain your attachment to baby and support her as she goes through it with you.

Many pregnant women are very reluctant to even think about c-section during their pregnancy and birth preparations because it is naturally a scary thing to contemplate. The feeling can be “if I think about it, it will happen!” It will not happen just because you thought about it, and prepared. If you are home birthing or at a birth center, I suggest that you go to the hospital you would be transported to if you needed a c-section, familiarize yourself with what it looks like, the location, and talk to the staff about their procedures, etc. Then if you need a c-section it won’t all be new, and it won’t come as such a shock. You will feel more in control with this preparation, and you will know more about what to tell your baby, and what to expect yourself. You can also be more informed about what to put into your birth plan.

Sometimes you may find that your ob/gyn will be willing to work with you about certain aspects of your c-section, so ask these questions before you are the midst of it:

– can I see my baby’s head coming out (they can do this without showing you anything else)
– can you slow everything down as long as there is no danger to me or my baby?
– can you not cut the umbilical cord quickly? – I would like for it to stay attached until it has stopped pulsing allowing baby to receive lots of important nutrients before it is cut.
– can I hold my baby for as long as possible before they take her away (for observation, tests, etc)?

When your baby is separated from you, have your partner go with her to the observation room, and he/she can continue telling baby what is happening and that she will be back with you very soon. Your partner can also ask to hold baby whilst hospital procedures and tests are being carried out. This can really help with moms feelings about being separated and having her baby out of her sight. also helps prevent trauma in baby that can come from not knowing what is going on, where her mom is, and when she will see her again. These are the most important concerns for a baby, her survival depends upon being with her mother. All of these actions can prevent unnecessary attachment issues from forming at this stage.

© 2016 Karen Melton

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