Most women hope to have a natural labour and birth, but things don’t always go as planned. For whatever reason, if you are planning to have a scheduled C-section when your due date arrives, make sure you’re fully prepared ahead of time. Knowing what to expect when the day arrives will make the process far less scary and intimidating, and should ensure that you get through the delivery with your healthy baby in your arms at the end of it.
Know What Will Happen On The Day
A large part of anxiety comes from the fear of the unknown. If this is your first C-section, then you probably have no idea what to expect when you hit your due date and head to hospital. C-sections are rarely portrayed in movies, and many people who have emergency C-sections will be a little foggy on the details, so asking friends can be tough. Talk to your OB-GYN so that you know exactly what will happen in the operating theatre, from which electrosurgical equipment will be used for the delivery, to what medical professionals will be present. Having the information ahead of time may calm your nerves.
Use Stress Reduction Techniques
While it may be common for women planning a vaginal delivery to use meditation techniques or relaxation CDs to help prepare them for labour, these practices can be just as useful if you’re having an elective C-section. Hypnobirthing techniques are simple to learn and there are often classes that offer support – make use of these tools so you can be as relaxed and at ease as possible for your C-section.
Create A Birth Plan
C-section mums can have birth plans, too. It may not be possible for your plans to be adhered to 100%, depending on the circumstances on the day, but giving it to your doctor and planning how you want things to go could lead to a far more positive experience. Your birth plan should include what type of atmosphere you hope the room to have when you undergo your C-section, whether you want music played or not, who you want to be with you for the delivery, and whether you’d like photographs to be taken. You can also specify particular wishes for the baby’s birth, like whether or not you want the baby to be cleaned off or given straight to you after the birth, and if you want support with breastfeeding.
When it comes to choosing who you want to bring with you into the operating theatre for your baby’s birth, your partner will probably the obvious first choice. Keep in mind that you may also be able to bring a doula, which is a trained birth companion, or someone else you love and trust.
Prepare For Motherhood
One perk of having an elective C-section is the set timing of your baby’s arrival (assuming you don’t go into labour before the big day). This structured schedule gives you the chance to fully prepare for the transition from being pregnant to being a mum. Try to set up the baby’s room and everything you need for the newborn stage before the last few weeks of your pregnancy. This should give you the time you need to look after yourself, get plenty of rest, and get your mind and body ready for the C-section.