Before an unexpected cesarean, doulas have many ways to help with your birth, offering suggestions- position changes, showers, walks, and so forth, in general making your birth experience more pleasant. In the presence of a doula, you will know that you tried everything, and that, in fact, the cesarean
I recently attended a Cesarean birth, which isn’t always the case as not all local hospitals are comfortable having doulas in operating room (OR). With a rising Cesarean rate (Pittsburgh area hospitals are at about thirty percent), it may benefit you to ask the questions of your healthcare provider if your doula (mother, friend, etc.) be a part of your cesarean birth. If the answer is no, this may be an indication that this hospital/ group, may not be used to a more family-friendly Cesarean. Other questions you may want to ask include- could I have one hand free to touch and interact with the baby? Can you lower the screen if I want to see the birth? Would you consider the use of a cannula instead an oxygen mask, so I can better interact with the baby? How will this affect breastfeeding? Asking these kinds of questions to your healthcare provider can help you to enjoy a more family-friendly cesarean birth, and ultimately give you a more pleasant experience, should a C- section become necessary.
In this case, my clients had done their homework. They had looked into a doctor and hospital that offered family-friendly cesareans, and their research paid off. On the day of the birth, we were escorted into the OR, but not before we (the dad and doula) had been given juice by the nurse, to ensure we were stable. The doctor allowed the dad to look over the screen, and he was able to take some beautiful, amazing photos of the birth, ones which would not have been possible without the doctor’s help and support.
Immediately after birth, the dad was able to go and see the baby at the warmer. After the birth, but very close to the time mom was ready to come back to her room, we left the OR. The doctors came and gave the dad a hug, making it one of the nicest cesareans I have ever been to. As doula, Penny Simkin says, “This is not just another day in a woman’s life.” As doulas, we want you to have the best possible birth, and Cesarean birth is no exception.