How do you doula at a c-section? I have a friend who may need my support, but I have never been to a c-section before. I know I can hold her hand, answer questions, help with breastfeeding, ect. afterwards, but what else do you do?
For planned c-sections, I usually do a walk-through of what to expect for my clients at the prenatal visits as part of a visualization/relaxation exercise. Before surgery, I hold the space as a I do for any birth, answering questions, trying to maintain a calmness in the room. During surgery and closing, I either lead a visualization to relax and distract my client or hold her hand, or whatever she has asked me to do. In recovery, I do acupressure, help her establish breastfeeding, and all the things I would normally do postpartum. Good luck!
for planned cesareans prenatally I help them navigate what choices they have during the surgery, discuss what to expect. In the OR, if they want, I keep talking to them about what is happening behind the blue curtain, I'll help lower the curtain so they can see baby invite dad to stand as baby is being pulled out, mostly I take LOTS of pictures, if both dad and I are allowed in dad goes with baby and I stay with mom. in recovery I do all the same things I would with a vaginal birth, get baby to the breast, adjust room lighting, advocate moms wishes during 'routine baby care', etc. I do encourage writing a cesarean birth plan (use google, you'll find examples)
For cesareans, I find that I talk to the nurses a lot about helping mom get what she wants. One of my clients (with a heart breaking/frustrating section) a couple months ago, the nurse and I literally went into the hall way with moms 'just in case' section birth plan and hashed out (negotiated) what they could give mom and what they couldn't. While the scenario surrounding the section sucked, mom said it was her most empowering of the three sections she'd had because we were able to get what was important to her out of the experience. It was her 3rd section, but the first she'd gotten pictures of.
mother friendly cesareans
cesarean birth plans
Not a birth pro., but I saw this in the new posts list and remembered a blog post I read yesterday:
There is some stuff in there that I would not have thought of!
I really like this, and it really is important.
Ask her really truly how she feels about having a cesarean. What things would she like done/not done? What is she worried/concerned about before, during and after the surgery?
Give a run down of the process and what will happen before, during and after.
What a CS yourself, look on YouTube if you haven't seen one. It's a pretty intense process.
See if she can press her OB and have both you and husband there, I did with mine and it made all the difference.
Explain what is going on...ie: incision, baby's head is out, what he/she looks like, body out, cord cut, suctioned, etc.
If she wants to see, help lower drape.
Tell her what amazing thing she did by growing a beautiful baby for 9 whole months.
Refer to it as a birth still, and not a delivery.
Reflect how she views it. If she is serious about it being major abdominal surgery, reflect that. Validate what she has said.
baby room in
weighing and everything can be delayed till they are in PP room. (except APGAR of course)
Ask her how she felt about it.
Ask her how she felt about the CS a week or two later, these feeling can change, and often do.
Again, reflect and validate all she went through and help her fill in holes where she may not remember.
Great suggestions on here already,but I will add:
Help her prepare for this birth so that she can welcome this baby with joy. Are there aspects of the birth over which she has control: can she ask for specific music to be played in the OR? Can she ask for the baby to be placed skin-to-skin with her while they do the repairs (assuming baby doesn't need NICU support right away)? If there were things that were important to her like delayed cord clamping and having the baby given to her immediately, encourage her to advocate for those even though this is a surgical birth. There may be latitude for these accomodations, and if she's planning a c-section, she can talk this through with her OB ahead of time and have a game plan in place.
Remind her to ask for a double layer of sutures when they are doing the repairs. If she has a tendency to get keloids, remind her to ask the surgeon not to staple but to do a more cosmetic repair of her skin.
Bring her blankets from the warmer and massage her arms and hands if she gets the shakes after the baby is born.
Have her find out if she can bring music. I was at a csection recently where the OB had an iPod player and offered music for the birth and I was amazed at what a difference that made.
"If she wants to see, help lower drape."
Don't do this without permission. The drape protects the sterile field and you're likely to freak a lot of people out if you go messing with that.