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I had a wonderful midwife (and my very supportive husband) attend the birth of DS1 so I didn't feel the need for a doula. But this time around it'll be a planned c-section and I'm wondering if having a doula present would be a good thing. An operating room isn't the warm friendly environment I'd like to welcome my little one into and I'm looking for ways to change that, at least a little bit. What could/would a doula do during/before/after a planned c-section?
 

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I planned a VBAC (the reason I had a doula) but ended up with a scheduled CS. My doula offered emotional support beforehand, then on the day:

- ran back to our home to get some vital stuff I'd forgotten to bring. this meant DH could stay with me :)

- wasn't allowed in theatre (only allowed one support person, which was DH).

- came into recovery with us, offered general support such as helping me sit up (I hated being flat on my back and everyone else was busy with obs, etc.)

- when we got back to the ward, generally helped make sure everything was in order (e.g. luggage in convenient place in the room), took photos for us, etc..

- when I first got out of bed, she helped me to the bathroom, helped me shower and get dressed.

Afterwards, she offered the usual follow up support that you'd expect.

Basically, it was nice having her there, but not really needed. I'm having another CS soon and won't have a doula.
 

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Check with your hospital to figure out what the policies are, and try to negotiate as many things as you can. Often hospitals will only allow one support person in the OR, but a doula can stay with you if the baby needs to go to the nursery or nicu. Google "Natural Cesarean" for ideas you might be able to share with your doctor.

You might consider spending money on a postpartum doula instead - recovering from a c-section with an older child needing your attention doesn't sound fun. At the c-section births I have attended as a doula, I wish I could do more to help, but I find that those clients need the most help adjusting after the birth.
 
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