There’s no doubt that you will find thousands of posts on how doulas can reduce the incidence of cesarean births.
What I have often found lacking though is information. Information on how doulas provide support those who choose to have a cesarean birth. Or even those who would rather prefer a vaginal birth but circumstance lead them to choose a different path by necessity. These families often welcome their babies with little to no support. Many are unaware of the benefit that doulas can bring to cesarean birth. Unfortunately many also assume that doulas don’t support cesarean births regardless of the circumstances.
As a doula, I’ve never been a huge fan of touting the statistics of how doulas lower cesarean rates.
There is an inherent bias in these statistics. Many of the statistics used today are also overinflated and no longer statistically valid. More importantly, we place those families who desire or require a cesarean birth on the outside of the “doulas lower cesarean rates” equation. Straight out of the box we are saying “except for you.” And let’s be real. A doula has no control over placenta previa. Or a malpositioned baby who needs to be born by cesarean to be born safely. A baby who is experiencing unresolved fetal distress. Or a mother who develops a life-threatening illness and needs to have her baby NOW. Not to mention the mother or baby who has health factors at play that require a cesarean birth.
As a doula, all of these families matter to me. Not just the ones who are aiming for a vaginal birth.
So here’s the heart of my Cesarean Awareness Month message.
At Tucson Doulas, we support cesarean birth.
Like vaginal birth, cesarean birth still comes with a lot of fears and unknowns. As doulas who have experience in both vaginal and cesarean births, your Tucson Doula is there to answer any questions you may have. Some clients schedule a “pre-birth” meeting with their doula. During this meeting, we walk through the entire cesarean birth process from start to finish. Learning what to expect on your big day is one way to alleviate fears. It also allows you to optimize the options available to you to make this day special and memorable!
If there’s one thing we’ve learned as doulas, it’s to expect the unexpected. While the time of arrival for your baby’s birth may be “on the books” when having a scheduled cesarean, we’ve learned that rarely do things always go as planned. Labor and delivery is a fast-paced unit in a hospital, and as we’ve all learned, babies don’t follow schedules. The labor and delivery unit has an internal balance where everyone’s needs are met. So it’s not uncommon for a client arriving at 10am for an 11am cesarean birth to be bumped.
The needs of each mother and baby are constantly assessed. If a mother and baby need to deliver NOW due to unforeseen circumstances, adjustments are made to make it happen. Those who are scheduled will be delayed, and those with more urgent needs are moved to the front of the line. Sometimes this means that your 11am cesarean birth may not happen until much later. Having your doula there for support and reassurance will make this process much less stressful.
After the birth
Many families find that their doula’s support the day of the surgery is essential. As with any birth, this is a big day for your family. But the world outside doesn’t stop. Pets will need to be fed and taken out. Older children will need tending to. Partners or other support people often find that they are torn about what direction their support is needed most. Having your doula there by your side allows partners to tend to the other demands of life, knowing all the while that you have expert, individualized care by your side. Many of our families who choose cesarean births utilize 12 hours of support in-hospital after their baby is born.
As you are discharged from the hospital our care extends to your transition home. Your postpartum doula can meet you at the hospital and follow you home. Or you may choose to have her waiting at your home as you arrive. Postpartum doulas are the experts at post birth recovery. Your doula will help you to settle in with confidence as you learn to negotiate life with your new baby. She can help you to set up your home so that caring for your baby is while recovering from your cesarean birth is a much easier endeavor. Having someone at hand to assist with each feeding can help to get your breastfeeding journey off to the best start. And let’s not forget about sleep! Your postpartum doula is the Jedi master at helping families get much-needed sleep!
This is how your Tucson Doulas help support your cesarean birth.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can tailor our support to your unique needs, contact us today!Contact Us Today to Learn More