Cesarean Your Way: Choice and Informed Decision Making For A Cesarean Birth

by Chelsea Casson on October 30, 2013

Lisa Baker is a childbirth educator and mother of two in Calgary, Alberta. You can reach her by email at lisabakerlcce@gmail.com.

Quite recently I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a seminar by Sharon Muza of New Moon Birth entitled Cesarean YOUR Way. During this session Sharon described a childbirth education class that she specifically designed for parents undergoing a planned cesarean birth. The most interesting aspect of Sharon’s class is the way in which she incorporates the element of choice and informed decision-making. For many expectant couples, having a say in how your cesarean birth is performed is a revolutionary idea. After all, a cesarean birth is major abdominal surgery.  Yet Sharon suggests all expectant couples have a conversation with their care provider about ways to make the birth a more personal experience. Although hospital policies and procedures may limit some options, several questions an expectant parent may discuss with a care provider regarding the cesarean birth include:

  1. Can the partner do skin to skin with baby in the operating room?

  2. Do the mother’s hands have to be restrained during the surgery?

  3. Is it possible to wait until labour begins naturally to perform the cesarean birth?

  4. Does mother need to have medication that reduces anxiety prior to the surgery (these medications can leave mother foggy and cloud her memories of the event)?

  5. Can the drape be lowered at the time of birth so mom and partner can see the birth of the baby?

  6. Can the OR staff introduce themselves before the procedure begins?

  7. Can mom walk into the OR?

  8. Can mom/partner see the placenta?

  9. Does mom prefer a quieter room or are staff free to chat during the procedure?

  10. Will staff or parents announce sex of baby?

  11.  Is aromatherapy allowed in the OR?

  12. Would you like the doctor to explain the details as the procedure occurs?

  13. Would you prefer sutures or staples to close the incision?

  14. Is delayed cord clamping a possibility?

  15. Are pictures or video allowed in the OR?

  16. Can baby breastfeed in OR?

When parents concerns are taken into account a cesarean birth can be a beautiful birth. To illustrate this point please take a few minutes and view the YouTube video entitled “ The natural cesarean: a women-centered technique”.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kae Murphy October 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm

The first step for parents to get the birth they deserve is by asking the right questions!

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