“I have to have a caesarean so there’s no point doing a birth plan”
This sentence breaks my heart – a big part of why I do what I do is because I love helping women to believe in themselves, to feel confident in their ability to make decisions that are right for them and to let go of this idea that someone else is in charge of something as HUGE as giving birth. This is a huge deal – it’s something that you’re going to reflect on forever so having a positive experience and feeling like an absolute legend and really proud of yourself afterwards is exactly what I want for you!
“I have to have a caesarean…” – first of all this lady wasn’t actually told she had to have a caesarean, that’s how she translated it. I know that sometimes, some midwives and obstetricians will use this language but on this occasion this is how she’d translated it. As a grown woman, being told you’re not allowed to do something is really disempowering, which is not a great place to be when you’re preparing for something as life changing as giving birth and becoming a mum, even if it’s not for the first time.
Even if she had been told she “had to” have a caesarean by her obstetrician, translating it to “I would advise that you have a caesarean…” – means you can then ask questions, ask for evidence, about why so that you completely understand and are also happy and confident that this is the best course of action for you, is going to make a huge difference to how you feel about it.
one of the reasons that a birth plan is so powerful is that you’re researching all of your options in order to put the plan together. As cheesy as it sounds, knowledge is power
“… so there’s no point doing a birth plan” – whhhhhhhy? You’ve probably heard this before but one of the reasons that a birth plan is so powerful is that you’re researching all of your options in order to put the plan together. As cheesy as it sounds, knowledge is power.
If you’ve spent your whole pregnancy with your heart set on a water birth at home and towards the end of your pregnancy, or even during labour your best course of action is a caesarean for whatever reason, yes it’s going to be gutting and you have every right to be pissed off, BUT you definitely don’t have to throw your birth plan out of the window and let someone else take control! It’s still your birth, your baby and your rules.
Here are a few things you could think about:
If you’re prepared and you’re having intelligent conversations with medical professionals you’re going to be asking lots of questions, asking for evidence and stats, making the decision to have a caesarean yourself, you’re still in control.
What parts of your birth plan A can you apply to your caesarean birth? Did you have a play list? Well… you can still put that on if there’s time!
Unless there’s a reason you’ll still be awake so you can still have immediate skin to skin if you want to after birth. You can request that any monitoring devices be put on your back so that your chest is ready for your baby. If you do need general anaesthetic then your partner can have skin to skin with baby first.
You can request for cannulas to go in your non dominant hand/arm.
You can watch your baby being born if you’d like to – it’s definitely worth watching some gentle caesarean/woman centred caesarean birth videos. This is a good one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv22YoUpt2Q&t=1s
You can still delay clamping the cord.
You can ask the doctors and nurses not to talk unless absolutely necessary.
It’s worth looking into seeding to see what you think about that.
The BRAIN acronym is really useful when you’re making important decisions as it prompts you to evaluate all of the information so that you’re making an informed decision.
B stands for benefits – what are the benefits of doing something, what are the benefits of not doing something
R stands for risks – what are the risks of doing something, what are the risks of not doing something
A stands for alternatives – what other options do you have?
I stands for instinct – what is your gut feeling about whatever is happening?
N stands for nothing – what happens if we do nothing for X amount of time? What happens if we do nothing?
This is your birth– OWN IT!