How to Create a Cesarean Birth Plan

Giving birth varies from woman to woman, and it requires a lot of preparation. There is a significant number of women who undergo a cesarean section delivery. A cesarean section, or C-section, is an operation to deliver a baby through a cut made in the mother’s abdomen and womb.

A cesarean section is a major operation that brings many risks. The procedure is carried out only if it is the safest option for the mother and the baby. Whether you are intended to have a C-section or not, it is better to prepare in advance.

Creating a cesarean birth plan can help you to manage a cesarean delivery well. Think about what to expect before, during, and after your baby’s birth. Discover what choices are available as there is no one-size-fits-all answer. You may have several options depending on the care provider you choose. Plan it out ahead and pick what you feel is best for you.

How to Create a Cesarean Birth Plan
Image Source: Fem First Health

Gather Information

You may search for relevant resources through the internet. Different websites offer articles, downloadable materials like e-books and pdf files, and even instructional videos. Try to check out some exclusive websites catering specifically to mothers, pregnancy, and childbirth.

You may also attend childbirth classes. There are classes specifically made for cesarean discussion, while other classes include cesarean topics as part of the curriculum. 

If you take an extensive childbirth class, you will receive lessons about expectations during cesarean delivery, different choices available to you, and things to expect during normal labor because you may go into labor before a planned cesarean.

Examine Choices And Possibilities

After learning about C-section options, you need to determine if they are possible for your chosen hospital or care provider.  For example, you think that skin-to-skin contact in the OR is beneficial for both you and your baby, so you want to include it in your birth plan. But you should ask your obstetrician or your chosen hospital ahead if they allow it. 

Take note that not all hospitals are similar. That is why it is important to discuss with your obstetrician how they perform a cesarean, the policies at the hospital, and what kinds of services and choices you can access. 

Different Options

Some hospitals perform family-centered cesareans regularly. Others have certain choices that are not permitted, like clear drape surgery and skin-to-skin contact with the baby in the OR. 

In cases, mother-baby friendly choices in the OR during a cesarean are not usually allowed with your OB or in your hospital. But you can still share your preferences and include them on your birth plan. 

However, your requests have no guarantee to be fulfilled, and your birth plan may not be followed. So it is better to discuss all of this with your attending OB, so you’ll know what to prepare and expect.

Make Your Cesarean Birth Plan

You have now acquired knowledge about the options available; you can now start to create a birth plan. 

Here are some main questions to ask when deciding your preferences for cesarean birth and some questions you can ponder on to help you create your birth plan for a cesarean.

Pain Relief/Pre-Birth

What kind of pain relief do I like and not like to have?

During Birth

Who are the family members or people I want to be present with me during birth in the OR?

How much involvement do I want to give in my childbirth process?

Is it helpful for me to have an introduction with the professionals in the OR?

What kind of ambiance (quiet or talkative) would I prefer in the OR?

Postpartum Recovery

What kind of care do I want to get for my postpartum recovery?

Baby Care

The kinds of routines I want and not want for my baby after the delivery?

Finalize Your Birth Plan –  Where do I want my baby to be during the first couple of hours after birth?

Bring your completed C-section birth plan to your OB or care provider and have a discussion to review and understand your childbirth process. Your choice of hospital and OB has a huge impact on your birth experience. 

Consider changing obstetrician or hospital, if possible, if you feel dissatisfied with how your birth plan is received or there is a lack of options offered. 

How to Create a Cesarean Birth Plan
Image Source: Stanford Children’s Org

Conclusion

A birth plan is a helpful guide. However, keep in mind that this plan is subject to change based on your priorities in the actual event of your cesarean delivery. 

Whether you want to follow your birth plan as much as possible, or you let the medical team proceed with the operation.