For whatever reason, you’ve had to schedule a c-section delivery date. It is not what you planned, but birth often doesn’t play by the “birth plan rules” we set. So here are a few things you can do to ensure that your cesarean birth is as peaceful and wonderful as a vaginal birth.
1. Get a doula! If you don’t already have a doula, it is time to hire one! I know, we all think that doula’s are only helpful for natural vaginal labors, but it turns out that doula’s play a very big role in assisting cesarean births as well! Your doula will walk you and your partner through a dry run of the surgery. She will discuss the details of the procedure, give your partner tips on how to support you during your cesarean birth and give you methods for creating a calm, beautiful birth space in the surgery room! A cesarean birth can be peaceful and beautiful!
2. Don’t ditch your birth plan! Don’t throw your birth plan out the window just yet, there are still so many choices and options available as part of a cesarean birth. It is time to get with your doula and create your cesarean birth plan. She can help you to create a reasonable plan that expresses those things that are important to your family while being practical in a cesarean birth space.
3. It’s not all about the birth! This may seem like an odd statement, but it’s true. We often spend so much time in childbirth education classes, learning about our labor options, and reading birth books, that we forget to prepare for our postpartum period. As it turns out, postpartum is often more challenging then labor! After all, that precious buddle doesn’t arrive with its unique “How To” guide! So begin to work with your doula to put together a strong postpartum care plan. It is important to ensure that you and your baby are properly supported and cared for both physically and emotionally during the entire the duration of your recovery. This is not the time to be Superwoman or to “Tough it out” ladies.
You hear it often, what more can you ask for if mama and baby are healthy. I say TONS! With our level of medical technology today, I call “Healthy Mama/Healthy Baby” the basic level of physical care. Of course there is always the possibility of the emergent situation, but IF that situation doesn’t manifest, why not shoot for the moon?
It is sensible to ask for appropriate family bonding considerations to be honored. It is reasonable to expect the proper emotional care from your provider during a cesarean birth. It is acceptable to request respect of your families overall birth experience. After all, it is the one day of your life that you will never forget!
By Bea Wilds, RYT, CLD. Bea is the Co-Owner of Enso. She is a labor doula, teaches prenatal yoga, plans blessingways, creates belly cast art and mama & me yoga.
Recently my 14 month old got some sort of stomach bug which resulted in me washing more loads of sheets in one day than I ever thought possible (9 for the record). Vomit and poop city. He’s normally a pretty good eater of solid foods and breastmilk, but when he was actively sick (i.e. making the sheets dirty) he would not tolerate solid food or water. A toddler that is not eating or drinking is not a situation I would wish to find myself in. Fortunately, we were able to breastfeed through his illness.
It’s pretty common in our country for people to wean their babies from breastmilk at around 12 months, but my thought for my family is, ‘why fix what isn’t broken?’ Having a breastfeeding relationship with a toddler works for my family. I was so thankful that we were still breastfeeding while my son was sick; I knew at the bare minimum he was getting some valuable nutrients and staying hydrated even though he was throwing up all food and the water he drank from his straw cup. I also knew that my immune system was helping him fight off this nasty stomach bug. He was only actively sick for a day and recovering for another day, then back to his normal self.
Unfortunately, I managed to catch the stomach bug and got really sick myself. Again, I was so thankful I was breastfeeding because I was able to feed my just-recovering-from-his-illness son without having to get out of my sick bed/off of my couch. He still wasn’t tolerating solids that day, so thankfully I got to stay out of the kitchen that day.
It actually took just over a week for my son to get his full appetite for solid food back. During that time he was nursing every few hours, and I could tell my supply was going up to meet his needs. It’s so amazing how my body was able to respond to what my son needed without me having to fret over it. When he was just picking at his food because he didn’t want to eat, I didn’t need to worry he was going to starve since he was getting everything he needed from my milk.
We have no plans of weaning now or in the foreseeable future. The value of breastfeeding a sick toddler or breastfeeding to soothe a toddler just learning to walk who falls down a lot is definitely worth maintaining our breastfeeding relationship to me. I know breastfeeding past a year isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s what works for my family. In the end I think most of us agree you need to do what’s best for your family, even if it’s not what everyone is doing.
Michelle is mama to a sweet one-year-old boy. She also teaches Baby Led Weaning at Enso.
Bea Wilds, RYT, CLD is a doula and Enso co-owner. Learn more about her or look into hiring her practice as your birth support team.
I realize that it was weeks ago now, but did everyone have a lovely Mother’s Day? I sure did. It was nothing specially, really. I even made my own pancakes for breakfast and we ate leftovers for dinner. Our big outings were to Target and Whole Foods, but what made the day so special were all of the messages from friends and family, wishing me a happy first Mother’s Day, and of course getting to spend it with my wonderful husband and sweet baby boy. The chocolate covered strawberries didn’t hurt, either...
But those messages! I guess I never really realized how special a holiday like Mother’s Day was. Of course I love my own mother and would try to treat her extra special on this day, but now that I am a mother myself, the holiday meant so much more. I was overwhelmed by how much love and support came from other mother’s, whether they were close friends or those whose lives I only kept up with through the token Facebook status update. If they were a woman who loved a child, whether that child was still a new bundle of joy or all grown up and having babies of their own, or whether they carried and birthed that child or it came into their life by another way - I felt a connection to them, and they felt that same connection to me. This holiday apparently isn’t just for children and husbands to show appreciation for the mother’s in their lives. This holiday is for women to show love and respect for other women who share the experience of motherhood.
I guess you could say that every day is Mother’s Day at Enso Prenatal, then. That same love and support I felt from all over the internet last Sunday is what I feel each and every time I roll out my mat or attend a workshop in that studio space in Old Colorado City. It’s a pretty special place, which is why I love getting to teach yoga there and give back to what gave so much to me as I entered into this motherhood adventure.
Mama Yoga is a class that is very special to me, which is why I would love for you to join me on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm and alternating Sunday afternoons at 2:30pm. This class is for mothers of all kinds, with children of all ages (although this one’s just for the mom’s, so leave the kiddos at home and practice in peace!). We combine the need for a physical practice (mothering is tough on the body!) with the need for physical connection (message boards don’t come close). The class can offer a little more of a challenge, and often will include some sort of breathing exercise or meditation, and then closes out with some restorative poses and a nice, long, uninterrupted savasana. When I took my first solo yoga class after having my son, it was so strange not to pause for multiple nursing or diaper changing breaks. I kind of missed the little rascal trying to nibble my toes, but being able to do more yoga and less baby-wrangling was a nice change! We still have our weekly Mom & Me Yoga dates, but having a date with myself (and other solo-mamas) is just as important for my body, mind, and soul. Plus, the promise of fifteen minutes of solid relaxation is reason enough to make it to class! I hope that you can join me sometime!
Mindy teaches Mama Yoga on Sundays and Wednesdays and Mom & Me on Mondays at 10:30.
This blog is not intended to be a source of medical information or advice. Please discuss all of your concerns with your care provider.