I shared links for do-it-yourself birth plans recently, but what about those mothers who must have planned C-sections? Luckily, there are birth plan options there, too.
I am due to have my fifth baby via planned cesarean section in a little over a week. While I tried multiple times to deliver naturally, it is not an option for me. I still have many preferences that I want to go over with my doctor and hospital, however, such as the use of eye drops, bringing my baby to me immediately in the recovery room, breastfeeding her during the heel prick and rooming in.
Mothers who must have planned C-sections can still put all of their wishes in writing. Here are some examples and templates to draw up your own cesarean birth plan. It’s also a good idea to have a cesarean birth plan on hand even when planning a natural birth, just in case it becomes necessary.
- Australia’s birth.com offers a comprehensive cesarean checklist birth plan that you can print out
- About.com has an example birth plan that lists the parents’ wishes
- The Empowering Birth Blog has an example cesarean birth plan and refusal/consent form
- Baby, Toddler and Beyond has a fill-in-the blank style cesarean birth plan
- Childbirth.org and Birthcut provide information and explanations about some options during cesarean births
What sort of things should you put on your cesarean birth plan? This is a place to state your preferences like:
- Who you would like with you during the surgery
- What type of pain relief you’d like
- Whether you would like your partner to cut the cord
- Whether you’d like the baby brought to you right away in the recovery room
- Your preferences on newborn vaccinations
- Your wishes regarding pacifiers
- Your breastfeeding intentions
- Whether you would like the baby to “room in” with you during recovery
- Your preferences regarding the heel prick and eye drops
- Instructions regarding circumcision
These are just a few of the issues you can address in your birth plan.
Obviously, your doctor and hospital may not always be willing or able to follow every part of your birth plan. It’s important to discuss your wishes with your doctor in advance. Emergency situations can also mean that not all of the elements of your plan can be followed.
We are not always able to have the birth we’d prefer, but with advance planning and discussion we can map out a plan that we feel is the best possible for both mother and child — for any type of birth.