Tips for writing a caesarean birth plan

Tips for writing a caesarean birth plan

Several people have asked me for advice about writing a caesarean  birth plan recently. For various reasons they have been planned, like mine, or they wanted to be prepared in the event it should happen.

Small Boy was breech and despite all my wants and preparation for a natural birth, albeit in the consultant led ward of the hospital, that wasn’t to be. Two weeks before my due date I was told that I’d be scheduled for a delivery within the week. Although my plans were dashed, this did mean I had the opportunity to do a bit of planning.

I’m not a medical professional, and I’m not going to attempt to give any medical advice here, but I can share with you what was on my “birth plan”. I use the term loosely as it was basically a list of questions that I felt I should ask and some statements about what I wanted in the hope I could make it as “natural” and gentle an experience as possible. Hopefully, this might help you if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Understand what is going to happen medically

  • Will I have a spinal block or general anaesthetic?
  • Will there be a scan beforehand?
  • What happens if baby moves – will the section go ahead?
  • What can I eat and drink before and when is my last meal?
  • Will I feel anything?
  • Who will be performing the procedure?
  • Will my midwife be there?
  • Will I be allowed to go into labour?
  • Is this absolutely necessary and why?
  • Are there alternatives?
  • What are the risks?
  • What are the benefits?

What happens in theatre?

  • How many people will be in theatre and who will they be?
  • Can my partner be with me?
  • Can I have immediate skin to skin before the cord is cut?
  • Can my husband have skin to skin?
  • Can I have music in theatre?
  • Can my partner bring a camera/ phone for photos?
  • Will someone take photos of me, my partner and the baby together (they did for us – it was fab?)

What happens afterwards?

  • What pain killers will I be able to take?
  • When I will be discharged?
  • What support will be available in hospital to help care for baby?
  • Can a breastfeeding consultant come to see me in the ward?*
  • How long will it take to heal?
  • Will I have any follow up appointments?

*It can take a little longer for your milk to come in after a section as you don’t have the benefit of all the hormones from going into labour. If you are intending to breastfeed, it’s worth finding out what help you will get in the ward from day one, and also if you can have a visit at home (good advice for anyone probably though!).

Have you had a caesarean birth and what information helped you prepare? What questions do you wish you’d asked? Comment below so others can benefit.

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  1. January 14, 2018 / 8:22 am

    This is so useful. My situation with my first was exactly the same as yours but I didn’t really do any research or write another birth plan. I really wish I had found out the answers to all these questions first.

  2. January 15, 2018 / 10:14 pm

    Such a useful post. My best friend had 2 scheduled c sections and really could have done with this. It’s great that you can help Mums to be like this.

    • January 16, 2018 / 3:43 pm

      I’m just happy if it helps. I had a very good hypnobirthing book which had a whole section on how to adapt the principles to different situations, and that definitely helped me. Most of my friends had emergency sections and some had said that they wish they’d given some thought to what they would want (in the event it did happen) so it wasn’t so scary at the end.

  3. January 17, 2018 / 11:20 am

    I’ll be having a CS for my second and I was completely clueless as no one has yet to mention a birth plan so this has been such a useful read for me as I can go armed with the right questions. Thank you #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Helen Treharne
      January 17, 2018 / 5:13 pm

      I’m so glad you found it helpful. I’ll be posting a follow up soon with tips on how to look after yourself (practically speaking) after a section. Love you to stop by. I’m not covering medical things, more ‘Mama, this would have kept me sane if I’d thought of it sooner’. Feel free to reach out with any questions. I’m always happy to share about my pregnancy and birth story 🙂

  4. January 17, 2018 / 12:33 pm

    With my first child – I had an emergency c-section as she was born prematurely. This was not what I envisaged as my birth plan. I was out for 2 days as the drugs they gave me for the pain was hectic. However, second time around with the birth of my second daughter – I opted for a c-section. Why? I knew exactly what to expect as I’ve been through it and the recovery this time around was better. Although with normal birth, you recover so much quicker, I was just not up to all the drama of being in labour for hours and the possibility of complications creeping in.#fortheloveofBLOG

    • Helen Treharne
      January 17, 2018 / 5:10 pm

      You’re not the first person to say they would elect for a C-Section next time, particularly when the first was unexpected and at the end of a difficult and long labour. I completely understand it. I often think I would opt for one if I were to have another as we had so many choices taken away from us with our son, getting pregnant, type of birth and then issues with breastfeeding, I’m not sure I would want another thing out of my control. I found the recovery reasonably okay. I planned for the surgery but I could have planned better for not being able to drive and the practicalities around that. There’s a post coming up on that soon with some top tips. Love for your to drop by again and add to my list of tips and lessons learned. I’ll be sure to link it up to #theloveofBlog. Thanks for sharing Noleen.

  5. January 18, 2018 / 8:57 pm

    I think this is going to be totally invaluable to someone out there. No one knows if and when they might need to know this information, whether it’s for themselves or for someone else. Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales

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