Ok I’m with you, I totally didn’t believe this myself and my c-section probably wasn’t what I would call positive. Yes, I needed to have one (I had something called HELLP syndrome). And yes, my babies were safely delivered – despite being premmies they both (yep Twins!) came out screaming before being whisked off to neonatal. But positive? No, probably not the word I would use to describe the birth of my twins.
Almost 4 years later and I now know that my experience doesn’t have to be your experience. Ok so maybe you didn’t imagine a c-section but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a positive experience. Here’s a few hints and tips I wish I’d know back then:
There was music playing in theatre, but not my music. And I don’t remember what song was playing when my twins were born.
I had no idea you could have music playing in theatre (obviously situation dependant). So at your next antenatal appointment ask the question and start putting together your positive c-section play list! And there is no right or wrong music play list. If you like Disney, choose Disney; old skool garage – go for it. For me it would have been Jack Johnson – without a doubt puts a smile on my face. Music can make you laugh, smile, cry and fall in love. Why wouldn’t you want that at your babies birth?!
So you’re right you can’t have a scented candle or a reed diffuser in theatre. But how about essential oils on a handkerchief or getting your birth partner to wear the aftershave/perfume you love. Scents can act as an anchor, reminding you of nice memories and can really help to keep you feeling calm in theatre.
The moment your baby is born
Personally I’m a little squeamish but did you know you can choose to watch your baby being born? Ask for a clear drape and birth partners don’t forget the camera!
Skin to Skin
Unless there is a medical reason why it’s not possible, just because you are in theatre doesn’t mean skin to skin has to go out the window. Ask for IV’s to be placed on your non-dominant hand and monitors on your back, and wear your gown like a shirt, with the opening at the front.
If for any reason you can’t have skin to skin straight away then ask that your birth partner has skin to skin as soon as possible instead. Birth partners – unless you want to take your top off I suggest wearing a shirt that you can unbutton.
Optimal cord clamping
So I was completely ignorant on this one! But did you know that when your baby is born 1/3 of their blood supply is in their umbilical cord. Delayed cord clamping means your baby gets to benefits from all this extra blood. And all being well on the day, you can request delayed cord clamping as part of your abdominal birth plan.
Before & after
Don’t forget about the before and after!
Before theatre keep yourself relaxed and calm. Listen to your favourite music, watch some Netflix (Friends is always a winner for me) and keep the lights low – do whatever makes you feel calm and relaxed. If that’s bringing your favourite teddy (shhhh don’t tell anyone!) then bring your favourite teddy!
And the same goes for afterwards – nice music, low lighting, your own pillow from home and a snuggly dressing gown which smells of your favourite scent. The perfect environment for getting to know your new little one!
These are just a few little hints and tips but hopefully gives you the idea that a c-section or abdominal birth (I prefer this, what about you?) can be positive!!!
Some people know they are having an abdominal birth in advance others don’t but either way, taking some time to research your options and jotting down some abdominal birth preferences can help you navigate your babies birth and have a positive experience whatever happens on the day!
If you want to know more please get in touch, I’m happy to help with any questions you have. I teach The Little Birth Company hypnobirthing full courses, short workshops and pregnancy relaxation classes at The Nesting Place, Chelmsford.
And watch this space for Positive C-Section workshops coming soon!!