The rates of c-sections have increased dramatically in the last 30 years. According to a 2021 study from the World Health Organization (WHO), cesarean section use continues to rise globally, accounting for more than 1 in 5 (21%) of all childbirths. This number is set to continue increasing over the coming decade, with nearly a third (29%) of all births likely to take place by cesarean section by 2030. While these numbers are alarming, the purpose of this article is to prepare for the event of a c-section.
So how can you be prepared if you need or want a c-section?
The biggest differences in a planned cesarean versus and an emergency cesarean will be urgency and atmosphere. These two things make a big impact on the experience. Depending on where you birth, the protocols for either scenario may vary. It is always good to ask about both options ahead of birth to ease fears and concerns. Whether you want or need a cesarean birth, you should be prepared for the OR and your fourth trimester recovery. Hiring a doula is a great way to get educated and plan for either scenario as well as help you with postpartum recovery.
Planned or Non-Emergent:
- Slower pace
- Birth doula and/or partner present
- Spinal epidural and fully conscious
- Skin-to-skin in OR
- Birth photography
- Choice of delayed cord clamping, lowered curtain, music playing, gentle transition for baby
- Fast pace
- No doula support generally (partner may be present)
- Under general anesthesia and asleep
- Delayed skin-to-skin (once you wake up, partner may be able to)
- No photography
- Will miss the first moments of birth and bonding
- Baby may need to be taken to the NICU