I will do my best to paint a picture of what a planned cesarean birth can look like in general.
Planned meaning you have not had labor at all and are going to the hospital for a scheduled procedure.
You will be asked to arrive two hours prior to your scheduled surgery. This is to give everyone time to double check that they have everything ready for you, and that you have nothing else that needs to be completed.
Things they will be doing, checking your blood pressure, starting an IV and running fluids, giving medicine for pain that will start working in your system by the time the surgery is completed, they will double check the position of a baby (for example if baby is no longer in a breech position we could switch gears from surgery).
Your nurse will be cleaning your belly, and checking the surgical sight, sometimes they need to trim a little along the bikini line. Please don’t shave yourself the night before, as the act of shaving can actually put you at a higher risk of infection due to the small cuts that can be on your skin from razor burn. They will use sterile clippers, and then clean if there is too much hair.
Your partner will be given a ‘bunny suit.’ This is a large coverall, that makes you look like you are a very large “umpa lumpa” from the chocolate factory. Your partner will be waiting to come into the OR for about 15-20 minutes while they do the spinal and the final prep for surgery.
Before the baby is born they will be brought into the room.
Baby is usually born within 10-15 mins after surgery has started. At this point, the partner should go to the warmers to say hello to the little one. They are there for just a few minutes before being brought to mama. The goal is to get the whole family together ASAP. Baby’s tend to need a little extra assistance during a surgical birth to clear and open up their lungs. Once that has happened, they are brought to do skin to skin with mama.
I cannot stress this enough, until that happens the BEST thing that your partner can do is to talk to your baby. Hearing your voice helps them so much, it is something familiar in this bright loud
In short, YES! You always have a choice and should feel empowered to use your voice. Open the lines of communication between you and your support team. Some good questions to ask at this point are: “What is your normal process?” “Is my doula allowed with me the whole time?” “When can my partner join us?” “How quickly is my baby on my chest?” “How long from start to finish?”
Are you concerned that your birthing partner may be feeling anxious about your upcoming labor and delivery? Helping to ensure that your birthing partner is prepared is an important step in your labor and delivery process.
There are various things to learn when it comes to the do’s and don'ts of caring for your laboring partner but do not let that overwhelm you. We are here to help provide the knowledge and encouragement you and your partner may need.