Should I have a Doula If I am having Cesarean Section?
Often it is believed that Birth Doula services are used only by those seeking non-medicated or natural childbirth. In reality, Birth Doulas attend both medicated and non-medicated births, including cesarean sections (C-sections). Although individual hospital policies regarding who may be allowed in the operating room during C-sections vary, many of Birthing Gently's Birth Doulas have attended scheduled and unscheduled procedures.
The Scheduled Cesarean Section
You may wonder why a Birth Doula would be helpful for a scheduled cesarean section (C-section). Take a moment to consider the relationship you have established with your Birth Doula. You have built a trustful relationship with your Doula as you have prepared for your birth. Some women feel anxiety over the thought of surgery. Your Birth Doula takes time during the prenatal visit and throughout the prenatal period through close phone and email conversation to review and work with you to help reduce your anxiety before your delivery. Our Doulas use a six week relaxation program prior to your delivery date, this relaxation program helps to reduce stress and anxiety brought about by the upcoming birth ( for some mothers this may include working though some birth tramua brought on by a previous birth). She can educate you about some aspects of surgical birth and aid in formulating a birth plan. It is very important to review the birth plan with your health care provider in advance so your Birth Doula's presence during the delivery will be planned for and expected. The final decision and permission for the Birth Doula's attendance at the delivery is made by the anesthesiologist. Birth Doula services provided by Birthing Gently are offered at a reduced fee for scheduled cesarean sections. Your Doula will be with you in the pre-op area before the surgery, and once regional anesthesia is placed, she will remain with you in the operating room during the delivery. She has been educated about C-sections and will be able to provide you with details as needed. Everyone will be busy during the procedure; the surgeon and assistants will be performing the surgery, the nurses will be preparing the room for the baby, and your partner will be with you during the procedure and may go to the warmer to greet your delivered baby. Your Doula will be at your side to help you deal with some of the physical and emotional challenges during surgery. She can also remind the staff of any special requests you might have. If you desire, she can take photographs, particularly after the baby is born. Your Doula will remain with you in the operating room, even if your baby must be transferred to the ICU or another hospital. Your partner may chose to go with the baby, but your Doula will stay with you. Once you are moved into recovery, your Doula will remain with you until you are transferred to the postpartum floor (usually about 2 hours). If you are planning to breastfeed and your baby is with you, your Doula can assist you in getting the baby latched on correctly. If you are planning to breastfeed and your baby is with you, your Doula can assist you in getting the baby latched on correctly.
The Unscheduled Cesarean section
During an unscheduled Cesarean section, your Doula will provide the above services. It is important to review the possibility of an unscheduled C-section and your wishes to have a Doula present during the surgery with your health care provider. The Doula can assist the mother during the procedure to remain calm and focused as anxiety levels can tend to rise. Her presence can have a calming affect for both you and your partner.
Please note that: Tara Poulin & Myrna Kenney are the most experienced and primary Doulas for this service