Plan your Caesarean birth
Take the trauma out of a Caesarean with a birth plan.
By Tori Hoffmann
Joeleen Hermelin's story on Parent24 about a mom who gave birth vaginally after a Caesarean was inspiring and interesting. I am glad that she got the birth she wanted as I know that for some women, the actual birth process is crucial to how they see themselves as mothers. Also, if you can find a doctor in South Africa who is prepared to let you have a VBAC, then go for it. As long as you know that the risks are high and it's dangerous for both you and your baby.
Article originally in Parent24
What concerned me about this article, was all the moms out there who have no choice but to have a Caesarean and are now sitting stressing and dreading the arrival of their baby: Something that should be a wonderful experience, not the dreadful one as described by Joeleen.
No more birth horror stories
Going into theater with the preconceived notion that a Caesar is going to be the worst day of their lives is a recipe for a disaster and I only hope that the moms-to-be who read this article, have also been told by "ou tannies" in the Woolies queues that natural childbirth is hell too. Hopefully, these moms-to-be are wise enough to know that everyone's experience is different, and that their birth experience will be unique too.
Inform yourself about different kinds of Caesarean births
That being said, I think it should also be noted that Joeleen had an emergency Caesar which is quite different to an elective one. Having had both, I understand where Joeleen is coming from as I know how it feels to be rushed into theater when everyone is panicking. It's stressful and all that matters is that your baby lives and not how wonderful the experience is for you.
Managing your elective Caesar better
If, however, you are having an elective Caesar, you can avoid the problems that Joeleen refers to. You don't need a hurried, dry shave as your Caesar date will be set and you can plan a wax/shave as part of your pre-birth spa day. You also won’t be exposed on the table in the way that she mentions, because there will be time to cover you up discreetly.
When your doctor wants to get your baby out as fast as she can, dignity isn't a priority. And finally, if all goes well with the delivery and your baby is healthy, there is no reason why you shouldn't be allowed to hold your baby right away, as opposed to having it whipped away from you as Joeleen describes.
Planning ahead to avoid surprises
If your hospital is forward thinking, you can even discuss having a doula or midwife hold your hand and talk you through it, the lights dimmed , music played as well as skin-to-skin contact during your Caesar. All of this will make the experience even more special for you although for me, all I needed was my baby. But check with your doctor when you plan your Caesar and find out what will happen on the day, something that's really important to do if you know you have to have one. Planning your Caesar is just as important as writing The Birth Plan, and both will help you to get your head around what should be the best day of your life.
What are your biggest fears about Caesarean birth, and what can you do to defuse them?