Hey Fam! 

April is Cesarean Awareness Month. Seriously, there’s a nationally recognized holiday for every week and every month of the year. I thought it was a great opportunity to share some ways that you can prepare for and feel empowered when it comes to conversations and decisions regarding c-sections. Firstly, c-sections deserve awareness as a life saving birthing method/intervention that don’t necessarily have to be seen as an unfortunate end to a birthing experience. For some folks and for various medical/personal reasons, they have pre-scheduled c-sections. For others, yes, perhaps c-sections were not their preferred choice but due to circumstances during labor, beyond the parents’ control, baby was born via c-section. I also want to acknowledge the ways in which those in the birth community are working to change the language and stigmatization of the term c-sections. We’ve got Belly Birth, Surgical Birth, Abdominal Delivery, etc.

As a doula, I’m especially attuned to the ways in which I support parents through the possibility of a cesarean and how I support them afterwards. Most of my families know that we talk about all possible what-if scenarios and include preferences on the birth plan that detail ways to make a c-section inclusive, empowering, gentle, and just as sacred as any other method of birthing. And yes, doulas support folks who have pre-scheduled cesareans! The term “gentle c-section” is sort of a buzz phrase in the 

birth community nowadays and I even had a provider once tell my client and me point blank that they don’t do gentle c-sections. What?! Some cesarean prep points for your prenatal period would be to ask your provider about what their procedure is for c-sections and how they make the determination to move forward with a surgical birth. For the actual procedure, it’s important to think about establishing the right energy in the room so that you feel centered and connected to the process and to your baby’s birth. Do you prefer a certain type of music played in the OR, do you want your surgeon to narrate a play-by-play of what’s happening, how involved do you want your support person to be, would the medical team allow baby to birth through the incision on its own or do they pull baby out, and do you have certain cultural birthing traditions that are sacred to you?

I also recommend asking your provider questions about c-section postpartum healing and support. Some questions include, what is the recommended level of activity during the first few weeks, how to regain sensation at the incision site, recommendations for pelvic floor therapists, challenges with breastfeeding and bonding after a c-section, etc. The takeaway to all of this is to know that you have choices and rights for your birthing procedure AND you should absolutely be receiving guidance and support for postpartum recovery. Sending love to all Cesarean parents out there. I see you and I honor your experience. I welcome you to reach out to learn more about my customized birth and postpartum support for cesarean births and cesarean postpartum recovery.

With Gratitude, 

LunaDoula Jo