16 points to consider for your cesarean birth plan

Editor’s note: April is Cesarean Awareness Month, an international observance designed to reduce unnecessary Cesareans, advocate for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC), and help women heal from the sometimes-difficult emotions surrounding a cesarean birth. While Attachment Parenting International (API) promotes childbirth options with the least interventions, we also recognize that there are certain situations that necessitate interventions. What is most important is that parents research all of their options to be able to make an informed decision. A cesarean does not need to prevent a gentle delivery:

A family-centered cesarean is a relatively new concept that’s helping to make cesarean births gentler and more positive. In addition to giving a mother control over her birth, a family-centered cesarean — sometimes called a gentle cesarean — may also help facilitate early bonding between parent and newborn. This can help a family to start out feeling attached and connected from birth.

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Certainly, if you’ve had an unwanted, traditional cesarean or any negative birth experience, it does not mean that you cannot have an attached relationship with your baby. However, having a positive birth experience can make for an easier transition into parenthood and can also reduce the chances of postpartum depression, also maeng da Kratom can help to counter birth stress and depression issues. Red bali kratom is a kratom strain belonging to a plant family known as Mitragyna Speciosa. It belongs to a group of kratom variety known as red vein kratom. The name red vein represents the color of the leaf vein running across the middle of the kratom leaf. Kratom is certainly enjoying a great deal of renewed attention in this day and age. That fact alone has led people from all walks of life to learn more about the potential behind the most euphoric kratom.

What is a Family-Centered Cesarean?

The goal of a family-centered cesarean is to focus on what will make the experience better for all members of the family. Since every family’s wishes and desires are different, a family-centered cesarean can look different for each family. Also, the fact that policies vary greatly from one hospital to another may determine what is and is not possible. (For example, some hospitals do not allow a doula in the operating room.) Also there is a slight possibility that something goes wrong in the surgery. That’s why a company like Hastings Law Firm, Medical Malpractice Lawyers can help you recover in case something like this occurs.

Gentle practices that some families may desire during a family-centered cesarean include having the baby walked out more slowly than in a traditional cesarean, delayed cord clamping, and allowing for immediate skin-to-skin with either parent. For best birth plan, you should know about kratom herb and also about white sumatra kratom. Allowing the mother to nurse in the operating room, keeping mother and baby together in the recovery room, and having newborn tests and procedures done with the baby on mom’s chest are other ways that a family-centered cesarean can support early attachment.

In my own experience, I had both a planned and unplanned cesarean. When my second child was born in 2012, I arrived at the hospital in labor expecting a vaginal delivery like I’d had with my first child. I was shocked to find out that my baby was in breech position, and he was delivered via cesarean less than an hour later. I hadn’t planned for a cesarean and had never heard of a family-centered cesarean.  Fortunately, in my situation, the hospital policies already included having mom and baby together in the recovery room and other early bonding practices. However, had I known what options I had to make my cesarean a more family-centered experience, I would have felt more in control of my birth and less scared and upset upon learning I’d need a cesarean and then to get it covered with the used medical lasers for cosmetic surgery.

When I was pregnant with my daughter two years later, I was hoping for a VBAC but learned early in the third trimester that she was breech as well. I ended up having a second cesarean, but this time I was able to research my options and created a cesarean birth plan. Though it wasn’t the ideal birth that I’d initially imagined, it ended up being the most positive of my 3 children’s births.

If you’re having a planned cesarean by choice or medical necessity, or if you are hoping for a vaginal birth but want to consider your wishes in case it becomes a cesarean, you may want to consider writing a cesarean birth plan that covers both the cesarean itself and the recovery period. Talking to an obstetrician about it in advance can help you understand what is possible at your hospital.

Points to Consider When Preparing for a Family-centered Cesarean:

  1. Practice breathing and relaxation techniques to use before and during the cesarean. This can help you stay calm and manage stress or discomfort.
  2. Play music in the operating room, if allowed. It can help in creating a comfortable and calm atmosphere.
  3. Have an additional support person/doula in the operating room and/or recovery room, if allowed. A doula program services may help with relaxation or be a source of emotional support. Research shows that having a doula leads to higher satisfaction with the birth experience.
  4. Ask to have one arm unrestrained in order to hold the baby as early as possible and facilitate early bonding.
  5. Before beginning, have someone ask, “Are you ready to have your baby now?” This can help you feel a little more in control of your birth.
  6. Have the cesarean performed slowly with the baby walked out slowly and gently which is gentler for the baby than a traditional cesarean may be.
  7. Ask the doctor to explain the process as it is happening. This can help you to feel more present and connected with the experience.
  8. Have a warm blanket available during the surgery for your comfort.
  9. Have the screen lowered or a mirror at the time of delivery, or have a clear surgical drape, so you are able to see the baby’s birth.
  10. Allow your partner to announce the baby’s gender.
  11. Have immediate skin-to-skin contact. This is one of the earliest ways to bond physically with your baby.
  12. Delay cord clamping. Keeping the cord attached longer allows for increased blood flow from the placenta, which has many health benefits for the newborn.
  13. Breastfeed the baby as early as possible, in the operating or recovery room. In addition to being a means to connect physically with your newborn, this has other benefits including improved lactation and less loss of blood. Feeding a baby colostrum within the first hour of birth also increases the chances of a successful breastfeeding relationship.
  14. Keep the baby with you in the recovery room to allow for more opportunities for bonding and nursing.
  15. Delay baby’s first bath to give the baby more time to bond with parents. There are also health benefits to this, as research shows that leaving on the vernix (the white substance many babies have on their skins after birth) can benefit a baby’s immune system.
  16. Have newborn tests and procedures done with the baby on your chest so you aren’t separated.

While having a positive birthing experience is desirable — as it is a part of our initial parenting experience — it’s important to remember that it doesn’t define our parenting journey. If you Want to throw your child an awesome party. E Magical Moment can customise a package that is suitable for your kids birthday party. There will be many more events and moments for us to bond and connect with our children.

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         Additional API Resources on Gentle Cesarean Births:

API’s First Principle of Parenting: Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting

Personal stories on APtly Said, API’s blog:

— “A special door

— “I took back control of my cesarean

— “5 lessons learned about Attachment Parenting after a cesarean birth

Professional insight on The Attached Family, API’s online magazine:

— “What Goes Into a Family-Centered Cesarean Birth Plan

— “What to Do When a Cesarean Becomes Necessary

There’s a Pause Button, Just in Case

“It’s green. Really green,” said my midwife just after my water broke. The amniotic fluid was meconium-stained, and my mind went to the worst.

“So he’ll end up with some in his lungs?” I asked. 

She threw out a percentage of babies who aspirate meconium, and I don’t recall the exact figure, but it was in the 20s. And she said of those, not all babies have problems from meconium aspiration.

That was enough to keep me from worrying. After all, I had work to do.

My midwife told me that she would have the neonatal team at the ready, just in case. Of course, I wasn’t focusing on much of anything at that point, except getting the baby earthside.

When my sweet boy was born, there was no cry. Nobody in the room smiled. Instead, there was a mix of hesitation and silent commotion. Everyone faced the warming table, where the neonatal team was hard at work trying to stabilize him.

The nurse came over to tell me that I could hold him briefly, but that he would need to go to the NICU right away. When she handed him to me, I held him for just a moment, gave him a kiss and willingly handed him back. He was struggling, and I didn’t want to waste another second. I wanted him to go wherever he needed to go to get better.

We later found out that my baby had a collapsed lung and had to stay in the isolette under oxygen therapy. I couldn’t hold him for three days and I couldn’t nurse him for four.

I worried that the separation would tamper with our biological bonding mechanisms. I wondered whether he felt secure and comforted. I wondered how this would affect my hormones and my milk supply. I worried that he felt abandoned.

I wondered if it hurt to have a hole in your lung.

For my baby’s first few days, I would sit near his isolette, occasionally reaching in to trace his little fingers with mine.

On the third day, the nurse told me that the doctor thought that kangaroo care (holding the baby skin-to-skin) would help him make some strides toward recovery. I tried hard to keep it cool, but I failed hard – I burst into tears right then and there. I had waited so long to hold my baby boy.

When the nurse handed him to me for the first time, I felt that rush of love you hear about – that same surge of emotion that I felt right after the birth of my first two babies when the nurses handed them to me.

All this time, I thought I had missed my window. But it was there, waiting for our little reunion.

There was no doubt that that feeling was our bonding hormones at work. I knew because it was familiar. I had felt that before with my first two babies and it is an indescribable feeling that cannot be replicated. As for more concrete evidence that the hormones were in working order, I had been pumping 0.2 or 0.3 mL of colostrum at a time (drops!) and after I held my boy I filled a full 3 mL.

The next day, the doctor suggested I try to nurse him. I expected a learning curve, as he had gone days without learning to breastfeed instead of initiating within minutes of birth. But I was wrong. The little champ latched like a pro right away.

My sweet boy is now off of the growth charts, strong as a bull and he’s the happiest and most loving baby I have ever seen. All you have to do is make eye contact with him and he’ll give you a big cheeky toothless smile that just puts you deeper under his spell. And I have every reason to believe that we have established a secure attachment that we will build upon for a lifetime.

I hope I’m not diminishing the importance of bonding immediately after birth. Mother and baby are primed for bonding during this time and should make the most of those short minutes and hours if they can. Just know that if you have to wait a few hours or days to begin getting to know each other, it will be okay.

 

 

Preserving Bonds at Birth: Scent and Smell

Sometimes, life-saving and injury-preventing medical interventions are necessary for the best birth outcome. Always consult with a trusted and qualified midwife or obstetrician when planning your birth experience. 

I thought about naming this series ‘Bonding at Birth’, but realized that wasn’t an accurate depiction of what happens at birth. The fact is, you and your baby already have a bond at birth. Your baby has spent 9 months in the womb listening to you and your partner’s voice, knowing the sound and tempo of your heartbeat, and living to the rhythm of your lifestyle.

Birth is a transition in your bond, and instead of thinking of it as “the moment” a bond begins, I like to think of it as crucial moments in which a bond must be carefully preserved and a transition in your relationship honored.

Why Bonds Need Preserving

We often think of birth as a series of events: pregnancy, labor, and birth. But, birth is much more than that. To quote midwife Carla Hartley, “Birth is more chemical than it is mechanical.”

Birth is a physiological process that should be left alone when possible. Any non-medical intervention alters the natural state of birth, interfering with the process and complicating things which may have otherwise remained uncomplicated.

Most women have a natural instinct after birth for a quiet, calm environment where they can meet their baby and make the transition from bonding in the womb to bonding “in person”. This type of environment allows the mother and baby close contact, with little interruption, and an exchange of scents, smells, noises, and intimate bonding activities including breastfeeding.

The Role of Scent and Smell in Birth

Scents and smell play a crucial role in birth and in the moments just after birth, both in the transitional bond and in safety. Your baby is comforted by your scent. Your scent plays a role in your baby bonding deeply to you after birth and facilitates breastfeeding.

Research is clear that each mother has a distinct breast odor that can be identified by her baby. This identification, which takes place in both you and your baby’s olfactory system memory, is a crucial part of the mother infant bond and in normal development of your baby.

Scent and smell is not only crucial for your baby. Your ability to smell your baby after birth can also play a major role in preventing postpartum complications, including postpartum hemorrhage.

Biologically, we are designed as mammals to “identify” our babies after birth. Your olfactory and limbic system are waiting for cues that it’s time to proceed to the next step in the physiological process. The smell of your baby let’s your body know that it’s time for oxytocin to be released so that your uterus can contract properly after birth.

How to Preserve Scent and Smell at Birth

Anything that interferes with the ability for you and your baby to smell each other after birth can interfere with bonding and biological cues. So, what can you do to preserve that bond?

Firstly, make sure that your birth attendants and support persons recognize the importance of these factors play during the moments postpartum. A quiet, calm, intimate environment should be created for you and your baby as much as possible.

Your baby should be allowed to stay in your arms as much as possible after the birth, while touching and “checking” by others should be kept to a minimum.

Tips for After Birth:

  • Don’t put a hat on your newborn. It can interfere with scent exchange, and there is not science to support the use of infant hats to regulate body temperature.
  • Stay skin to skin (no clothes) as much as possible. Put a blanket over you and baby if warmth is needed.
  • Allow your baby to explore the breast and breastfeed for the first time without pressure.
  • Avoid bathing your baby for as long as you are comfortable. Bathing washes away the natural scent of your newborn.

Remember, there is a reason our babies are born naked and covered in the scent of birth.

I know that the perfect conditions for bonding will not exist at every birth. When interventions are needed, you can still take steps to preserve as much of the biologically normal bonding process as you can.

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