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5 Ways to Have a More Satisfying C-Section

If you’re planning a C-section, here are some tips to help you feel more involved.

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Some moms-to-be know in advance they will be having a cesarean birth, or C-section. This is the surgical delivery of a baby. Others face the surprise of an emergency C-section. Today, over 30 percent of American women deliver their baby via C-section.

Sometimes a C-section is the best choice for you and your baby. Here are some ways that mothers can feel more involved should they need this procedure.

  1. Be informed. Understanding the procedure, its risks and benefits will help you feel prepared. Talk to your doctor ahead of time if you can. Ask any questions you have.

  2. Make a birth plan. This is your list of preferences — not a binding agreement, but a guideline — about what you do and don’t want during labor and delivery. Having a birth plan can help you feel more in control. Make sure to schedule a time to go over your birth plan with your health care team, and anyone else that will be present at your delivery.

  3. Don't be afraid to speak up. During surgery, you might want your doctor or nurse to give you a play-by-play of what’s happening. Or you might want them to let you see your baby’s sex before they announce it. You can ask to be with your baby in recovery. Or ask if your partner can go with the baby to the nursery if it’s not possible for your baby to be with you at first.

  4. Get help with breast-feeding. You should be able to start nursing right away. New moms may struggle with beginning breast-feeding, but because you are also recovering from surgery, nursing may prove extra challenging. Luckily you can overcome the challenge with the right support. Ask for a lactation consultant’s help if you need it.

  5. Plan for help at home. Once you return home with your baby, remember that you’re still recovering from surgery. It may be painful or hard to walk for long periods of time. Your doctor will likely tell you not to drive or lift anything but your baby. Accept help from family, friends and neighbors. If you can, have a family member stay with you for a few days after you get home.

Some mothers who have C-sections may feel disappointed that they didn’t deliver naturally. If you feel sad or depressed after the birth, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you and may suggest therapy or medication to help you cope with these feelings.

By Lucy Casale, Contributing Writer

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. FAQ: Cesarean birth. Accessed: June 24, 2016.
UpToDate. Patient information: C-section (cesarean delivery) (beyond the basics). Accessed: June 24, 2016.
Centers for Disease control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statisics. Births-Method of delivery. Accessed: June 24, 2016. Pregnancy: Cesarean birth. Accessed: June 24, 2016.

Last Updated: June 24, 2016