I wrote this a little while ago for a woman that was interested in what she could do to make her c-section more memorable with the help of a doula- or what the point of having a doula at a planned c section. She didn't want to have a c section, but unfortunately her child was breech and they'd done everything they could to turn her, with no avail. It's very difficult to find a physician willing to deliver a breech vaginally.
I hope this can help women who are having a c section against their want. I had to have one after 60 hours of laboring naturally at a birth center. I wish at that time I would have known more of this. I suggest even if you are not planning a cesarian birth to read this.
Here is a list of some things that can make cesarian birth more comfortable/ special. These things can be done by your partner, but I highly suggest having a doula. I think a lot of people forget that this is a birth for the father also, and when the father is expected to do all of the leg work, he can maybe feel like it's less about him and more about mother and baby (which are of course very important!)
*A doula can tell you what to expect during a cesarian birth, which can be invaluable. As someone who didn’t know anything about cesarians, I was deathly afraid of everything that happened to me because I didn’t know what was normal. Being in the know can make you more comfortable with what’s happening.
*Almost always they will let you play music in the operating room (this is something that I was completely unaware of until recently. I don’t think that they will offer it to you unless you ask. Perhaps you can play a song that you’ve sang to your baby during your pregnancy!)
*You can bring in some essential oils for aromatherapy during surgery. Peppermint oil is great for nausea, which is a common occurrence during cesarian.
*They will generally allow you to take picture of the surgery if you wish. If you are unsure, I would recommend doing it anyway. You can always throw pictures away, but you can never get the moment back.
*You can have your partner or a doula describe what’s happening during the surgery if you’re comfortable with that. It’s sometimes nice to know right when the baby is being born, and that they can see the babies head, and what color the hair is, etc.
*Once the baby is born, they will take he/she over to a side table to do their normal routines. It’s nice to have someone go over to the table with the baby and talk to him/her and let the baby know- we love you, welcome to the world, you’re beautiful, etc (don’t forget pictures!!!) The issue that arises when the father goes to do this (which isn’t a bad idea), is that the mother is left alone for part of the sewing up process. Cesarians are not comfortable, and it’s good to have someone doing your focus/breathing exercises during this (as well as throughout) surgery.
*A doula can advocate for you, and remind the staff that you’d like the father to hold the baby while the repair work is being done. She can also remind the staff that you would like to hold the baby as soon as humanly possible. They should be able to get the baby to you as soon as you’re out of surgery.
*A doula can also help you with breastfeeding if you’re a new mother. It can be trickier than it seems.
Please feel free to post any questions you may have :)