Cesarean section births can be beautiful and empowering, regardless of how we got to that decision. Not everyone wants a c-section, but for one reason or another, it is a possible option to ensure mom and baby are both healthy and safe for delivery.
Here is the rundown of what you can expect in a c-section WITH doula support!
So, if it is planned, there is about 2 hours of prep time before surgery, unless it is an emergency situation. During that time, your doula can support you in many ways and keep the mood light (massage your feet, play music, keep you distracted, celebrate!). The staff will come in separately at different times to introduce themselves and explain what their role is (baby nurses, anesthesiologist, OB obviously, charge nurse, etc). Any Hypnobirthing/Hypnobabies training can come in handy throughout all of this! As a birth doula, I have some great meditations on an app on my phone to combat pre-surgery jitters and we can use any meditations/relaxing music before, during and after surgery.
Your birth doula will try to ensure that they can go back there with you, but it's down to if all staff agree that it's ok for a doula to go back. Usually it comes down to the anesthesiologist. Mom and dad can help advocate in that pre-surgery space for your doula. She would greatly appreciate it! You can say, "We're not going back without our doula." If any staff also knows that they are a seasoned doula (they have worked together before), and they know where to be/not to be for a cesarean, it would be helpful. Some hospitals are just miseducated about the value of a birth doula back in the OR.
Mom will go back first to have a spinal placed and staff will get the OR set up. During that time, dad and your doula will get ready in our "white bunny" suits, booties, caps and masks. A nurse come grab them when the staff is ready to begin. They move quickly, like a pit crew, once dad and your doula join mom in the OR. They will likely do a timeout, stating everyone's name and job in the room, including us. A blue drape will be up to establish a sterile surgical station at about mom's sternum.
Once they begin the surgery, it takes roughly 5 minutes to birth the baby. There may be some uncomfortable pressure while delivering the baby, as they push on the top of mom's belly to "push" the baby out, similar to someone sitting on your chest. That's where the baby gets the squeeze to get amniotic fluid out. There may be some smells and sounds that are not delightful, so your doula can bring essential oils on Kleenex for both mom and dad. Your doula can play quiet music on anyone's phone or speaker. Sometimes, mom will experience some nausea, which can be helped with medication. I usually give dad peppermint in a Kleenex taped to his bunny suit and that seems to help.
Baby is born!
Once baby is born, there is an option to lower the drape to see baby immediately after the cord is cut, which is very exciting! One-minute delayed cord clamping is the standard in most hospitals now, but you may advocate until the cord is white and/or stops pulsating. Then, he/she will go to the warmer to be assessed. You may advocate for immediate skin-to-skin beforehand, so long as baby looks ok and doesn't need extra support. Dad can go to the warmer while your doula stays with mom. Dad and your doula can trade spots at the warmer, take photos/videos and bring them back to show mom (or a birth photographer can as well). They keep trading spots until you are all reunited behind the curtain, as mom gets put back together. Some ORs have the warmer within eyeshot of mom being able to see baby.
It takes about 45 minutes from delivery of baby for surgery to be completed. Baby and dad usually go to PACU before mom does, so it's nice to have your doula with mom for the remainder of the surgery. You may advocate to wait and go together, even having mom hold baby as you go to recovery. Mom will be wheeled into PACU (Post-Anesthia Care Unit) recovery room, where baby and dad are, ideally doing skin-to-skin.
Your doula can feed mom ice chips, start breastfeeding, and keep things positive. The nurse will do fundal massages every 15 minutes for those 2 hours as well, but with the anesthesia, mom shouldn't feel it too much, just pressure. Mom and dad can equally do skin-to-skin, if desirable, as mom sometimes will have the shakes post-surgery, and it can feel difficult to hold baby comfortably.
After 2 hours in the PACU, everyone will go to the postpartum room. For those first few hours, mom will likely feel pretty out of it and may forget a lot of what happened, so it's nice for photos to be taken for memories. The nurse will make sure mom is staying on top of her meds for the pain.
A birth doula will stay for about 2-4 hours immediate postpartum, so once mom, dad and baby go to their postpartum room is when your doula typically leaves, but they can definitely stay for longer to make sure everyone is a bit more settled in and ready to rest. All babies typically fall into a deep sleep 2 hours after delivery.
In the case of TWIN/NICU Babies
For twins, dad usually goes with babies at some point, either to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) or the PACU. If the baby/ies need to go to the NICU before mom is finished with surgery, your doula will stay with mom to keep her company. Dad can advocate for skin to skin in the NICU once babies are stable. Prior to going to PACU, the staff can wheel mom into the NICU before moving to the PACU or after 2 hours, before heading to the postpartum room. Some hospitals have a room-in NICU, where mom and dad can stay.
While in the PACU, your doula can help mom by feeding her ice chips, expressing colostrum, showing photos of babies, and keeping things positive.
If the babies are in the PACU with mom, they can do lots of skin to skin with mom and dad, and even tandem breastfeed.
Surgery Recovery Tips
Recovery will be substantially more intense compared to a vaginal birth, due to major surgery. Getting your baby properly latched as much as possible will ensure success in your breastfeeding/pumping journey. When pumping, look at your babies' photos, smell their clothes/hats/etc.
Tips for recovery for the first few weeks:
- Wear high rise undies
- Wear a belly band for 8 hours/day during the daytime
- Avoid heavy lifting and stairs
- Be religious about taking pain meds, gas meds, and stool softeners on time!
- Get an ice pack in the shape of your incision (alternate heat and cold)
- Get a step stool for getting up and out of bed
- Roll out of bed still, so as not to use those abdominal muscles as much as possible
- Get one of those long-reach grabber tools for reaching things when breastfeeding/pumping
- Have water and one-handed snacks beside you at all times, especially during breastfeeding/pumping
- Place and hold firm touch to a pillow on your incision area when you need to sneeze/cough or when you laugh or cry (have it nearby!)
- Have LOTS of help during those first few weeks as you recover (ask your birth doula about a postpartum doula in advance for those first few days/weeks)
Cesarean Section Options
Some things to discuss with your provider, if they are open to these options:
I completely understand that everything can be overwhelming at first, but this is for your benefit, to learn new things and grow from a new steep learning curve. Embrace the insanity of it all! Take things minute by minute, LITERALLY, as you endeavor a beautiful and new incredible adventure as your family grows.
Hope this helps!
"Self-care" isn't just some catchy phrase. Self-care is a process that's all about prioritizing your mental and physical health in a way that lets you achieve your goals. If you're a busy mom with kids to care for, that may sound easier said than done. Don't stress. Here, we share some simple steps you can take to make it easier to stick to your self-care goals.
Love in Motion Doula Services can help you successfully navigate birth and postpartum.
Create a Space That's Conducive to Self-Care
Set up a soothing space that will allow you to prioritize wellness. Start by eliminating clutter, which is proven to alleviate anxiety, and cleaning your home. Vacuum regularly to remove pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens. A Shark vacuum is easy to use. Just empty it after each use. After it's two-thirds full, it loses suction power, which means you'll have to vacuum more frequently to get the same result.
Define Your Self-Care Goals and Create a Plan
Once you have a clean space, it's time to concentrate on yourself. Action for Happiness provides tips you can use to set your objectives. Once you have your goals, create a step-by-step plan to help you reach them. For example, if you want to prioritize healthy eating, you might compile healthy recipes and take a cooking class.
Touch Base With Old Friends
Staying connected with old friends can help maintain long-lasting friendships, provide a sense of familiarity and support, and promote mental health and well-being. Using a search engine to find old friends in Denver can be an effective way to reconnect with people from your past. By using information such as their name, school, or location, this can be especially useful when social media or phone numbers are not available.
Measure Your Progress on a Regular Basis
When you create your step-by-step map to reaching your goals, include a timeline. For example, you might say you'll get your degree within two years and obtain your first job in three years. You can then use this timeline to check your progress, making sure that you aren't wasting time and that you're sticking to the plan you made for yourself.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Holding yourself accountable can be difficult, especially when you're managing a household and raising kids. Your personal wants and objectives may not always take priority. If you struggle to hold yourself accountable, this Master Class can help you improve. Tips include getting an accountability partner, recognizing signs of procrastination, asking others for feedback, and rewarding yourself for every success.
Be Patient with Yourself
When you're striving to achieve your goals, you may get impatient with yourself. It can be frustrating if you don't make progress as quickly as you'd like, for example. It's important to be gracious to yourself. Remind yourself that every step forward is progress. You can improve patience with yourself and others—a valuable trait for any mom--by practicing mindfulness techniques. This encourages you to focus on the moment.
Get Help When Needed
Just because you're focusing on your personal goals doesn't mean you have to do it all yourself. Find help where you can. For example, a personal trainer can help with fitness goals, while a nutritionist can help with diet goals. If you're struggling to figure out your career path, a career coach can provide the guidance you need.
Prioritize Your Well-being
Finding time for self-care as a busy mom isn't easy, but it is essential to your long term happiness. The key to success is having a strategic approach. By reconnecting with old friends, creating a healthy home space, and holding yourself accountable, you can create a plan for yourself.
*Article by Janice Russell*
If you're a stay-at-home mom, starting a business from your home is a savvy move. You can still care for your kids and spend quality time with them while also earning some extra money for the household. That said, starting a business of your own requires strategic planning if you want it to be a success. This guide from Love In Motion Doula Services provides some practical pointers for stay-at-home moms who are considering becoming entrepreneurs.
Select a Mom-Friendly Business Model
Not all business models are suitable for stay-at-home moms. For example, you don't want to do something like dog walking or driving for a rideshare service since you have to be home to take care of the kids. Don't worry. There are many mom-friendly business options available. Woman’s Day notes that options include working as a virtual assistant, proofreading, writing, and flipping used goods like furniture for profit.
Write a Well-Organized Business Plan
Once you've decided what type of business you want to start, write out a business plan. This document describes your products and services, and details how your business will be run. Finder explains how to write a business plan that covers all the essential sections, like the market analysis, marketing and sales strategy, and financial projections. This document will serve as your guidebook as you get your business off the ground.
Register Your Business
It's smart to register your business as a formal legal entity with your state. This could be a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or partnership. Registering your business as a formal legal entity offers many advantages, from simplifying your tax filing to protecting your personal liability in case your business gets into legal troubles.
Earn Credentials to Boost Your Entrepreneurial Profile
Depending on the type of business you want to start, you may need additional credentials. More generally, getting a degree like an MBA can help sharpen your business acumen, giving you the knowledge you need to succeed. Look for online programs in topics such as leadership, marketing, and management. With an online degree, you can study when and where you want, getting the flexibility you need as a working mother.
Create a Focused Work Space
When you're running a business out of your home, it's tempting to simply set up your laptop at the kitchen table or on the living room couch. However, it's important to create a distinct space for your work. This will make it easier to focus and avoid distractions. Small Business Co provides tips for creating a focus-friendly workplace at home. For instance, you want to ensure your workspace has plenty of light and that you have ergonomic furniture.
Create a Strong Business Brand and Start Marketing
Marketing is essential to attracting customers. Great marketing starts with a strong brand, which will help you stand out from the competition. Your brand also includes your visual identity, such as your logo. You don't have to pay a fancy graphic designer for your logo. Instead, you can use a free online logo maker to create an appealing design yourself. You can personalize details like the text, icon, fonts, and colors.
Creating memes to share on social media is another strategy that will graphically convey your company’s personality, and do so in a fun and entertaining way. You can try a meme generator app to create memes that are relatable or inspirational that’s sure to get customers to interact with your brand. Just make sure you make the content relevant to your business and keep it in good taste – the last thing you want is to turn people away.
Maintain Your Work-Life Balance
When you're starting a new business, it can be easy to get caught up in the process. When you're juggling entrepreneurship plus kids, this can leave little time for yourself. Make sure you're maintaining work-life balance by expanding your support network.
You may also want to look into finding a babysitter, too. Even if you don’t use them full time, having a few hours each day can make a big difference in the amount of work you can get done. Or you may even be able to carve out a little time for yourself.
Starting a business is a major undertaking—especially if you've got kids to care for, too. That said, entrepreneurship can be a great way for moms to balance child care with work, all while making some extra money. The above guide details the steps you need to get started.
Love In Motion Doula Services makes positive birth and postpartum experiences an outstanding normal for all. Connect with us today to learn more! 720-593-0014
**Written by Janice Russell**
What to Avoid While Pregnant
When you become pregnant, your lifestyle changes, or at least should. Here is a helpful article written by Rebecca Wilde at the Birth Injury Center. Many injuries can be avoided by following some simple lifestyle shifts to ensure a health delivery, mother and baby throughout postpartum.
There are many other jewels of information on this website as well. Please go check it out!