What do you mean she’s having a scheduled c-section and she hired a doula?
That’s right, from the minute she called me on the phone, I knew she was going to have a scheduled c-section.
People hire Doulas for all different reasons, not just because they are hoping for an un-medicated birth.
In this case, she got pregnant with her second child, and panicked. This mom had a pretty traumatic first delivery, ok downright horrifying. Baby boy born at a highly medicalized facility, (the only one her insurance company would cover). She pushed for close to three hours, had an episiotomy and an attempt with forceps which ultimately was followed by a vacuum delivery. The baby suffered from erb’s palsy. The very idea that she would even consider having another baby was impressive.
She switched practices, and hospitals and immediately decided to have a scheduled section. This was all before I even entered the picture.
A doula’s main role is to provide support. Emotional, educational, and physical SUPPORT. Every woman deserves this regardless of the type of delivery she is going to have.
I met this mom five months into her pregnancy and she needed support. Even though she had chosen to schedule a c-section, she still needed all the assistance she could get, and she knew there was a great amount of value in the support I could provide for her and her husband, he too was traumatized.
Over the course of the next 4 months, we had many conversations, and meetings. During this time she had a lot to process. The most important thing for me to do was to listen and encourage her in her decision making process. She had a lot of questions about what it would look like to have a cesarean at her chosen facility.
I suggested that they tour the hospital and speak to one of the nurses there about how it would all happen, kind of a dry run. She found this incredibly helpful. They showed her the room she would start in, where the surgery would happen and the recovery room. The nurse explained all the monitors and even the cuffs that would go on her legs to help prevent blood clots.
The next thing I helped her with was choosing the doctor who would perform the surgery. That’s right SHE got to decide. Since they were going to perform the cesarean section at 39 weeks, in order to avoid her going into labor on her own, she got to pick the day, and the provider. See the common theme here? She got to make choices and feel empowered by her decisions, one of the key factors in having a positive birth experience.
As it got closer, she even contemplated trying for a vaginal delivery. To me, that was progress she had really processed all her choices. At the end she decided to move forward with section.
Delivery day came, and we had a firm plan in hand. We met in the lobby and headed up together. I was able to stay with her for several hours while they admitted her, and did all the things they had discussed during her tour. I massaged her feet and kept the mood light. She was ready. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the surgery with them, which she knew beforehand. I gave her a hug and a big smile telling her I couldn’t wait to meet her baby and that I would be waiting for her in the recovery room.
She came out feeling relived and empowered. Her beautiful baby girl latched on immediately, and she was happy with all the choices she made along the way, especially hiring a doula for a scheduled cesarean section.