What do you mean she hired a doula for a c section that was scheduled in advance? That’s right, from the minute she called me, I knew she was going to have a scheduled c-section and the first thing on her to-do list was hire a doula. This client got pregnant with her second child and panicked. She had a pretty traumatic first delivery, ok… downright horrifying. Baby born at a highly medicalized facility, (the only one her insurance company would cover). Pushed for close to three hours, had an episiotomy and a forceps attempt 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. But she knew that moment exactly how it was going down. She would hire a doula for a c section that would be scheduled before labor began. She switched practices, and hospitals and then called Noertheast Doulas. A doula’s role is to provide support. Emotional, educational, and physical SUPPORT. Doulas are hired regardless of the type of delivery the client is intending to have. I met this client a few months into her pregnancy and she wanted my support. She wanted all the assistance she could get and she knew there was a great amount of value in the support I could provide for both 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 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.

If she told me once, she told me 1,000 times, “I’m so glad I hired a doula for a c section that I scheduled in advance.”

I suggested that they tour the hospital and speak to one of the nurses there about how it would all happen… kind of like 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 of 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, to avoid her going into labor on her own, she got to choose the date 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 contemplated attempting a vaginal delivery. To me, that implied tremendous progress. She had really processed the previous birth and all of her possible choices for this one. In the end, she decided to move forward with the c section. Delivery day came, and we had a firm plan. We met in the lobby and headed up to labor and delivery 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 be present during the surgery but she knew that that would be the case well before that day. 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 relieved and empowered. Her beautiful baby girl latched on immediately, and she was happy with all of the choices she had made along the way, especially hiring a doula for a c section scheduled in advance.   Authored By: Debbie Aglietti