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Articles - How to Write a 'Positive Caesarean' Birth Plan
Advice from About Birth co-founder, Jules Brooks

How to Write a 'Positive Caesarean' Birth Plan


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24/10/2017

Advice from About Birth co-founder, Jules Brooks

Nineteen years ago I had a caesarean section and it was far from how I imagined my birth to be.

In theatre, I felt cared for and safe and after two days of labour I was just so excited to meet our baby – it was to be the birth of our son. However, after only briefly holding him he went with his dad to the postnatal room while I was stitched up and sent to recovery, alone. This was the most distressing part for me and after many conversations with other women, I realised that the separation of the mother, baby and partner after a caesarean section is more difficult than the surgery itself.

In the years since my experience, this standard caesarean procedure in hospitals has remained mostly unchanged. Having attended many births, including some caesareans, I have realised that some small changes to the protocol can make for a much more positive experience. I've witnessed skin-to-skin with mother in theatre, the family together in recovery and even dim lights and loud music in theatre, where all the medical staff were dancing and celebrating! 

The importance of skin-on-skin for up to two hours after birth cannot be overstated. It increases oxytocin levels which helps with the birth of the placenta and shutting down of the uterus to reduce blood loss. It also promotes prolactin release which helps the mother connect and fall in love with her baby while helping produce breastmilk. Skin-on-skin also allows the newborn to regulate its temperature. All of these are beneficial regardless of birth style but are especially critical when you are unable to deliver vaginally.

Including a caesarean section in your Birth Plan enables you to convey what is important to you in the event that you elect for it or a c-section becomes medically necessary. Here are some options you may want to consider as part of your caesarean birth plan:

Example Caesarean Birth Plan

  • We wish to treat it as a special event, so request that the environment where our baby is delivered be as comfortable and peaceful as possible
  • Partner and support person (Doula) to be in theatre
  • We would like to play music in theatre
  • We would like photographs taken of when our baby is first born
  • Please keep us informed about what is happening during the caesarean
  • Dropping of the screen upon delivery if mother would like to see baby’s arrival
  • We would like our baby to be born slowly and gently, then placed straight on my chest for skin-on-skin contact straight  after delivery
  • We request that you do not clamp our baby’s cord immediately, allow it to pulsate as long as possible before clamping
  • We would like to cut the baby’s cord (if possible)
  • We would like to discover the sex of our baby in our own time
  • We would like the operating theatre to be as quiet and calm as possible when our baby is born
  • We would like for the baby to be swabbed with vaginal secretions following delivery
  • We do not wish to bathe the baby until 24 hours after delivery
  • We would like to keep the placenta for the purpose of encapsulation
  • I would like to breastfeed our baby in theatre or as soon as possible after the birth
  • We would all like to go to recovery together; we do not wish to be separated from our baby unless there is a medical necessity

Thank you for respecting and supporting us with our birth wishes.




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