When discussing topics surrounding how women give birth it's important to remember that each situation is likely very different than any other. One of the most debated forms of birthing a baby is by Cesarean-Section (c-section). To help you navigate this common but often misunderstood procedure, Chicago Birth photographers This Is Family Photography & Film want to share some tips on the before, during and after having a c-section birth.
Above all else when it comes to having a c-section remember:
No matter how you birth your baby, it’s still a birth and the beginning of parenting.
At This Is Family we believe one of the biggest things to recognize when becoming a parent is the process of letting go. That it's about learning how to embrace the chaos as we navigate through the heart expanding uncertainty of motherhood, regardless what ideals you may have to let go of along the way.
How you birth your baby in no way determines what type of woman or mother you are. We feel exceptionally lucky to have seen and captured so many different birth stories. The common thread between them is the expansion of a family as well as incredible moments where beauty and love seem palpable.
This brave mama not only had a C-section birth but powered through without her partner who was working out of town and could not make it back in time. We are so honored to have been there and helped document this birth so that Dad could, in some way, be present.
Learn more about documenting your Birth Story, no matter the story HERE.
Now On to the tips:
Discuss C-section with Your Provider (even if you don't plan to have one)
Chicago families are lucky to have such an abundance of choices with so many GREAT midwife groups & Ob's who take the time to listen & support your decisions. Since having a c-section is always a possibility, it is an important topic to discuss. Talking over your desires for your birth plan would be step number one. Then finding out what your provider's rate of c-section is or the reasons why they would choose that method over a vaginal birth? Do their answers line up with what is important to you? If you do not feel supported or strongly disagree with the path your provider may be paving for you for your birth, remember you can always research different providers. Some insurance companies will even allow you to change providers through 40 weeks! Remember these words: Your provider is there to work for you and you have choices.
Options surrounding c-section
If a c-section happens you may still have options and even a birth plan too! This is, of course, another topic of discussion for you and your provider. If a c-section is necessary and assuming everyone is healthy what are the processes during your section and after baby is born?
We are starting to hear some great things about gentle c-sections or "family friendly c-sections". These types can include: skin to skin directly after birth, delayed cord clamping & nursing in the OR/recovery. Though not all of these options are available at every hospital many are becoming more of the norm and are worth talking about to see if they are available if you want them!
Some hospitals are even allowing photographers in to the Operating Room! We haven't been so lucky yet but we are holding on hope as the doctors and the birthing staff get used to our professional presence at births.
Create a Recovery Support Team
It is important to keep in mind that a c-section is a major surgery. When friends & family members ask if they can do anything for you, this is a great time in your life to say YES! Having a meal prepared or delivered for you or someone coming to sit with baby while you shower can make you feel like a new person! In addition to that help or if family is out of town or friends are unavailable, keep in mind that you can also hire a postpartum doula!. A Postpartum doula can come help during the day or night to assist mom, dad, baby, and with household tasks. Many postpartum doulas also offer lactation support & placenta encapsulation, too! The more help you have lined up the more you can rest at ease and focus on your own healing.
Below we have included a list of some postpartum doulas that we have formed a lovely working relationship with. Again, even at this step it is important to do your research to find the postpartum doula that you feel aligned with for individual needs.