Your C-Section Birth Plan – Options To Include

c-section birth planYour C-Section birth plan needs to be thorough and clear about what options you prefer.

But what options are available to you?

This post will help you understand what options you have , what options you haven’t thought of and how to ensure your wishes are met.

Get Your Free Birth Plan here that includes options for a C-Section Birth.

You have lots of choices when it comes to a C-Section Birth plan and you may not know what all your options are and which ones you actually want, so take your time and choose the options as to how they may relate to your overall health and recovery.

Options To Include in your C-Section Birth Plan

– Epidural or Spinal? 

There are basically two types of anesthesia given for C-Sections.  They are either a Spinal or Epidural. I personally recommend opting for an epidural, however whatever your choice, be sure to state it on your birth plan.  In fact this may be something you’ll want to discuss with your doctor beforehand.  Here’s some additional information if you aren’t aware of the differences.

– Catheter Insertion

Be sure to request that your urine catheter be inserted after you have your epidural or spinal, not before.  Catheter insertion can sting a little so having it put in while your numb helps a lot.

– Type of sutures.
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Do you want Dissolveable sutures, staples or steri-strips?

I recommend absorbing or dissolving sutures, this way you don’t have to have them removed later on. However, discuss this with your doctor beforehand and be sure to put your request in your birth plan.

– Are cameras and/or video allowed?

You don’t need to include this in your birth plan but you’ll want to find out if these things are allowed in the operating room.

– Follow-up medications. 

Discuss pain medication with your doctor and decide whether you will stay on IV medications and for how long and what oral medications can you have.  If you have preferences, include them.

– Rooming in

If you would like baby to room with you and it’s OK with the hospital and your doctor, be sure to include it in your birth plan.

– Hospital gown or your own gown?

Many hospitals allow you to wear personal gowns so find out beforehand what is allowed.

 – Who do you want present at the birth.

You will need to find out beforehand what hospital and doctor policies are, however what you decide should go into your birth plan.

– Straps and ties.  

It’s a common procedure to strap your arms down during the C-Section procedure, however many hospitals are flexible on that.  If you don’t want to be strapped down, include a clause in your birth plan that states your preference.  You may not get it but it won’t hurt to include your wishes.

– Do you want to view the birth?

If so request that the screen be dropped or that a mirror be placed in your view.

– Do you want music played/your own choice of music?

You may need to find out if this will be an option for you.  If it is will the hospital play music for your or do you need to bring your own.

– Operating Room Activity.

– Do you want the staff to be quiet, or is normal chatter okay?

– Do you want to touch/hold the baby immediately afterward?

For example, put her on your chest before getting cleaned.

– Who will be the first to hold the baby other than yourself?

Your DH, Doula, others.

– Do you plan to breastfeed immediately?

If you plan to breastfeed, let them know as soon as possible so the nurses can help you get started.

– Should the hospital use bottles, pacifiers, or formula?  If you don’t want these things used be sure to specify that clearly in your birth plan.

– Is baby to be circumcised? 

Your doctor should have discussed this with you before hand but it never hurts to have this in your birth plan just to be sure everyone is aware.

– Eye care of baby.

Do you want your baby to receive colloidal silver or Erythromycin to her eyes? Yes or No.

– Bathing Your Baby.  

Do you want the baby bathed after being born or do you want to do it yourself later?

– Do you want to keep the placenta?

Today this is a popular option. The hospital doesn’t normally ask this, so if you would like to keep it, be sure to note that.  Here’s more on placental encapsulation.

Making Sure Your C-Section Birth Plan Options are Carried Out

Keep your birth plan as simple and as uncomplicated as possible. In fact keep it to one page or less if possible.

Here’s why I say that.

A very close nursing friend of mine told me that when her staff encounters long, complicated birth plans that go on for pages, the birth plan almost always gets ignored. That’s because most hospital staff are often too busy to go over detailed, lengthy birth plans, they just don’t have the time. But they are more likely to follow your wishes if your birth plan is simple, direct and easy to read.

If you don’t have a C-Section birth plan outline to follow then write your birth plan in plain and simple language making it no longer than 1-2 pages at the very most.

Once  you have created your birth plan I highly recommend that you discuss it first with your doctor and with your hospital.  It’s one thing to note your options but you don’t want to be disappointed if those options or choices can’t be fulfilled.



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