You may be wondering why a doula is important for a cesarean. There are no contractions that you will need help breathing through, you won't need help getting into different laboring/pushing positions. A doula does much more than support a person during labor! Prenatally, you and your doula will work together to develop a birth plan, discuss your options, and identify what you desire from your experience. You will also go over any fears, questions and concerns you or your partner may have. Your doula can help you come up with a list of questions to ask your provider regarding your operating room experience, and provide evidence based resources on newborn procedures. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable, and your doula can help you with positions or stretches that can help you feel better.
In the operating room, your doula can provide support during the placement of the IV and the placement of the analgesia (epidural or spinal). If your partner goes with baby to the warmer, your doula can stay with you, and offer comfort measures while your surgery is being completed. If baby needs additional care and has to go to the NICU, your doula can stay with you while your partner goes with baby. If your hospital does not allow doulas in the operating room, your doula can stay with your partner while you are prepped, and wait for you while your surgery is completed.
If baby needs additional care and has to go to the NICU, your doula can stay with you while your partner goes with baby. In recovery, your doula can help with your baby’s first latch, and assist with breastfeeding concerns.
The postpartum period may be when you need the most physical support as you recover from your abdominal surgery. You can hire a postpartum doula to help you with household chores, to provide childcare so you can nap or shower, or to simply provide emotional support as you experience the hormone changes that happen following birth.
You are a strong mama who is bringing a baby into the world, and it still takes a lot of work and mental preparation to go through a major abdominal surgery and recovery. Remember, you are still giving birth to your baby! No birth is “less than” another, and your doula will do their best to help your birth experience be as special as possible.