Guest article by Lisa Kehoe IBCLC, CLD, CPD, in honor of World Doula Week (March 22-28).
Your vision of birth probably did not include having surgery. You were thinking of a natural, unmedicated, maybe even home birth, and now you’re having a cesarean birth. You may feel uneasy about this, but, for whatever reason, it’s the only choice to keep things safe (I won’t go into reasons). Your partner is even more terrified and may not be able to handle seeing you go through this. You may have had a great doula picked out and now you’re thinking, “Well, we should probably tell the doula we no longer need her <<sad face>>.” NO WAY! She can be the key to you and your partner having the greatest outcome possible. Get a fresh start with your cesarean birth and choose a great doula!
First, once you know you’re having a cesarean birth, find your local ICAN chapter and start attending monthly meetings. At these meetings, you will learn from other moms about how to cope with this news. They share stories, outcomes, and you may be able to connect with a mom that you can call or message regularly just to talk or vent.
Once baby is out, your doula can stay with you (if allowed by the physician) while your partner takes pictures of baby and stays with baby to monitor the procedures you have agreed to. Your partner may choose to stay with baby if baby needs to go to the NICU at a different facility. Your doula can stay with you while you remain on the operating table.
Once you are back into recovery after your gentle cesarean birth and baby is fine, your doula will be able to come in and assist you with skin-to-skin and initiating breastfeeding. While in recovery you may still be lying flat and find it near impossible to hold baby and breastfeed on your own so having a professional will be the key to success.
Bottom line on having a doula in your corner for any birth (and especially one that can be potentially disconcerting) is that she works directly for you, not for the facility. You will be given such great care during your prenatal visits that you can feel a lot more reassured that this WILL be okay! Your partner will have someone other than you to complain to (yes, they might) and chat with. You will receive one-on-one care at all times with your doula (unlike busy hospital staff). You, too, will have someone you can complain to (venting is allowed). A doula provides emotional support as well as physical support.
Lisa D. Kehoe IBCLC, CLD, CPD serving all clients in the Rockford, Illinois and all surrounding areas. She started Oh Baby Mine in January of 2011 and has served and treated hundreds of parents in the area. She does home, hospital, and birthing center births. As a postpartum doula she loves to serve and educate all parents to care for their new addition. With extensive advanced education in the field of breastfeeding she brings the best support to your birthing experience.
She has two children of her own that were born completely natural and unmedicated. Breastfeeding was completely successful also. Those are the main reasons she chose to serve families to acheive as natural a birth experience possible. Lisa is a professional member of ICAN.