Planning a Positive Caesarean



Monique with her newborn daughter

“I’d like to let you know that we delivered our baby girl on Tuesday 10th. She was born by elective caesar, but thanks to the knowledge and support that you gave me through the Birthtalk classes, it was a much more positive experience than my previous birth.  We had a midwife in attendance from before I went into theatre and were able to enjoy skin on skin contact within minutes of her birth. She spent the next 20 minutes on my chest and I was able to touch, kiss and sing to her and hardly noticed the rest of the operation on the other side of the screen. She also went on the breast in Recovery and consequently is breastfeeding like a pro.”  Monique

Common questions regarding a planned caesarean :

Q. Won’t the fact that I’ve chosen a caesarean make it a positive event?

Q. Surely it will just be better anyway because there is no labour?

A. To make your birth a positive event, you need to focus on having an empowering and safe experience. So, it makes sense to focus on learning tools and information so you:

> feel in control of what happens to you
> feel central to the experience
> feel safe and nurtured
> feel able to obtain information through questioning of your care-giver

And that will increase the possibility of walking away from your birth feeling strong, confident, and positive about the parenting journey ahead.

You can learn these tools and other ideas at Birthtalk’s antenatal course, The path to a better birth.

We recommend reading our page Planning a positive birth. You can also check out the Positive Caesarean Birth Plan, created by Birthtalk mum and CANA co-founder Cas McCullough, on the CANA website. Cas used this plan for her empowering planned repeat caesarean, after a previous traumatic caesarean.

What if I don’t know if I want a caesarean or not?
Birthtalk approaches issues such as this in the context of working towards an empowering birth, where you are making all your decisions based on knowledge not fear.

We encourage all women preparing for a positive birth to attend, to make sure they are receiving evidence-based information, and so they can ask questions and get their fears addressed.

At Birthtalk we focus on planning an empowering birth. The information needed to prepare for an empowering experience is exactly the same for all birthing women, regardless of the mode of birth (ie whether vaginal or caesarean).

I have decided to have a caesarean, but I can’t stop thinking about my last birth…how can I move on?

You may also need to “make some space” for this birth by debriefing and gaining clarity about your previous experience.

You may find it helpful in your preparation for your birth to attend our Healing from birth meeting as well. Many women working towards a positive birth attend these as well as the Path to a better birth course.

This is a different group, where you are welcome to tell your story of your previous birth, and debrief the experience. We do this in the context of gaining clarity about “what happened”, to explore ways of making the next birth a better experience, but also to really “let go”, so the previous birth does not overshadow the upcoming birth.

Many women find coming along to Healing from birth group allows them to make peace with the experience. Plus, it doesn’t matter how long ago your previous birth was…we have had women who birthed 30 years ago attend, and still find it really helpful.

What is a Better Birth and why would I want one?

Go to our Articles and suggested reading pages

Read women’s journeys to an empowering birth and empowering birth stories