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Thread: What do you think about a Caesarean Birth Support Person/Attendant

  1. #1

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    Default What do you think about a Caesarean Birth Support Person/Attendant

    Hi Ladies, do you think you would have/would benefit from the services of a Caesarean Birth Attendant? (additional to your partner)



    Someone who can be an advocate for your wishes regarding the type of caesarean birth you want. Someone who could video/take pics of your bub whilst you are in recovery (if bub cannot be there with you)or perhaps even video the birth, or someone who can stay and support you whilst in theatre and recovery if bubs & DH have headed off to the nursery. Someone who can lend an ear with debreifing your birth experience and support you during the post natal period.

    I am in NO WAY trying to promote caesarean birth here. I just feel that cs mums can be somewhat disadvantaged and I know that I think I would have really benefited having the extra support during and after my cs birth experience.

    Any thoughts welcome

  2. #2

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    Melanie Cane has doula'd a few c/s - perhaps she could post in here.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
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  3. #3

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    Oh cool! Would love to hear Melanie's thoughts!

  4. #4

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    If the hospital will allow it - then go for it.
    However from experience working in anaesthetics for c/s i know that it is usually not an option for a number of reasons.

    * the theatres arent that big and already have average 6-7 + mum and partner in there already to perform the procedure.
    * There is more often than not time for a nurse to take photos for you(i always made a point of doing this for the births i attended)
    * it adds another infection control issue having another person not scrubbed in
    * There is a lot of communication between anaesthetics, the surgeons, ob, midwife, scout and scrub nurses and another person speaking in the middle of a procedure could cause choas and distract the staff from doing what they are trained to do.
    * recovery is not a place for another person (advocate or not) to be standing about, it is usually an open room with other patients, often indecent in their clothing due to close observations and i think it would be inappropriate to have someone standing there just so they could tell the NUrse (which is not always one on one) what to do.

    But like i said, i am all for it if the hospital you are going to allows it to happen.

  5. #5
    kirsty_lee Guest

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    I would of loved to have someone else. they made me choose between my mum and dp to come in when i wanted them both so mum had been with me and dp through the whole labour process right through, and in the end didnt get to see the birth.. it sucked

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    Oh Kristy-lee, to you.

    PP, I hope you didn't misunderstand me. I'm certainly not incinuating that a support person would be trying to tell the medical staff what to do in recovery etc. I just felt it would be very upsetting for a caesar mum to be lying in recovery on her own for an hour or so whilst her partner and baby are down at the nursery and that it would be nice to have a familiar face sitting with them at the head of their bed. I did not realise recovery was one big open room without particians. I was out to it when I was wheeled to recovery (I had a general). And when I woke up out ot the anaesthetic crying the recovery nurse was right there and my student mid, my DH and my mum all came into recovery straight away with my little girl and she was placed on my chest before wheeling us down into one of the delivery suites to attempt a first b/feed. I can't imagine what it would have been like if I'd woken up and and had not been able to meet my baby and see DH & Mum straight away. Especially as I was so emotional when I came to.

  7. #7

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    I think you are totally entitled to that sort of support, I suppose its just up to the hospital. I can certainly say I wouldnt like to be alone without my baby any time, having a hand to hold would be nice if you had to wait and see bubs...
    Melanie - where are you??!!! he he

  8. #8

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    spice - not at all, i am not leaning either way, i was just trying to give an insight on why they wouldnt perhaps let another person in a c/s
    Recovery for a spinal is usually only about 20 minutes anyhow if all ok(general anaesthetic might be longer - but then there would be no one there - not even DH present as you would be asleep). As you know

    It is hard as yes it isnt a single room for each patient in recovery - and usually family are brought in when you are well enough or come to enough to notice

    but i definately understand - especially in an emergency sense when it isnt a book c/s and makes it all that much scarier!

  9. #9

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    I would have loved someone in recovery with me. The first time I was on my own as it was 1.30am but it wasn't too bad as I slept for a lot of it having been in labour for the 36 hours prior. The second time I was also on my own, maybe because it was a Saturday? This time I was wide awake just starting at the clock wondering when I could see my baby.

  10. #10

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    I agree with Sara_h, I was a bit lonely in recovery & would have loved someone there to talk to. From my other post I had a spinal epi but as it was so late it was over an hour before I went back to the maternity section.
    I think having a doula/ceasarian birth attendant is a great idea especially if you are considering a VBAC because I imagine they can help with a birth plan & be able to help you to think & plan for things you may not have considered eg When I was in theatre I told DP to go with DS & be with him. DS had to go into a humidi crib because he had problems breathing & DP didn't realise I wanted him to touch DS as soon & as much as possible because I wasn't able to & he was too worried about me so my DS didn't get the physical contact as much as I wanted in the beginning.

  11. #11

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    Hi Ladies, thankyou for your replies so far! Yes the time spent in recovery would be pretty lonely. Pink Palace has a point though, it would be difficult to have people there when it is one big open room. My personal opinion is that if baby is well then there should be your partner, a midwife and your baby with you in recovery so you can attempt a b/feed etc straight away. It has been proven that it's sooo beneficial for mother and baby but still it's not routine practice in most hospitals. I guess it comes down to hospital resources though, which is a real shame.

    Where are you Melanie Cane???

  12. #12

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    Hi everyone, sorry for being so slow in posting. I hope that my thoughts will be worth the wait!!!
    As Kelly said I have been a doula for mums not only having natural births but also those needing c/sections ? both planned and unplanned. And while I have also been in both the operating theatre and post-op, there has also been many occasions where I have not been allowed in either!
    Being a doula, of course, I feel that any woman should be allowed to have who she wants to support her through her birth (no matter how it ends up) and the postnatal period. And it shouldn?t depend on the type of birth she has. But I?m also aware of the constraints of the medical system.
    When I have supported in the theatre, I sit next to the husband and while he usually strokes her head, and then touches the baby when they arrive, I can hold Mum?s hand. I can give a bit of a running commentary (I don?t have a weak stomach, so I peep occasionally over the curtain) in a soft voice to Mum and Dad. I let them know about the procedures that need to be, and are performed, so they are fully informed. (If it is a planned c/section, I have gone fully over this at a previous meeting.) Nurses usually do take photos during the birth, and I can take them after baby has been presented to Mum and Dad. I am encouraging and calming to parents who are usually quite stressed in a foreign environment. I do not move around the theatre, because as Pink Palace said, there is usually not a lot of room, and there is no ?scrubbing-in? because I am not touching anything sterile. I never touch the baby; that is not my place. I do, however, wear ?scrubs?, just like Dad.
    I have also been in post-op, sometimes when baby stays with Mum and they need someone to care for the baby if Mum happens to ?crash?, and Dad?s too emotionally close. I can then help with baby?s first feed, help to reposition baby and help to point out baby?s little ?attributes?. Sometimes baby and Dad go to the nursery, and Mum feels lost, and I can stay talking gently to her, supporting her. Post-op is a large, open area, but can usually be partly curtained off, giving privacy to other patients, and I don?t go wandering but stay close to Mum.
    However, all of this is very dependant on the hospital, OB, theatre staff, anesthetists, and especially the parents. Remember that Dads in birthing rooms were unheard of 40 years ago and it was the demands of ?the consumers? that made it standard practice. If the parents don?t request/demand that they want their doula or a second support person to stay with them, then the medical staff/establishment will stay within the ?norm?. Parents need to put their wishes in their birth plan, talk to their OB, talk to their hospital, be reasonable but assertive. And it is up to the doula/extra support to be very professional and understand the constraints of the medical system, and be willing to work within them for the safety of the mother and baby. I always make it clear that I am not a medical professional, and will never presume to know more on medical issues than the staff that are looking after Mum (the patient). But I can also bring something special and reassuring to a (usually) frightening and stressful event.
    Please feel free to let me know if you want anything clarified.
    Hugs,
    Melanie
    TLC Doula Support - Welcome Page

  13. #13

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    Hi Melanie, thanks so much for your reply
    That is sooo wonderful that you've been able to be there for some of these caesar mums. In about what %age of the caesars have the hospital not allowed you in theatre or recovery? I guess even though you weren't able to support some of these mums for the birth, you were there to support them in the postnatal period, and no doubt you have been someone with whom they can share their feelings and debreif the birth experience, which is sooo important. I know that when I started to feel sad about my lost birth experience I felt like I had no-one to talk to and those I did confide in didn't really understand why I was so upset about it. So having someone like yourself to be able to talk to would have been a godsend.
    Thanks again for your reply.
    Last edited by ~mamaspice~; July 23rd, 2008 at 02:17 PM.

  14. #14

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    Spice, I would say all of the c/sections that I supported have been positively affected, whether it be for the emotional support for both mum and dad that has been supplied, or the information I have been able to provide regarding procedures/protocols/what to expect etc. Sometimes because of the support I provide, the parents feel more confident to pursue changes in hospital protocol. For example, most of the mums that I have worked with have not been separated from their baby in post-op (whether I have been there or not). As a doula, I am not an advocate; I believe it is up to the parents to change policies and protocol, (Dads in the birthing room were unheard of until the mums en masse insisted on it; it didn't happen because of scientific research - see Michel Odent's recent articles) but I provide the information and options for them to decide if it's something they want to insist on. Medical practitioners are more likely to work with the couples wishes than listen to an outsider.
    And most of the couples I have worked with also reported feeling much better emotionally about the whole experience.

  15. #15

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    Late to this but thought I would add. I have had 3 c-sections. For the first with twins I had my mother and my husband in the room. for the second I had my sister and Hubby and for my last I had only hubby ( who was going to watch the other kids..LOL) but I only wanted him just the two of us. I also had my anesthetist who was the best thing since sliced bread. she had had a section herself so she acted like my doula it was perfect. she held my hand stayed by my head telling me what was happening. she watched all my vitals and was quick quick quick with making sure there were no dips , rises or surprises so i was on an even keel, and told me what and when she was giving me anything.. .. she was brilliant. .. I had him at 8 am on the dot and I was out of bed with no pain relief at 9 pm that night.. I had the same OB for all of them and my GP was the assisting. it was truly as "natural" as section could be.. He was brilliant making sure what I wanted to happen happened. He is a skilled surgeon too so was careful to make sure that there was no unnecessary wear and tear so was gently getting my babies out.. so hand in had with all the people there it was such a positive experiences. i knew I would always need section before I got pregnant so I did all i could to make it perfect for me...

  16. #16

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    I need one!!!

    DH said that after being "fortunate" enough to be allowed to sit in with my first c/s (emergency, under general) ... he won't be attending another Told me how all my guts were pushed to the side and how ruff they worked with me and how seeing a man cut your wife open with a scapel, brings out the cave-man in you (and makes you want to chuck ... twice!!!)

    So I'm coin tossing who I'm asking to sit with me when I deliver this one.

    I do think that it's a great idea and should be offered where it's possible

  17. #17

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    Hi Just wanted to add my experience on here. I had to undergo an emergency c/s and was lucky enough to know the midwifes in the hospital as my sister is one. My DH and sister were allowed to come into the theatre as well as the standard midwife who attends.
    So I had DH holding my hand, my midwife keeping an eye on bubs, my drug man (can't spell today, the guy who gave me my spinal ) who was keeping me informed about the procedure and watching over my stats etc and my sister who was like my advocate (trying to tell me I needed a general which I didn't want but was too emotional to speak up). I also had another nurse taking photos of the surgery and bubs. After the c/s, DH went with the midwife back upstairs and my sister accompanied me to recovery with bubs for first feed.
    All in all, I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. Still not happy with having to have a c/s but it was a good experience nonetheless.

    I think that having someone supporting mothers in these circumstances would be really beneficial as it eases the stress already there. It would, of course, have to be done so as to not interfere with the c/s itself, recovery or staff.

  18. #18

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    i agree with pink palace's reasons...
    i have had 3 c sections 2 in one hospital and the other in qld.
    In W.A your partner stays with you the whole time for everything. Not the case in qld altho i INSISTED he did he didnt miss a thing he stayed with me and bubs went off with nurse for short time.

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