April is Cesarean Awareness Month. While it can be a life-saving procedure for mom and baby, a cesarean is often prescribed when vaginal birth is a safe and sound option. Be aware that you have options, that you have a right to ask questions, and a right to know your risks. Educating yourself about birth is your best and first defense against an unnecessary cesarean.
Throughout the month, Giving Birth with Confidence will be posting cesarean resources for moms. We encourage you to comment with your experience as well as any questions. For more information be sure to check out the International Cesarean Awareness Network Blog.
Knowing what happens before, during, and after a cesarean birth is helpful for moms who are scheduled to have a cesarean, but also for any mom approaching birth. It’s common not to want to learn about something you so desperately want to avoid, but educating yourself about a cesarean — even just a little — will help prepare you for all possibilities in birth, which could help ease your fears about the process should you need one.
There are several resources on cesarean around the web. About.com/pregnancy, however, seems to have the most complete, succinct, and practical resources. The author of About.com’s pregnancy resources is Robin Weiss, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, a doula and doula trainer (DONA), a childbirth educator trainer, author of several maternal/child care books, and mom to eight children.
Moms who plan to have a vaginal birth, but want to know more about a cesarean, may want to read:
- Why would you need an unplanned cesarean section?
- Family Centered Cesarean (includes the basics on what happens before, during, and after surgery)
- Questions to Ask About a Cesarean Section – Before You Have Surgery
Moms who have a scheduled cesarean may want to read:
- Why would you need a scheduled cesarean section?
- What happens before a scheduled c-section?
- Can someone stay with me during a cesarean section?
- Tips for a Safer Cesarean Section
- After a Cesarean
- Recovering from a Cesarean
- Cesarean Birth Plan
- Post-Cesarean Warning Signs
All expectant moms can benefit from reading the following: