One in three Canadian women birth by Caesarean. With both short-term and long-term risks to mother and child, many people would like to avoid this surgery. We welcome your comments below.
1. Drive for good care.
Choose a facility that has a low caesarean rate. This may not be your closest hospital but it will be worth the drive to receive exceptional care. The thing is, people worry that they "won't make it" to their place of birth. If this is the case, and labour is going super quickly, go to the closest place since it won't matter quite as much if things are moving more rapidly than anticipated.
2. Your Mother/Sister/Partner/Friend Is Not a Doula
It goes without saying, after all, we are Doulas, but if you want to avoid a caesarean, the doula ups those odds. Research continues to show that having a Doula at your birth decreases the odds of caesareans, decreases the length of labour and increases satisfaction with the experience for both the labouring person and the partner. An impartial, unbiased professional will give you the information you need as you need it without bias. Having a Doula present will also increase the likelihood of an intimate experience, ask us why.
3. You Can't Learn Birth From YouTube
You also can't learn birth from books. A good quality prenatal class with a knowledgeable, experienced instructor is a must. If you are counting on one thing (like either hypnobirthing or epidurals) to get you through labour consider what happens if that one thing does not actually work for you in labour. An arsenal of strategies is a must and online courses will not give you hands on practice.
4. Start Your Maternity Leave Early
Most people work as long as they can so they have more time with the baby over the course of the year but logically, if you spend some time preparing for birth (and parenthood) you reduce the chances of feeling crappy for the first month or more after the baby arrives. Plan to be done by 35 weeks.
5. Stay Out of the Couch
From 35 weeks onward, no couch. No lazyboy. No rocking chair. Kitchen chairs, birth balls, the floor... but no sofa. Ever. Not even for laying down.
6. Nap Every Afternoon
If labour starts in the middle of the night, you want to have some rest behind you. For goodness sake, lay down. From 37 weeks onward, an afternoon rest/nap is a must.
7. Get. Off. Your. Ass.
We see so many people who believe pregnant people need to take it easy. If this is an order from your careprovider, then that's what you do. If not, up you get. Stay active. In addition to walking, swimming and yoga throughout your pregnancy - from 37 weeks on: wash the kitchen floor on your hands and knees every second or third day.
8. Planned The Wedding, Forgot the Marriage
So much planning goes into weddings that we often forget the key to a successful marriage. The same happens with birth and babies. Some people plan for labour and not the baby, while others plan for the baby but not the birth. Often people are blindsided by the thing they did not prepare for. Give both equal time. Plan for both.
Bonus Tip - Most people only read this fantastic book on avoiding caesareans AFTER their first caesarean with the common response "why didn't I know?". Once you have birthed by caesarean, VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) is encouraged but not easy to achieve. Read the book before your first birth. It's short.
The takeaway here is, if you have done all the things and still birthed by caesarean, then you know that you tried everything within your power to avoid it. A lot of people end up with regrets at a time when they should be celebrating. How do you want to remember your birth?