Cesarean – What does a doula do?
A cesarean is a different kind of birth, but it is still a birth in need of emotional and practical preparation and support. In a cesarean birth, your doula will walk you through what to expect, what you can change about the operating room routines and what you can’t.
If she’s able to come into the OR, she’ll suggest coping practices for the sensations, sounds and emotions that often accompany a cesarean birth. She’ll also advocate for your preferences where appropriate.
Danielle and Jeff hired a doula for their planned cesarean. Here is what Danielle has to say about her doula support:
“When Jeff went over to meet our girl, I was not not left alone wondering what was going on and hoping she was okay–which could have easily led to a panic attack. Instead, as soon as he left my side, [our doula] was holding my hand and narrating what was happening across the room. I felt connected to everything going on the whole time and never felt left out because I was behind a curtain.”
Here more about Daneille and Jeff’s experience of cesarean delivery:
Dear Mt Sinai and Hospital Staff,
I wanted to write and extend our heartfelt thanks for allowing our doula, to join us in the delivery room for the birth of our first child on April 25, 2014. As a result we had a calm, exhilarating, and beautiful delivery experience–even though it was a cesarean.
I know having the doula in the room is not standard practice at Mt Sinai and so I wanted to take the time to explain how and why her support made a huge difference for us.
We hired a doula for several reasons. The main one was that we knew that after seven years of fertility treatments, three miscarriages, and many gynecological surgeries of various kinds, we had a great deal of anxiety around the birth. We needed someone to totally focus on us and our needs during the experience, so that we wouldn’t “miss” our daughter’s birth because we were distracted by our fears.
With [our doula] in the delivery room, even though she was standing against the wall most of the time, she was able to come over to us at key moments and explain what was going on, so that we wouldn’t be imagining the worst.
Once our daughter arrived, she busily took pictures for us, so that we could be totally present with the experience of finally meeting her and connecting for the first time as a new family of three.
When Jeff went over to meet our girl, I was not not left alone wondering what was going on and hoping she was okay–which could have easily led to a panic attack. Instead, as soon as he left my side, [our doula] was holding my hand and narrating what was happening across the room. I felt connected to everything going on the whole time and never felt left out because I was behind a curtain.
When Jeff came back with our daughter in his arms, [our doula] guided us in holding and engaging with her. We never had to wonder what to do. We could relax and enjoy the precious moments as they happened with [our doula] guiding us.
After months, and in fact years, of worry, my husband and I were able at the end of the day to say that we had an amazing birth experience. The incredible staff at Mt Sinai was certainly a key contributor to this, but also was having our doula, by our side in the delivery room.
As a result, we were able to finally put behind us the stress, grief, and heartbreak of the past several years and begin the new chapter in our lives with joy, relief, and excitement.
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