When I find out someone is planning a cesarean, I start by asking, “Why?” It helps that I can say, “I had a cesarean with my first baby. Why are you having one?”
Then I listen to their reasons. I ask how they feel about having a cesarean. Some moms feel really good about it, they have already done their research and know it is the best choice for them. Most are more on the fence and seem to want more information.
Making choices with limited information or out of fear is not empowering. If a Mom is open, I share information of what her choices really are and places she can go to do some research. I offer support and help if she wants it.
There are a lot of great resources for moms to go to. For instance moms who have already had cesareans can go to ICAN to find a lot of great information about VBACs. I also have gathered some resources here. For moms given the big baby card, I send them to this page I wrote about it, after having SO many moms say their OBs were feeding them this line. Here is a great post with information for moms with Breech Babies.
I think that the moms who take time to question what they are being told and do research will be able to make the choice that is really best for them! They also will feel better about their decision, because it is theirs! They are making an informed decision, rather than a coerced decision. Many upon doing some research will realize that a vaginal birth is a good option for them. They may need to change care providers in order to have support in getting one.
Some moms may still choose to have a cesarean. They have taken all the information and combined it with their intuition to make the best choice for them. This should be respected and supported. Moms know what is best for them (when they have all the information). At this point as a friend or CBE, I would fully support them in their decision and help them prepare to have the best possible cesarean birth.
I will admit, it is sometimes a struggle, if I don’t completely understand their choice. But I think it is important for me to support them, regardless of what I think. It is their body and baby and their choice!
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