Online Support with The Virtual Midwife, Karen Wilmot

Cesarian Birth

About Course

In this course, you'll gain a deep understanding of cesarean birth, including when it may be recommended, how to prepare for the procedure, and what to expect during recovery.
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Course Curriculum

Introduction to Cesarian Birth
With the right knowledge and support, you can feel confident and prepared for what's ahead. This course is designed to equip you with the information and tools you need to make informed decisions and advocate for your birth preferences. You'll gain a deep understanding of the risks, benefits, and options of cesarean birth, and learn practical strategies for preparing for the procedure and recovery. Let's go!

Medical Indications for planned c/section diagnosed in pregnancy
There are a variety of medical indications for a cesarean section that may be diagnosed during pregnancy. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, and what the reasons are, you may still be able to explore alternatives. This section will guide you to understand the various reasons a c/section may be recommended and help you to make informed choices for the safety of you and your baby.

True Emergency Cesarian (late pregnancy or during labor)
In some cases, an emergency cesarean section may be necessary to protect the health of you and your baby during late pregnancy. There are several medical indications for emergency cesarean section, including cord prolapse, placental abruptio, and uterine rupture. Although rare, these are serious pregnancy complications that may require emergency cesarean section to protect the health of you and your baby. While these complications are rare, it's important to be aware of the symptoms and work closely with your healthcare provider to ensure a safe delivery.

Medical Indications for c/section during labor
Sometimes, after spontaneous labor has begun, a healthcare provider may recommend an emergency c-section due to medical reasons. While it may not be a true emergency, healthcare providers refer to it as an emergency c-section because it is not planned. Depending on the reason, timing may be important, however there is usually time to have a discussion so that you can make an informed decision once you have ruled out that there are no alternatives. According to the latest available data from the South African National Department of Health, the caesarean section rate in South Africa was 26.3% in 2018 in the public sector and 58% in the private sector. However, this figure does not distinguish between planned or emergency c-sections. It is likely that a significant portion of these c-sections were performed for medical reasons, including emergency situations during labor. It is important to note that the incidence of emergency c-sections can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the specific hospital or healthcare facility, the healthcare provider, and the individual circumstances of the pregnancy and labor. In this module you will gain a deeper understanding the reasons why an emergency c-section may be necessary and what to expect, so that you feel more prepared and confident during the labor and birth.

Planning Ahead
I urge you to stay open to things not always going as expected. Plan and prepare for what you want, but not to the exclusion of what you don't want. Remember that a c/section is a birth option and one that can potentially save you and your baby from a traumatic birth or prevent a poor outcome. If you know and understand why and when a c/section may be necessary then you can do your bit to prevent it, with the understanding that there are certain factors that are out of your control, that could lead to requiring a c/section. During pregnancy you still have time to plan and change your mind, change your doctor or change your hospital. However, once you are in labor, your choices are limited by the care provider and the policies and practices of the birth setting you are in. In the event of being faced with the decision to have a c/section, it is highly unlikely that you can change your doctor or move to another hospital. This is why the questioning techniques and discussions are so important during pregnancy so that you are able to gain a sense of trust in your choices and know that they are the right ones for you.

Effective Communication
As you prepare for the birth of your baby, it's important to remember that effective communication is key to making informed decisions about your care. This is especially important in South Africa, where the incidence of c-sections is high. By learning effective communication techniques, you can become proactive in your care and ensure that you are making informed decisions. This means understanding your options, asking questions, and advocating for yourself. It also means getting informed consent before any medical interventions are performed, including c-sections. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions during appointments with your healthcare provider. Remember, you are the expert on your own body and your own pregnancy experience. By communicating effectively, you can work with your healthcare team to create a birth plan that is right for you and your baby. Together, we can work towards a culture of informed and empowered decision-making in pregnancy and childbirth. You've got this!

Preparing for cesarian birth
If you're preparing for a cesarean birth, it's important to remember that you have options. One of those options is a gentle cesarean, which can help make the birth experience more positive and empowering. A gentle cesarean, also known as a family-centered cesarean, involves creating a calm and welcoming environment in the operating room. This might include playing music, dimming the lights, and allowing your partner to be present during the surgery. Your baby is then delivered more slowly and gently, and placed directly on your chest as soon as possible. This skin-to-skin contact can help promote bonding and breastfeeding, even after a cesarean birth.

The first week at home after cesarian
The first week at home after a cesarean birth can be challenging, but with some preparation and patience, you can adjust to your new life with your little one. During this time, you'll likely experience some sleep deprivation, as your baby will need to be fed every 2-3 hours. While it may be difficult to adjust to the frequent feedings, know that your baby is growing and developing with each feed. It's also important to focus on your own recovery from surgery. Rest when you can, and don't be afraid to ask for help from family and friends when needed. Remember that it's normal to feel a bit overwhelmed during this time, and it's okay to take things one day at a time. In the midst of adjusting to your new routine, try to find moments of joy and connection with your baby. Soak in their sweet newborn scent, cuddle them close, and take in all the tiny details of their face and hands. This time will pass quickly, so cherish each moment as best you can.

Final Words
Wow, we've reached the end of our fantastic journey through this course on cesarean birth! I'm so proud of you for taking the time to educate and empower yourself with knowledge. You've shown incredible commitment to preparing for your baby's arrival, and I know you'll be an amazing parent! But hey, don't think this is the end of our adventure together! The Due Date Club is here to support you every step of the way, and we've got so much more in store for you. Imagine a whole treasure trove of resources, insights, and experiences waiting to be discovered – that's what we've got lined up! Feeling curious? Excited? Well, you should be! We've got a fantastic array of courses tailored just for you, covering every aspect of pregnancy and childbirth. Here's a sneak peek of what's waiting for you: Partners Course: Strengthen your bond and teamwork as you and your partner explore ways to support each other throughout pregnancy and birth. Just Found Out: From the moment you discover you're expecting, this course will guide you through the early stages of pregnancy, offering essential tips and advice. Hospital Interventions: Equip yourself with the knowledge to make informed decisions about common hospital interventions during labor and delivery. Hypnobirth: Discover the power of relaxation and self-hypnosis in achieving a calm, gentle, and empowering birth experience. And guess what? The fun doesn't stop there! Our Due Month Groups provide a fantastic opportunity to connect with other expectant parents who share your journey. You'll find a supportive and nurturing community where you can ask questions, share stories, and even make lifelong friends! So, are you ready to keep exploring, learning, and growing? I have no doubt that by engaging with these incredible resources, you'll be well-equipped and confident as you welcome your little one into the world. Let's continue this amazing adventure together and make the most of everything the Due Date Club has to offer! Here's to you and your incredible journey ahead! 🎉🤰🤱🎈


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