Having a C-Section can be an exciting and incredible experience, but waiting for the day you will finally get to meet your baby can be quite daunting for both the Mom to be and her partner.
Whilst the Mom to be clearly has a pretty important role in the C-section process, the birthing partner, father or partner supporting the C-section process also has a crucial role too, and by learning more about what’s involved during the C-section, can be fundamental in ensuring the birth is a calm and smooth experience for everyone, baby included!
Here are my hints and tips for C-section partners:
- Pack hospital bags in advance – when packing the hospital bags for a C-section, you should prepare for an extended stay and make sure she has everything that she needs ready and to easily accessible. There are some obvious essentials like nappies and your babies first outfits, but for the Mom to be, comfort is key. Pack some comfortable underwear (in a larger size than she normally wears) that will easily cover her C-section wound. For extra brownie points pack some of the items she might not have thought of herself – her favorite book, a little treat, snacks for energy during those early night feeds or a nice face cream to help her feel just a little more human!
- Pack some entertainment for you – there is likely to be some waiting around for an elective C-section, as emergencies may push back your slot. Distraction is key as the longer the wait the more anxious you may start to feel.
- Help your partner with her birth plan and ensure you are both on the same page so that you can advise the medical team if she is unable to do so herself. Discuss any specific requests you may have e.g. early breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, having the curtain down, you cutting the cord, and help the Mom to be gets the birth that she hopes for.
- Get babies first outfit ready and put to one side before you go in so that you can quickly pass it over when baby arrives – the last thing you want to be doing is fumbling in the bags at the crucial moment trying to find a hat or baby-grow!
- Bring your camera to take those early newborn shots, as chances are your partner won’t be able to do this herself. Newborns change rapidly in those minutes and hours after birth, so these moments are something to be captured quickly!
- Stay calm during the procedure – even if you aren’t feeling calm on the inside! She will have limited knowledge about what is happening so will look to you for reassurance. Hold her hand, offer her comfort, let her know what is happening during the procedure and provide some calming physical contact. A simple touch can do the world of good.
- Let her meet her baby asap. They may take baby away to clean her up and then pass back to you. It’s easy to get distracted and awe struck meeting your little one for the first time but remember she is also waiting to meet her newborn!
- Keep her calm in recovery, as she may get the shakes or feel a little cold / nauseous after a spinal and this is fairly typical. Be on hand to help her with holding the baby if she needs it.
- When she is physically (and mentally) ready to do so, help her getting in and out of bed as these movements will be pretty tricky at first. Support her weight and help her bend upwards and shift round in the bed until she is able to get her feet firmly on the floor.
- Don’t let her overdo it – and this one can be quit tough, particularly if like me she is stubborn and used to being independent. Rest is really important to help avoid infection and aid healing, so encourage her to stop being proud and let you help where you can.
- She may be required to wear compression socks for a while after the procedure – no matter how tempting it may be, don’t tease her no matter how unsexy these may look! They are to ensure she stays fit and healthy after her procedure.
- Finally, congratulate her – whilst it may not necessarily be the birth she had imagined in her head, a C-section is still a birth to be celebrated! Let her know how proud you are of her and congratulate the safe arrival of your little one!
Did you have a C-section? What other tips would you give to birthing partners? Write it in the Comments section below.