Unplanned Caesarean Birth
A lot of birthing women end up with an unplanned Caesarean delivery. Some of those are truly life and death emergency cesareans while others are done due to delay of labor, failure to progress, CPD (baby too big), tired birthing woman or some indication the baby is feeling stressed by long labor. Often coupled with this unplanned Caesarean is a sense of failure in a woman’s mind … “I wasn’t able to birth, what’s the matter with me?” Nonsense.
Birthing Better wants you to not go down that path. One hundred percent of pregnant women will give birth one way or another. You are birthing your baby! And we want you to have the most empowered and positive birth you can have. Birthing Better families achieved positive and empowered births because they used birth and birth-coaching skills developed in the early 1970s by hundreds of families.
Caesarean might end up being the best medical solution either you or your baby. And it’s ok. By increasing your level of birthing skills, you will increase your chances of safely birthing your baby without needing a C-section. And if it appears that the best solution is indeed the c-section, you can use your skills to go peacefully, as a family, through the surgery.
Keep in mind, you can use Birthing Better skills while being prepped and during Caesarian birth. Also, birth skills may prevent a cesarean because you’re not coping or your labor is delayed and having skills. And, being skilled may prevent medical ‘issues’ from becoming ‘problem’s because you labor and deliver your baby effectively. In other words, Birthing Better skills were developed for all births without exception.
From “emergency” to “unnecessary” caesareans
Until the past few generations, all pregnant women labored and had a vaginal birth whether the outcome was good or not and whether the woman coped well with the natural pain associated with contraction pains or freaked out. When the first surgical Caesareans were performed in our modern maternity systems, they were really major abdominal surgery and only done under the most extreme childbirth situations. They had what is called a ‘Classical Cesarian’.
Women who had these ‘classical’ c-sections felt incredibly disconnected from their baby’s birth because they were knocked out by a general anesthetics and were left with an incredibly ugly body scar. Women wanted a different experience.
By the end of the 1970s obstetricians had figured out what is now known as ‘low-lying’ c/s incisions or ‘bikini cuts’. Instead of the uterine muscles cut up and down, the lower muscle fibers were separated. This shift in surgery totally changed the emergency or unplanned Cesarean from everyone’s viewpoint.
- The surgery was less dangerous to the mother and baby.
- Epidurals became the norm, so instead of being unconscious, women were awake during the surgery and could participate in the birth of their baby.
- No scary scar after the surgery: women could wear bikinis, the scar was often hidden by pubic hair.
All of these things were a win-win-win for mothers, babies and the medical profession. However, the ease of doing these new cesareans has led to a huge increase in unplanned or emergency c-sections. 30% of births are now by Cesarean. It’s hard to imagine that 1/3 of all mothers and babies would be dead or injured without one. This means there are a whole bunch of “unnecessary” unplanned c-sections rather than “emergency” unplanned ones.
The most common cause of unplanned Cesareans is a failure to progress and women not coping. This is directly related to the lack of birth and birth-coaching skills, as there is just no societal expectation that expectant families become skilled to birth their baby.
Get yourself and your baby through labor safely
Rarely does an emergency or unplanned cesarean occur when the baby is in the birth canal. The vast majority occur when the woman is in labor, not when she is pushing. More often forceps or ventouse vacuum extraction are used once the cervix is dilated, the baby is in the birth canal but there is a delay of the delivery. This means that you want to get through the labour part of birth.
- First, you want to manage and cope with the natural occurring pain of labor contractions throughout the 1st Stage of labor. This is hard work. Without good breathing, relaxation, teamwork and communication skills you are likely to feel overwhelmed and not handle dealing with the pain. If you don’t handle painful contractions well … your obstetrician or midwife does not want you to suffer in childbirth … and you will be offered or encouraged to use pain relief.
- Second, if your cervix does not fully dilate in a reasonable amount of time you are more likely to have more medical care such as an augmentation of labor as well as pain relief. If you have not prepared your pregnant body to soften and open the inside of your pelvis during labor, you won’t have the skills to help your cervix open up. This delay will result in more ‘interventions’ and is called the Cascade of Interventions including a caesarean.
- Third, in 2nd Stage or delivery, if your baby’s vital signs begin to look poorly and do not deliver in a reasonable amount of time, your obstetrician wants your baby to be safe so interventions will occur.
Using Birthing Better online birthing classes will increase your ability to birth effectively and progressively. You, your birth coach and your baby will work together better. You will birth better throughout this birth journey.
Why you should consider birth skills
Birthing Better skills can help you easily prepare your body to give birth. So do the birth and birth-coaching skills that will help you manage and cope with labor pains. In other words, with skills, you are less likely to have an unplanned Caesarean that is not directly related to the life and death of you or your baby.
But Birthing Better families went one step further: they developed skills to continue to use even if you end up having an unplanned c-section. Again, that is sometimes the best way, and it’s ok! It really doesn’t matter how a baby’s born. What matters is that you feel empowered and positive. Your birth and birth-coaching skills will just transform your life and birth experience.
Plenty of time
If you end up with an unplanned/emergency c-section then still use your birth and birth-coaching skills. It’s that simple. We can discuss all day how to prevent the 30% Caesarean rate but at the end of the day, this is your baby’s birth. Take the advice of many thousand Birthing Better families and learn skills, for you’ll have plenty of time to use them in the best way possible:
- You’ll have plenty of time while your birthing partner is being prepped for surgery. You have to fill your time doing something rather than sitting around waiting. This will keep both of you connected and working together as a family.
- You’ll have plenty of time during surgery to use your skills … again, fill your time, stay connected to your baby and welcome your baby into the world as skilled parents.
- You’ll have plenty of time after surgery to use your skills and help your partner recover from major abdominal surgery and the discomforts that come along with that.
Having an unplanned or emergency Caesarean is still your baby’s birth. Birthing Better families honestly believe that you deserve to have the very best and most positive birth experience you can. They believe you can definitely achieve an incredibly empowered birth no matter how your baby is born when you use your Birthing Better skills.
Birthing Better skills were developed by moms and dads in the early 1970s in the US and used by many thousands globally in all types of birth. Birthing Better online birthing classes are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.