As a doula what do I offer my clients in terms of support pre and post c-section?
Well I wrote this before all the discussion happened today.
With all my clients we discuss the possibility of a c-section birth and as part of their "birth plan" have a c-section plan. I do this now because so many women seem to ignore the possibility of c-section and say "that won't happen to me" even though they are birthing in places with rates of 1 in 3, or 1 in 2. Once we have done that (unless they are planning a c-section of course) we then put that aside and focus on the birth she wants. I also teach them simple tools that they can use to help them feel in control even when things don't go as planned so if they choose to they can remain the ones making the final decision about what happens to them and their baby.
Post birth I am available to debrief whenever they want to and refer them in need to good independent preg and postnatal counselling. Often the debriefing happens casually over time in those first weeks but we also make a special time to sit down and have a thorough debrief when the parents are ready.
I am a co-facilitator for a course/support group called Healing Birth for women who have had traumatic birth experiences (many but not all are women who have had c-sections) and already we see trends with the things done and said by the same careproviders over and over again. Sometimes I think If only the ob's and midwives involved in these women's experiences could hear and see these women tell what happened from their point of view perhaps something might get through and change their practice - many of the women write letters to help them heal but very few are actually posted.
I think it is true that almost all women need to debrief their birth no matter how it went and I have seen the positive changes in women after they have had the chance to debrief in a supportive place over a number of weeks. Some even look physically different after the debriefing. Not to mention the more positive empowered experiences they go on to have with any future babies.
The other thing with debriefing is have you noticed that those who don't debrief their births are still telling people the horror stories (up to 60 years later in the case of a family member of mine.) Often pregnant women are bailed up in checkout queues or odd places by a stranger telling them titbits of their birth story that perhaps would really have benefited from a reflective debrief.
Honey Acharya CD (CBI)
Studying BMid through UniSa
Birth Buddies - Doula
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- Re: [ozmidwifery] Post cs support Honey Acharya
- Re: [ozmidwifery] Post cs support Susan Cudlipp
- RE: [ozmidwifery] Post cs support B & G