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The Importance of Learning About Cesarean Birth for All Birth Plans

birth prep cesarean birth intervention May 05, 2023

Welcome to the Brave Journey blog! My name is Cara Lee and I'm here to talk to you about the importance of learning about cesarean birth, even if you're planning an unmedicated birth. I know this may be a controversial topic, especially among birth workers, but bear with me.

One of my friends recently told me that she wished she had learned more about cesarean birth before having her baby via cesarean. This got me thinking: what if more people knew about cesarean birth and how to prepare for it? After all, according to the CDC, the cesarean rate in the United States was 25% for low-risk pregnancies in 2020. That's one in four people preparing for birth who will likely birth their baby via cesarean.

I understand that some birth workers may feel uncomfortable talking about cesarean birth, but being uncomfortable with something or hoping it doesn't happen doesn't prevent it from happening.

Some people believe that by not introducing the idea of cesarean birth to their clients, they can prevent it from happening. Others want their clients to envision what they want and believe they can make it happen just by thinking about it. However, avoiding thinking about something gives it way too much power and makes it stronger and scarier. I believe it's important to look bravely at something that scares us and learn about cesarean birth.

Also, the words we use matter. Semantics influence the way we think and feel about something. For example, compare the phrases "C-section" or "section them" to "cesarean birth" or "born via cesarean". They evoke very different imagery and feelings. It's important to watch our language and honor those who birth their babies via cesarean birth.

There are many reasons why a baby might be born via cesarean that have nothing to do with the person birthing their baby. That's why it's crucial to learn about family-centered or gentle cesareans, where families can advocate for a positive birthing experience even if a cesarean is not a part of their individual birth experience.

Evidence-based practices, such as quality prenatal care, birth education, labor support, and birthing in an institution that values vaginal birth, can help lower the likelihood of birthing via cesarean. However, changing the system is key to making impactful changes and advocating for policy-level changes is crucial.

Remember, birth is birth and cesarean birth is a transformational experience for parents and babies. Avoiding learning about or teaching it does not minimize the experience. Let's empower ourselves with knowledge and make informed choices about our birthing experience.


Free Birth Plan Templates

While you can't 'plan' birth, creating a Birth Preferences document in collaboration with your OB or Midwife will help you get to know your care provider, learn your birth facility options, and practice being an active participant in your birth experience.

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Download "Birth Bag Packing List and Mini-Class"

This birth bag packing list pdf and mini-class video shows you what to pack for your birth and how to set the tone in your birth room.

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