What many people don’t realize is that a spontaneous labor offers several benefits to the baby. If you are healthy, then the ethical response is to let labor begin spontaneously.
Whatever you decide, I hope you look back a year from now and feel listened to, empowered, and satisfied with your choices. Don’t forget that you are the mama—you get to choose!
One thing I really appreciate about your site is that you speak with an attitude that allows for all birth outcomes. I have to say, part of my emotional healing has been to deal with some of the more radical birth empowerment literature that promises women that any and all of us can have vaginal births if we simply try hard enough. I believe that sometimes, in our quest to lower the shockingly high c-section rate, we seem to want to behave as though no c-sections are necessary. And that is simply not true. In many cases, they are the only option left when everything else has failed. I feel like your site leaves room for this possibility, and I really appreciate that. ~ AJ, mother (after a necessary cesarean)
Have you already had a cesarean before this pregnancy?
Your pelvis has a good chance of coming into better symmetry with professional body work combined with exercises. Second babies come more readily as well, and the exercises seem to work better, especially if you start now.
I’ve helped several women who had cesareans for a slow descent or a tight fit and even had the same problem in their second labors. We did the Side-lying Release, lunges, and vertical pushing to help the baby fit.
Are you planning a cesarean?
There are ways to make your cesarean more family-focused.
Talk to the anesthesia department at your hospital to discuss personal adaptations to your needs. For instance, do you want your doula to be present with your significant other during the surgery?
Do you want to give your baby the benefits of skin-to-skin contact? If you know ahead of time that you will—or may likely—need a cesarean you can “shop around” for more physiological accommodations, such as delayed cord clamping, skin-to-skin contact in the operating room, breast feeding in the recovery room, etc.
After the cesarean, you can create an intimate skin-to-skin welcome for your new baby or babies. This is a wonderful way to reestablish a calm environment and go for an extra hormonal “bonding” surge after a busy beginning in the operating room. Ask your doula, partner, another family member, or a nurse to help you.