Doula for Cesareans?
A common misconception is that doulas are only hired by women who plan to birth "all-natural", without any medication. This statement couldn't be further from the truth. A doula is professionally trained to handle ALL birth experiences, whether it be un-medicated, medicated (epidural), induced, unplanned cesarean, or scheduled cesarean. Although women have reported needing fewer interventions while having a doula, the main role of the doula is to help mothers have a safe and pleasant birth, not help them choose what type of birth that will be. There is still likely to be some level of discomfort even for women who choose to be medicated, not to mention dealing with side effects. Doulas are available to help the mother feel secure and confident in the decisions she makes and to provide emotional support while the medications are administered.
For a mother who unexpectedly faces a cesarean, a doula can be incredibly helpful as this may be a lot to process. When you "plan" to birth your baby vaginally and instead are being rushed to an OR, your emotions and anxiety can really get the best of you. A doula will provide a calm in the midst of the storm, as this may be a stressful time for the spouse as well. Having the support of a doula during cesarean surgery allows the mother to know exactly what is going on throughout the procedure, and frees up the spouse to attend to the newborn if any complications arise. We will ensure you never feel alone.
As for mothers who schedule a cesarean, a doula can still be quite beneficial! We are able to help you prepare, just as we do with all clients, as well as assist in the ways I described above. A woman who undergoes a cesarean surgery requires a lot of rest and recovery time. A doula can help you process your emotions after such a big surgery, help with breastfeeding (as you will still be sore), assist you in getting comfortable, and provide additional help when it comes to adjusting to life with your newborn.