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Can I still benefit from a doula if I have a c-section?

"DOULA: A person whose primary focus is to the meet the emotional and physical needs of a laboring or newly postpartum mother. She provides support, comfort, and knowledge, before, during, and after labor. She is trained to respectfully work around medical professionals, to work alongside partners, but her focus will always be on the mother, and on her needs and desires." -Kristi Ramey

It really doesn't matter if you desire a private homebirth or a planned c-section-we will provide the same level of care and attention.

Mothers deserve support in these most vulnerable of moments. While your needs may look different that the mother giving birth next door, having a trained professional there to focus on YOU is always a good thing!

Here are some ways we can help our cesarean-section families:

  1. Help thinking through and designing your birth plan. Yes, even with a scheduled c- section you can make it more baby and mama friendly! You have options, and we can explore those together. Things like clear drapes, a curated playlist for the operating room, immediate skin-to-skin while they close you back up are all options we can discuss with your medical professionals.

  2. Another person to stay with mom in case of emergencies or transfers. In an emergency situation, baby and mom may be treated in separate rooms or even hospitals. This often puts the dad (or whoever is there with mom) in an awkward spot: do they support mom or support baby? No one should have to make those decisions. With a doula, you just tell them where they are needed most, and that's where they will go!

  3. A support person when dad/family isn't able to be at the birth. Not everyone has a spouse, and not everyone has family or friends able to step in and help. That doesn't mean you have to go without support!

  4. Someone to help you advocate for your preferences. While we cannot make medical recommendations or decisions for you, we can certainly help YOU advocate for yourself. We can also encourage medical staff to check in with you and help keep everyone on the same page. In an emergency situation, certain things are entirely out of your control, but even then, we can help you process and remember details that you maybe missed.

  5. Provide much needed physical and emotional assistance in the postpartum period. Many people would argue that a c-section mother needs MORE help after birth. After all, she just had a serious abdominal surgery! Let the doulas at Richmond Birth and Baby give her a little extra time to rest and recover.

  6. Nursing or pumping guidance. The medications and physical toll of a c-section can make it a little harder to get started with nursing, both for you and baby. It's not your fault, it's just that you went through a lot! All of our doulas are trained to give breastfeeding support. In addition to that, we have IBCLCs and Lactation Consultants on staff, just a phone call away. And yes, we do make house calls. :)

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