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How to Emotionally Prepare for a Cesarean Section

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:14 AM

Welcoming a new baby into your life is such an exciting time, with many new parents-to-be eagerly anticipating the arrival of their new child. Charla Simon, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology at NorthShore, wants parents to be aware that all professionals have the goal of a healthy vaginal birth, however it does not always work out that way and cesarean sections are needed. It can be difficult to process after the fact, so preparing for it in advance is something to consider.


Dr. Simon shares different ways to emotionally prepare for a C-section.

  • Really think about it. It’s important to consider realistic expectations. Some groups of women are more likely to deliver through C-section; these groups of women may be women who have previously had abdominal or pelvic surgery, who are overweight, are expecting their first baby later in life, who are more than one week past their due date, have diabetes in pregnancy or experienced excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Ask questions. If you have any fears or are unsure about something, ask! Talk with your doctor to discuss any concerns or things you do not understand. Your doctor can walk you through the C-section procedure step-by-step and give you information about what to expect post-operation.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up. Sometimes women experience anger, confusion or feel disappointed when they have a C-section because it’s not the childbirth experience they anticipated. If you’re feeling any of these emotions or more, talk to your doctor about how you can work through it.
  • Prepare yourself mentally. Train your brain to keep calm – whether it’s through breathing techniques, enrolling in some prenatal yoga classes, picking up a relaxation DVD or speaking with a therapist. Practice your habits daily leading up to your due date.
  • Think of a mantra. Some women prepare a mantra in their head they repeat. Mantras engage your breathing and calm your mind by reducing stress hormones. Think of a simple mantra that you can repeat to yourself through your C-section.

Whether your cesarean is planned or not, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re giving the gift of life. The most important thing is that mom and baby are healthy!