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How to Have a Positive Cesarean Birth

Learn how to make a cesarean delivery (c-section) a positive birthing experience from pregnancy doula Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach in this Howcast video.


More often than not, a woman doesn't choose to have a caesarean. It happens for a variety of medical reasons or because of a cascade of interventions and ultimately the birth has led into having a caesarean birth. This is still a birth experience so there are a lot of things you can think about in order to make this a positive birth experience for yourself.

One of the biggest considerations in having a positive birth experience and a caesarean birth is to be informed. You want to be able to speak with your doctor about all the possibilities of what this birth experience can look like for you. Maybe you have the option of choosing some music to listen to in the operating room. Being in the operating room for a caesarean birth can often be a scary experience. There are a lot of reasons that women have caesareans and some of them involve concern or fear for the safety of the baby or of the mother.

One thing that you might want to ask your doctor to do is to give you a play by play. You can ask for the doctor to just give you information as the birth is happening so that you know exactly what's happening and you are more a part of the process.

During the birth, don't be afraid to speak up. This is your birth experience and your baby needs to hear your voice. Your partner may have questions as well and he or she should be able to ask the doctor at any point throughout the process any questions that either of you may have.

Another really important thing to think about in having a positive birth experience is to ask to be with your baby in recovery. You want to try to nurse or breastfeed as soon as possible and this is definitely a possibility as well after a caesarean birth. Another thing to think about in having a positive birth experience in a caesarean birth is to ask for immediate skin to skin contact. The baby, soon after it's born can be brought and held to your cheek. You partner can hold your baby. Your voice is a very important part of the positive caesarean birth as well so make sure to sing to your baby or talk to your baby right when he or she is born.

In thinking about having a positive caesarean birth, you also want to make sure to think about breastfeeding and the importance of getting help for breastfeeding after a caesarean birth. There are a lot of different positions to use that are more appropriate for a caesarean birth so make sure you ask your postpartum nurse or your care provider for suggestions on those.

And these are some tips for how to have a positive caesarean birth.

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