Cesarean Birth Plan

Scheduled cesarean birth has been one topic that has surfaced in many different ways on the ICAN list.  It is important to acknowledge and support our Sisters who will – for one reason or another – decide to schedule a repeat cesarean, so I decided to dig around on the internet.  I conducted a simple google search [cesarean “birth plan”] and immediately was directed to some interesting resources.


Most expectant mothers assume that having a Caesarean Section means that a birth plan isn´t necessary. However, creating a birth plan can ensure that the mother experiences the birth that she wants! Here are some things to consider for a planned Caesarean birth plan:

Would you like for your partner to cut the cord?

Would you like to have a free hand to touch the baby?

Would you like to watch the birth?

Who do you want present in the OR?

Would you like any sedatives or medications before the operation begins?

Would you prefer an Epidural or a Spinal?

How soon would you want to begin breastfeeding?

Do you want the hospital to bathe your baby immediately or would you rather do it later?

Furthermore, this site suggests that women who plan to schedule a cesarean should meet with the careproviders who will likely be involved – including an anesthesiologist.  I second that recommendation especially if you have strong feelings about how you would be medicated during the surgery.

ICAN White Papers:

The ICAN White Papers are continually being reviewed and revised so that they can present the most accurate and current information.  So know that the content and links are subject to change.  Here’s the link to the Family Centered Cesarean information.


This contains a good list of ideas for having a positive cesarean birth experience.  Included are many things I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of such as “[y]ou can ask for the lights to be dimmed for a couple of minutes at the moment of birth. Babies are born with their eyes open so if the lights are dimmed and there is silence, yours can be the first face that comes into view and yours the first voice your baby hears.”

A blogger’s cesarean birth plan:

You might look at this or other similar blog posts for ideas on how to frame your birth plan.

Other Resources

Updated: 10/23/08

6 thoughts on “Cesarean Birth Plan

  1. Thanks so much for linking to my blog.

    I had my cesarean because my daughter was large and in the breech position. I tried all the natural methods to turn her and she never engaged. Despite my initial disappointment at not having a vaginal delivery, it was actually a pretty good experience. It really helped to talk to my OB beforehand (with my birthplan in hand) because it helped me to even determine what questions I needed to ask.

    My husband did get to cut the umbilical cord (after she was removed from me and was in the baby warmer) and she was brought over to me as soon as she was clean and swaddled. My husband got to hold her next to me and then he sat with her in the recovery room while he waited for me. I nursed her within the 1st hour. I think my biggest disappointment was the nurse in the recovery room didn’t have a lot of experience with breastfeeding so we were the blind leading the blind.

    The good news is that I was able to nurse her without too much trouble (my milk came in quickly) and she is still nursing at 18 mos. Becca, my daughter, didn’t have any lung issues or other side effects from the cesarean.

    The best advice I was given was to take the pain meds as prescribed and don’t wait until you feel the pain (especially for the 1st week or two) and to start walking as soon as you can and stand up as straight as you can. I started slowly (from my bed to the bathroom) and slowly worked up to more of a distance (to the nursery and back).

    I am grateful to have such a beautiful healthy daughter and do not regret the c-section.

    Mary Kate

  2. Mary Kate,

    Thanks for the comment and sharing your perspective here. I am glad that your outcomes were good. In my case, the cesarean did not have a negative effect on breastfeeding though I realize now that our bond was impaired. I didn’t require much pain medication. I had to be reminded to use the IV medication in the hospital and had short-term need for the take-home meds. I agree though that it is better to stay ahead of the pain as much as possible.

    Best wishes and thanks again!

  3. My second daughter was born early, by emergency c-section. It was a terrifying experience. As I am pregnant again (and a vbac isn’t possible in my case) I found your resources to be so helpful in writing a birth plan and giving me a sense of peace with my baby’s upcoming birth. Thank you so much!

  4. Sarah, I’m glad you found this post helpful. Best wishes for a happy and healthy delivery, and enjoy your fresh baby! 🙂
    ~ Kimberly

  5. Thank you so much for the post. I’m 36 wks pregnant and my little girl is breech. I have been planning for a natural vaginal birth at a birth center, but they do not do vaginal breech births 😦 I’ve been doing all the stuff that I can to help her turn around, still to no avail.

    I’m allowing myself to prepare for the possibility of cesarean, and at first it just broke my heart and saddened me deeply. I am choosing to step into it with as much goodness and openness as I stepped into natural birth. I’m learning and preparing, just in case. (I know I still have time 😉 )

    Thank you so much for your links and info. It gives me a sense of ease to be able to ‘plan’ for the optimal experience in a C-section if need be. Thank you much for your time.

  6. I was not planning on a c-section, but at 20 weeks found out that I had complete placenta previa, At 28 weeks and again at 32 my placenta still had not moved, so I am destined for a c-section, I have a midwife who encouraged me to still write a birthplan and to not feel left out of the birth, as it is my first, I have been researching like crazy, and am still very nervous about not being able to hold baby right away.

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