Hearing the words, “cesarean section” can invoke a hint of panic to those involved. However, C-section deliveries are common and result in the birth of a healthy, beautiful child.
Whether your gestational carrier delivers through cesarean procedure expectedly or unexpectedly, there’s no reason to panic. The best way to address a C-Section—planned or not—is to prepare for a potential cesarean procedure well in advance.
IPs: Prepare for Planned or Emergency C-Section
News that the baby will be delivered via C- section can come weeks before the expected due date or during labor. A planned cesarean may be scheduled if the baby does not flip or if the surrogate mother delivered her own children through C-section.
One perk to a planned cesarean delivery is knowing the exact delivery date. With a due date in mind, IPs can ensure that they arrive at the hospital at time of delivery.
One thing to keep in mind when planning a C-section is choosing who will be present during delivery. Only one person is allowed in the delivery room for a C-section, and usually the surrogate requests her spouse or partner be present.
While cesarean births almost always run smoothly, there is a chance for complications. An emergency cesarean section can seem hectic and hard to comprehend in the moment, but keep in mind that your surrogate is being cared for by medical professionals. Most cesarean deliveries occur without any real difficulties, but it’s always best to prepare for any unforeseen complications.
IPs: Anticipate Who Will Be in the Delivery Room
While it’s most common for the surrogate’s spouse/partner to go into the delivery room for a C-section, if she has delivered a few children this way, she may be willing to invite an IP instead. This is a discussion best had early in the matching process.
If the surrogate agrees to have an IP in the delivery room, it will become a decision the IPs must make before the birth. The IPs should weigh the pros and cons of one participating in the delivery versus the other.
Surrogates: Prepare for At Least 3-Days in the Hospital
Women are kept in the hospital usually for two to three days following a C-section. In the event of an unexpected (or planned) cesarean procedure, the surrogate should prepare her family for her absence while she delivers the child.
Surrogates and their partner should determine when or if their own children will visit her there. Regardless of the level of involvement the surrogates own children have in the surrogacy journey, they’re bound to miss their mother after a three-day absence.
Surrogates and their partner should also determine who will help at home while she is away. Be sure to determine what responsibilities need to be upheld during her three-day stay, and who will step up and fulfill them in her absence.
Surrogates: Prepare for an Eight-Week Recovery
Recovery from a vaginal birth typically takes up to six weeks. When a woman delivers a child via C-section the recovery time takes an estimated eight weeks. A planned C-section allows the surrogate to make plans ahead of time: enlist the help of friends and family to do any laundry, grocery shopping or other heavy lifting. If the surrogate has young children she and her spouse/partner may consider hiring childcare to help at home until she is healed.
The most important thing to expect in case of C-section is the birth of the baby. Once that little love is nestled snug in the arms of the parent(s), it doesn't matter how they got there—just that they arrived healthy and happy with their new family.