Averaging at around 15-22% Cesarean Surgery rate (depending on which hospital you go to) versus the 33-35% in the USA, Israel has a pretty good policy for allowing mothers to give birth vaginally, and not rushing to C-section. Whether that be because we on average have 1.5 more children in Israel than any other country in the developed world (and try to preserve the reproductive system because of that,) or because we have citizens who are less likely to jump to lawsuits, I'm not certain, but it's definitely something I've come to appreciate about working as a Doula here in Israel.
Something I'm often asked is why having a Doula is at all necessary when it comes to planned cesarean, or even if it was a waste hiring a doula with a birth that ended in emergency cesarean.
There are about ten reasons I can think of, if not more, but here is a basic list I compiled of 3 Reasons Doulas are Key Company for Cesarean Births:
1. For Planned Cesareans, Doulas are that someone to discuss everything that will happen with you step-by-step, before it all actually does. While the doctors will present you with the medical information, Doulas explain to you the places that you will have choices. It's important to know that even an unplanned cesarean can be a life changing, empowering, experience; if you're going in with the right tools and know your options! Did you know you can request to breastfeed on the operating table? Small things like this are actually HUGE deals, and can make or break a mother's birth experience.
2. If a vaginal birth suddenly turns into an emergency cesarean, often a doula can stick next to your head and explain to you what's about to happen in a calm voice, before a mob of medical professionals surround you and start preparations. Even before you go into the operating room, the Doula can help you understand the rush, so you don't feel like the room has suddenly flown into chaos. In situations when only one person is allowed in the operating room with you, and you choose your spouse, it's good to know there is someone on your side who is looking out for all the little details surrounding the surgery (like making sure you get your glasses back right after the surgery, so you can actually SEE your baby!)
3. Post the birth itself, for the most part, in Israel we don't have the luxury of having a private Cesarean recovery ward. Most moms are transferred to the general surgery recovery ward, meaning they are far from their babies and they can't be brought to see them. The stay in the recovery ward is supposed to be just 2 hours, but can often drag out to a minimum of 4-6, depending on when the surgery happened, if it's a shift change and more. During this time, as a Doula I make sure to sit with the recovering mother, so the Partner can be in the nursery with the baby and we know everyone has the company they need. I also make a point to help direct visiting family to the mother, instead of the baby, so Mom doesn't feel like everyone got to know her baby before she had a real chance. This is something that a Doula knows how to say and remind everyone of, sensitively and may be difficult for Partners to do when they don't want to hurt the feelings of other family members.
These small things are just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to Doula care with a Cesarean Birth. If a Doula goes with you into the operating room, there is even more she can do to help you. I could talk about this all day, but I think these three reasons leave you with enough food for thought!
If you'd like to know additional advantages, always feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to BirthBuddy Israel through our website!