Wife Having a C-section

The doctor is recommending a C-section…

by Joe Kita

Remember the last time you bought a couch? You and your partner probably visited a few stores, compared fabrics, debated colors, sat in different models, and basically had a thorough discussion before deciding. Well, you’re about to bring something far more important into your home than a sofa, yet according to Bryan Wood, MD, most couples spend far less time discussing the options before delivery. One of the most important is what to do if the process (we’re talking baby now, not loveseat selection) takes a turn for the worse and a vaginal birth becomes tricky. There are two basic scenarios for this happening. Here’s what to be prepared for and how to react accordingly:

Emergency: If the life of the baby, mother, or both are in danger and things are happening fast, there are no choices. Your only job is to stay out of the way and support your woman in the best way you know how.

Non-emergency: If there’s time, and the staff is discussing the possibility of a C-section, Dr. Wood says there are two topics you should raise. First, if you plan to have more children, make that known. Since a C-section involves cutting into the uterus, it won’t be as strong for subsequent pregnancies and there’s an increased risk of rupture. Second, if you’re at a teaching hospital, ask who will be doing the C-section. “I wouldn’t want an intern or first-year resident if it was my wife,” says Dr. Wood. “I’d insist on an attending physician.” Don’t feel self-conscious about doing this either. “Too many people give up their rights in the hospital by agreeing to do anything they’re told,” he adds. “You are the purchaser of these goods and services called medical care, and you’re allowed to ask questions and make decisions.”

Just like with that couch, which, incidentally, you’re really going to appreciate after all this is over.