Family Centered Cesarean Plan

Below is my version of a family centered cesarean plan – can be used for a planned or unplanned cesarean delivery.

Sample Cesarean Plan PDF


We are trying to make a cesarean delivery as special and intimate as possible for us even though we did not have the desired vaginal birth.

DURING DELIVERY / RECOVERYIn the event a general anesthesia needs to be performed, I understand that some of my requests cannot be honored.

  • I would like to meet each staff member in the OR who will be participating in the cesarean.
  • I may use aromatherapy to help with nausea, surgical smells and stress.
  • I would like to play ______ music in the OR if it won’t be a distraction to those performing surgery.
  • Explain all medications that will be used to me. I prefer a bolus and oral medications versus a PCA afterward.
  • I would like for my husband (partner/family member) and baby to stay in the OR with me while surgery is completed and remain in recovery with me.
  • If the baby needs medical assistance requiring leaving the OR I’d like for another person (doula, friend or family member) to attend me in the OR while my husband (partner/family member) goes with the baby so I won’t have to be alone.
  • I would like to take photos and video of the birth of my baby.  I respect that the surgeon and anesthesiologist may not want the entire surgery on video, however I would like a record of my baby being born to make it as special and personal as possible.
  • Please lower the curtain and hold my baby up so I can see him/her at the moment of birth.
  • Request my arms not be strapped down so I may touch my baby freely.
  • I would like my baby to remain connected to the placenta after manual extraction, as the cord will continue to pulsate for some time. I would like my ___________ to cut the cord after 10 minutes post delivery or the cord has stopped pulsating near the umbilicus.
  • I would like my baby placed skin to skin on my chest immediately after basic assessments while in the OR. My husband (partner/family member can hold baby there with a warm blanket over my baby.
  • In the event of a hysterectomy, please do not remove my ovaries or anything else that isn’t medically necessary.
  • I would like to breastfeed my baby as soon as possible in recovery.


  • In the event the baby requires medical attention beyond that of a healthy baby, please inform me (husband/partner/family member) verbally what is needed or will be needed so I can actively participate in choices made for my baby’s care.
  • Limit the number of persons who touch or attend my baby to only those on staff as needed and my husband (partner/family member).
  • Request my baby not be bathed or fully dressed until I have the opportunity to smell, touch, cuddle, etc. with my baby and I am able to participate in the bathing.
  • Delaying immunizations, even eye ointment and vitamin K.
  • I plan to breastfeed exclusively, so no pacifier, formula, sugar water should be given to my baby.
  • No tests shall be performed or medications administered, etc. without my (husband/partner/family member) consent & prior knowledge

Thank you for honoring my requests for me and my baby.


  1. Kelly on October 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I have had 2 c-sections. The first unnecessary (and traumatic), the second due to near uterine rupture during a VBAV attempt. My second c-section actually went very similarly to the way you have “planned” above so I know this is all possible! Thank you for sharing it – I hope it encourages women to make a c-section plan, even if they don’t think they’ll ever need it!

  2. Kelly on October 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    *VBAC (sorry!)

  3. Kat Humphreys on October 16, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    I also have had two c-sections. My first an emergency after induction & failure to progress, my second was an elective after a failed trial of labour & low self-esteem regarding this. My second c-section was lovely & warm though, & staff kept hubby & I fully informed the whole way. I was determined 3rd baby around to have a VBA2C, & did so late January this year. I did have an empowering “back up” c-section plan similar to this. I didn’t need it thankfully & had a successful VBA2C, but I did go to hospital knowing that either way, my birth would be empowering & my wishes where ever possible!

  4. amber on January 4, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I have often encouraged my clients to request these things when faced with a c-section. Unfortunately, though the attending caregiver agreed, the surgeon would not. Aromatherapy has been banned in all of our local hospitals, the arms must be tied down for safety (insurence) reasons. Unless you have a midwife, mothers are not allowed to have their babies with them in recovery (the recovery nurses are too busy to be responcible for the medical care of the baby should a concern arise)As for waiting to cut the cord, the warming table is too far away and operating rooms are kept cold. Most often there is a concern for the baby when a cesarean is performed and therefore they feel the baby must be assessed imeadiately and doing so without a warming table, or a mother’s warm belly (which is unavailable) may lower the baby’s temperature too much. That said, I have seen and been offered to breastfeed my baby while being stitched up in the OR. Every hospital is different, ask none-the-less but do not become too attached to your c-section plan, even if your caregiver has agreed to it. Birth is a business, if enough women have a demand, the hospital who fullfills those desires will become more successful and the hospitals who do not will have to change or lose their funding. Also, I suggest singing to the baby a lullabye that you have been singing while you were pregnant while your baby is being born, your voice will be familiar and soothing and it can make it feel more intimate.