Cesarean Birth in Salem Oregon

*All pictures in this post are used with permission and were taken on one of our doula's phones by a nurse during a cesarean. This post does contain some images of a cesarean birth.

What if...?

What if labor doesn't go as planned and the decision to deliver by cesarean is made?

As we talk with families, we find that many have questions about what a cesarean delivery in Salem actually looks like. So your doulas are here to break it down for you.


In the event that a cesarean is decided to be the best option for birth AND there is not an emergency, you can expect to see the following steps happen:

1. The attending OB will explain the risks and benefits of a cesarean birth and request that a consent form be signed for the procedure.

2. Some prep for the surgery may be done in the room. There is a liquid medication to help with stomach acid, a hat to wear, etc.

3. The mother will be taken into the OR and she will be made completely comfortable for the surgery. If an epidural has already been placed, this may be boosted a bit to be the best option for pain control. A spinal is also an option. General anesthesia is used as a last resort.

4. Once the mother is completely prepped for the surgery, a nurse will come and get her partner to join her and sit right next to her. At times (with the request of the parents), doulas have been allowed to join the family, as well. At this point, a staff member will also pack up all of their belongings and prepare them to be taken to their new room on the 4th floor.

5. Once everything is set, the surgery begins. From our experience, there has always been someone in the room willing to take a phone or camera to use to snap photographs of the birth. The anesthesiologist stays right by mother's head and assists with pain control, nausea, etc. 


6. Again assuming all is well, as soon as the baby is born, delayed cord clamping may be offered. Because it is so cold in the OR, baby may be dried off and swaddled. He or she is then taken over to the mother and placed on her chest. While it's not always the most comfortable position, allowing an opportunity for the baby to latch to the breast is also welcomed. 

7. After some skin-to-skin time with baby, the partner will go with the nurse and the baby to a room adjacent to the OR while the surgery is completed. After the surgery is done, the family is united in the recovery room. 

8. While in the recovery room, skin-to-skin and breastfeeding opportunities are highly encouraged while everyone is being monitored and pain levels are watched closely. The family is then moved up to the Mother/Baby unit on the 4th floor.


It’s not uncommon to have some feelings when a birth unexpectedly goes in the direction of a Cesarean Birth. If you walk away from your birth experience with some feelings to sort through, please reach out for support.