A few weeks ago I led a discussion/survey "Partner Support Night" with my local ICAN chapter. Women brought their partner/support person and these partners took part in giving us insights about their experience before, during, and after the c-section. It was really interesting getting to look at some of the responses and I think all of us women learned a lot. We used this site called PollEverywhere.com. It works by creating a poll -either multiple choice or open ended- and when you display the questions on the computer, the men (our whole group was men partners) got to answer by texting with their phone. It was great because the answers got to be anonymous and I feel like the men really let their true feelings out because their wives wouldn't know what answer went to what man ; )
The plan for our chapter is to create a "healing bag" that we will distribute to local women who have just had c-sections that is filled with information and products that we feel like will help them out in the days and weeks to come. Our long term goal is to get the local hospitals to pass these bags out to every new c-section mom, but for the short term it might have to be a word of mouth endeavor. We feel like that in general most information out there for healing post c-section is geared towards mom and we want to make sure that the partners in their life also get a little support and guidance as well. This survey will help us to tailor a special information packet for those support people. Not only do these support people have to deal with a new baby, but also with a mom who has a lot of physical healing to do and probably needs a lot of help herself. There is also the emotional impact: the mom may have not so great feelings about the c-section and the partner needs to help her understand and cope with those and the partner might have emotional healing to do too (partner may have watched mom rushed to the OR, they worried about her well-being and baby's and might have faced some scary thoughts about them having other complications or death, being disappointed in not getting to be a participant in the birth, etc.). Think of all the things you wish you knew then, that you know now and how much that might help another family.
This is where you come in! I have taken our original survey and created one that a c-section partner can take right here in about 10 minutes. Please help us out! Feel free to pass the link to this page on to anyone and everyone you know that has been in this situation and can help. Check back soon, as I will be posting a survey for the c-section mama herself to participate in as well as the results from this survey.