The new birthing trend that's rocking the C-section world
C-sections mummies - do you want immediate skin-to-skin contact, dim lights and soft music in the operating theatre? Then read up on this latest birthing trend!
A C-section is major abdominal surgery, which can be harsh on a woman's body, also involving a longer period of recovery than for a vaginal birth.
It can also hinder immediate post-birth bonding between mum and baby and may also involve uncertainly and stress.
For some, giving birth via C-section is an informed decision they take on their own. For others, it is conducted when medical professionals decide it is the best birthing option to safeguard mum's/ baby's health.
Either way, it's not incorrect to say that a traditional C-section birth gives a woman a rather clinicalised birthing experience in comparison to a vaginal birth.
But now, things are changing -- in a good way -- for C-section mums.
A birth moment
Jasmine Patel was lying in an operating theatre, giving birth to her baby via C-section. Her doctor, Peter Gearhart, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania, brought the chaotic operating room to a hush the moment Jasmine's baby was born.
This helped Jasmine feel a complete sense of calm and focus -- as she said, “Within the chaos, he managed to create a quiet moment.”
Gearhart and his team also reportedly practiced delayed cord clamping. What's more, it was Jasmine's husband Apu who cut their daughter's umbilical cord. And soon after, the new dad was handed his brand new baby girl, whom he slipped under his surgical scrubs for her first ever cuddle.
He said, “It’s a really magical moment. This new life has just entered the world, and she’s, just, next to you. A C-section can feel so much more functional [than a vaginal birth], but they did a really great job of trying to bring that emotion back to the process.”
Immediate skin-to-skin contact or giving birth in a calm, peaceful space have long been associated with vaginal births rather than C-sections.
But now, doctors around the world such as Dr Gearhart are attempting to change this trend.
“One of the things that makes a huge difference [to women] in how they experience a Cesarean birth, both in the short-term and long-term, is how they’re taken care of during the labour process,” says Pam Kane, a certified nurse-midwife with Penn Ob/Gyn and Midwifery.
And this is true for every little and big thing in the labour and birth process -- from how involved the mum feels in decision-making related to her birth, to the atmosphere of the surgical environment.
So while music or dim lighting may not have an impact on a newborn's health, both of these can certainly help in making a new mum feel relaxed and in control during one of the most important moments in her life.
Dr. Jane Frederick, an expert in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, explains more about gentle C-sections:
"The [gentle C-section] offers a more natural approach to the C-section to promote more skin-to-skin contact and bonding with Mother and Baby.
"It is a way for the mother and partner to have the closest experience to a natural childbirth as possible, without being rushed through a caesarean procedure.
"The room is quiet, sometimes with calming music, and monitoring attachments are placed on different areas of the mother to allow her skin to have contact and [she can] hold her baby immediately after birth.
"The birthing process is slowed down and the mother even has the option to watch the procedure with the help of strategically placed mirrors. Once Baby is born, there is immediate skin-to-skin contact and the doctor waits to clamp and cut the umbilical cord. Moms can even breastfeed immediately if desired."
And if you're wondering about how sterility can be maintained in a C-section scenario with immediate skin-to-skin contact between mummy and baby, this clever new invention we told you about in another article may help answer your question!
What do you think about the 'gentle C-section' birthing trend? Is it something you wish you could have experienced, or would like to if you are currently pregnant and considering a C-section? Share your thoughts in a comment below.