For most women, the thought of having a cesarean section is just about as scary as sitting through the most frightening horror film. Not only is it a surgical procedure, but in most hospitals it means the mom's view of the birth is blocked by a curtain, her arms may be restrained, and she might not see her baby for up to two hours (which can seem like an eternity when all you want to do is see your baby!).
Lots of women with c-sections complain that they don't get the same bonding experience with their newborns as those with vaginal births, mainly due to the lack of skin-to-skin contact. Over 130 years after the first modern c-section, hospitals are finally starting to change their procedures to give moms a more comfortable, loving birth in what's being dubbed a gentle c-section.
In the gentle c-section technique, which was designed by Dr. Nick Fisk, newborns are placed on their moms' chests directly after birth, which is said to steady the baby's temperature and heart rate, improve the parent-child bond and help to initiate breastfeeding—all things that the standard c-section lacks. As silly as it sounds, it also helps moms remember why they're in the hospital in the first place: to have a baby!
I've had friends who have had cesareans, and while they are happy with the outcome (an adorable baby), they say it felt like they were having any ol' surgery. It was so impersonal, and immediately afterwards they had no interaction with their baby after waiting nine long months to meet him or her. Instead, the baby is whisked off by a nurse, and isn't seen again until after the mom is stitched up. In some cases, that can even mean not until the mom is in her recovery room. From my friends with cesareans, the overall feeling was disappointment on what should be a day full of excitement and joy!
I have no idea what took doctors so long to think up the gentle c-section, but I want to give Dr. Fisk a standing ovation for putting emotions back into the delivery room. Every mom deserves to have her delivery be a moment she'll never forget—for all of the right reasons.
TELL US: If you've had a c-section, what was your experience like?
Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock.