Parenting Choices

Gentle C-Sections

I had the opportunity to guest blog for Tales of a Messy Motherhood and wanted to reshare on my own platform.

I would never think I would share about birth via caesarean. However I came to gather knowledge on this form of birth because my breech baby wouldnt turn.

I will be honest I’d heard nothing but the scariest things about c-sections and the decision to get me schedule was made at 37 weeks. I felt unprepared and scared.

I had a birthplan. Of course plans dont always manifest with child birth but the possibility of not getting the few specific things I wanted was terrifying. I am so blessed that the hospital staff honored my fears, explained everything as many times as I needed them to and informed me of Gentle C-sections.

So lets get into it ; because I want you to know unless there is severe emergency this can be an option for you. You’ll find here an explanation of this variant of the procedure, the benefits and how it differs from a traditional procedure.

What is a Gentle C-Section?

A Gentle or family-centered” c-section is when staff to makes a few changes in the procedure to allow you and your partner to feel more a part of the birth. For example, you can have the screen lowered to watch your baby be born and you have the option to not be as heavily sedated during the procedure.

How does a gentle c section differ from a traditional c section?

In a traditional c section you are strapped down and the screen divider is up so you cannot see any part of the procedure or baby emerging from your womb. Generally afterward, you get a quick peek at your child then they are carted off for pediatric care. You are taken to recovery and there reunited with your baby within the hour.

With Gentle C-sections:

  • You can request for one of the OR nurses to take birthday pictures once you have delivered your baby. Standard procedure prohibits cameras or recording.
  • You are able to have skin to skin immediately after birth (after I had my daughter I was able to have her own my chest the entire time I was sewn up)
  • Your hands arent strapped down the entire procedure so you are able to hold your baby; the IV is put in your nondominant hand for this reasoning as well.
  • The EKG leads (which track your baby’s heartbeat) are placed on your back instead of your belly, so they don’t get in the way either.
  • You have the option to not be as sedated during the procedure, allowing you to be more present

Here is an exercpt from my birth plan before realizing we would indeed have a c section. All of my requests were honored in my family centered c-section.

During my experience; the screen divider was lowered for my husband (I was afraid of looking so I didnt). There was also an overhead mirror that the nurses encouraged me to look at so I could see my baby’s birth post-incision.

The nurses snapped quite a few great pictures ; my Operating OB also asked if I wanted to attempt a VBAC (link this word) and sewed me up accordingly.

Benefits of a Gentle C-Section:

For me personally; having a gentle c section lowered my anxiety drastically. It didnt make me feel powerless especially since we planned for a water birth. My husband and I felt involved and it meant alot to me to express concerns , make requests and be heard without having to stand my ground in regard to anything.

Many women who undergo a c-section feel powerless and disconnected during delivery. They might not see their baby until they’re in the recovery room. Even if they do get to see their baby briefly in the delivery room, they may be so sedated that they have no memory of the experience.

Studies have shown that women who have c-sections are less satisfied with their childbirth experience than those who deliver vaginally and are more likely to have post partum depression (link this word), difficulty with bonding, and breastfeeding problems. I’d prepped myseld for depressed feelings after my daughter’s birth because I had to have a c section and being able to have a gentle procedure actually made the initial post partum journey a very happy one.

Research has also shown that immediate skin-to-skin contact helps regulate the baby’s body temperature and heart rate and facilitates bonding. Its a wonderful feeling to be able to immediately hold you child and it is very calming for your baby as you are the one familiar thing to them when to cross to earthside.

If you have a planned c section or circumstances arise leading you to schedule a c-section ; definitely request a family centered one. It makes the procedure feel warmer than general, and you get to take advantage of the feels that often go missed when mamas dont delivery vaginally.

Have you heard of family centered c sections? If you haven’t until now, is this something you opt for given the information that I have shared?

Have you had one? Feel free to share your experience and encouragement to mom to be’s the comment section!

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