I promised you a post on “family centered c-sections” two years ago when I wrote Z’s birth story. Life got in the way and it never happened—I’m so sorry. It’s a really important post and I’m sad that it’s taken me this long to share it with you.
This morning on NPR, I heard the story I’ve been meaning to write. It’s all about the small changes that some hospitals are making to allow women to have “gentle c-sections,” which are “more like a birth and less like an operation.” I was so lucky that three years ago a MommyBeta reader alerted me to this trend and that my OB and hospital were so willing to do this for me.
What is a Gentle or Family-Centered C-Section?
First off, the idea of the gentle c-section is not to encourage elective c-sections, but to make the process more graceful and loving for those who need a c-section. Some of the ways that this can be done are:
- Lowering the drape or using a see-through drape so that the mother can see the baby being pulled out.
- Placing the child directly onto the mother’s chest after being pulled out.
When I had to have a c-section with Nic after 27 hours of labor, the only thing that I was really disappointed about was not having him placed on my chest right after birth. I knew that I didn’t want a VBAC with Z, but still ached for that experience of having immediate skin-to-skin contact with my baby.
I gave birth to baby Z at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California. My request for this type of c-section, though a first for my OB and the hospital, was well-received and executed seamlessly. I was pleasantly surprised at how flexible and on-board the doctors and nurses were. It made for a relaxed and loving birth experience, and I would highly recommend it to anyone having a planned, not high risk c-section.
Not everyone can have the birth that they really want. Hearing the NPR story this morning made my heart happy to know that mothers and hospitals are collaborating to make births as special as possible, no matter the method of delivery.