What is a Gentle C-section?
Updated: May 16
I've had a lot of questions gentle c-sections recently. Many of you haven't even heard of it, and if that's you, that's okay. Neither had I until just before my breech birth.
A gentle c-section is also known as a "natural c-section". It's becoming more and more popular, as parents are opting for a less medicalised alternative to what has been historically a very clinical procedure.
So, what's it all about? A gentle c-section is a c-section with a more holistic approach. Here's some things you may wish to request, for a gentle c-section:
Rather than lay on your back - ask to be propped up slightly.
Rather than have a screen to separate you and your baby ask for it to be lowered or for a clear screen so you can watch your child enter this world.
You can ask for your baby to be delivered slowly, allowing for the chest to be squeezed on the way out - like in a vaginal birth. This allows the fluid to leave your baby's lungs.
Have your newborn straight onto your chest for skin-to-skin for the golden hour, even while surgery continues and you go to the recovery room.
You can request for your hands not to be strapped down and the IV drip to be administered to your non-dominant hand so you can hold your baby more easily.
You may want to ask for dimmed lighting and to play your choice of music or MP3s in the operation theatre, to create a more comfortable and relaxed environment.
You can involve your Birth partner, ask them to receive and hand baby to you, cut the cord or announce the sex.
Studies show that women who have c-sections are less satisfied with their childbirth experience than those who delivered vaginally. They are also more likely to have postnatal depression, difficulty bonding and breastfeeding problems.
By preparing for your baby's birth you can feel more involved. And research shows immediate skin-to-skin will help your bonding and breastfeeding. Plus newborns love it; mum's smell, mum's voice and mum's heartbeat. Put it all on the birth plan!
Being empowered with information, an education, a plan. Being ready for any twists and turns. Having the confidence to trust your instincts, ask questions and make informed decisions.
I teach you to work together with your birth partner, to trust your baby, and to achieve personalised birth support, individualised to youand yourneeds.
I always say to women, don't go into birth "hoping for the best". Go into it informed, educated and empowered. Be calm, confident and equipped with the tools for a positive experience that will stay with you not just throughout your birth and early motherhood, but for the rest of your life.
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