Unexpected things can happen when having a child, and sometimes conditions arise during childbirth that make a C-section necessary. It’s a very common procedure, with about a third of children in the United States born through a C-section.
For most women who have a C-section, planned or not, the most difficult part is losing the connection with their baby’s birth. At Willow OB/GYN in San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Kelly Morales understands the heartache and frustration this can bring.
To avoid losing the connection between mother and baby when a vaginal birth is not possible, Dr. Morales and her team offer gentle C-sections.
Also known as natural C-sections or family-centered C-sections, this revolutionary approach to surgical childbirth aims to imitate natural vaginal birth by shifting the focus of the procedure from the convenience of the surgical team to the bond between the mother and baby.
Keep reading to learn about what makes gentle C-sections different and how they can improve the bond between mother and baby compared to traditional surgery.
During a traditional C-section, doctors and nurses are focused on the surgery and the status of the baby after the birth. This takes away the benefits of immediate bonding between the mother, baby, and family, as you can’t witness your baby’s birth or hold them immediately after.
This lack of immediate connection creates a sense of emptiness for many women and detachment from the birth process and their baby. To resolve this, the gentle C-section is a compassionate alternative to traditional C-sections.
The surgical process is largely the same, but gentle a C-section allows you to be a part of the birth, and bond with and hold your baby immediately.
There are many positive aspects of gentle C-sections, but remember that it’s still a surgical procedure, which brings the same risks and complications as traditional C-sections. To this point, we reserve gentle C-sections for cases when vaginal childbirth isn’t possible.
In a traditional C-section, you typically lie flat on your back with an opaque screen separating you from the incision and birth. Because you are strapped to the table to keep you from moving during the operation, you may only be able to quickly see your baby before they’re taken away for postnatal care.
In contrast, during a gentle C-section, you can ask for different options to make the birth as personal and natural as possible. You can request to be angled upward on the bed, have a clear plastic screen, or ask for the screen to be lowered.
All of these options allow you to see your baby at the moment of birth.
Other differences include better placement of monitoring equipment, not strapping down your hands, and strategically placed IV lines, all to allow immediate skin-to-skin contact with your baby.
There may also be an option to ask for different or less sedation, so you’re more aware of the birth experience and feel more connected to your baby.
Gentle C-sections deliver your baby more slowly, mimicking natural childbirth as the uterus squeezes the baby’s chest, expelling fluid from their lungs and throat.
The most important advantage of a gentle C-section is that you feel more connected with the birth experience, avoiding feelings of powerlessness and detachment that are common with traditional C-sections.
By witnessing your baby’s birth in a gentle C-section, you don’t feel like a bystander.
Another advantage is improved bonding with your infant through skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth. This contact is a key part of developing the mother-child bond.
Research shows that skin-to-skin contact after birth has a positive impact on your baby’s health. It can improve your baby’s breastfeeding, keep them calm, and transition them to life outside the womb more smoothly.
Talk to Dr. Morales about your options for a gentle C-section before your due date. Even if you plan to have a vaginal birth, you never know what may happen during childbirth.
Discussing your wishes ahead of time allows you to better understand your options and gives Dr. Morales an opportunity to follow your wishes when the time comes.
If you want to learn more about gentle C-sections or are looking for an OB/GYN who knows the importance of family-centered births, contact our San Antonio office to schedule an appointment today.