Whether or not you’re planning to have a C-section, sometimes conditions arise during childbirth that necessitate one. In the United States, about 1 in 3 children are born via C-section, and according to recent research, that number is on the rise.
For most women, the most difficult aspect of having a C-section, planned or not, is losing their connection with the birth of their baby. At Kelly Morales OB/GYN in San Antonio, Texas, we know the frustration and heartache this brings. As a mother herself, Dr. Kelly Morales understands just how significant the events surrounding your child’s birth are.
To help foster the connection between mother and baby, Dr. Morales and her compassionate care team offer gentle C-sections. You can witness the miracle of birth with this alternative to traditional C-section surgery.
Gentle C-sections, also called family-centered or natural C-sections, are a new approach to traditional C-sections. While still a surgical procedure with many safeguards in place, gentle C-sections shift the focus of the procedure from the convenience of the surgical team to the bond between you and your baby.
This revolutionary approach to surgical childbirth strives to imitate a natural vaginal birth as much as possible. The emphasis is placed on the nurturing aspects of childbirth and family bonding.
With a traditional C-section, all the benefits of immediate bonding between mother, baby, and family are lost as doctors and nurses focus on the surgery and status of the baby after birth. With a traditional C-section, you don’t get to witness your baby’s birth or hold your infant immediately.
For many women, this lack of immediate connection creates a sense of emptiness and detachment from both the birth process and the baby. Enter the gentle C-section. While the surgical procedure remains largely the same as with traditional C-sections, a gentle C-section allows you to be a part of the birth experience and gives you the opportunity to bond with your baby right after birth.
It’s important to note that a gentle C-section is still a surgical procedure and brings with the same risks and complications of a traditional C-section. As such, it should be reserved for instances when natural vaginal childbirth isn’t a viable option.
During a traditional C-section, you’re typically flat on your back, screened off from the incision and birth. Since you’re strapped to the operating table to ensure you don’t move, you might be able to catch a glimpse of your baby before they’re whisked away for postnatal care.
With a gentle C-section, on the other hand, you can request being angled upwards and a clear plastic screen or ask for the screen to be lowered instead of the usual opaque surgical drape. This allows you to see your baby at the moment of birth.
In addition, gentle C-sections provide other benefits to both mother and baby. These include:
The most significant advantage is that with a gentle C-section, you’ll feel more connected to the birth experience instead of feeling the powerlessness and detachment that comes with traditional C-sections. By witnessing the miracle of your baby’s birth, you’ll feel like an active participant instead of a bystander.
Other advantages include improved bonding with your infant. Skin-to-skin contact is an important step in fostering the mother-child bond, and since gentle C-sections emphasize this contact, you’ll be able to begin the process immediately after birth. Recent research even shows a link between skin-to-skin contact and healthy brain development.
What’s more? Scientists believe skin-to-skin contact immediately following birth has an important and positive impact on the health of your baby. It improves your baby’s breastfeeding, helping your baby breastfeed better and longer. The contact also helps your baby transition more smoothly to life outside the womb, keeping them calmer and warmer.
Even if a C-section isn’t part of your birth plan, it’s important to discuss your options for a gentle C-section with Dr. Morales before your due date. You never know what will happen during childbirth. By discussing your wishes ahead of time, Dr. Morales helps you better understand your options and knows your wishes when the time comes.
If you’re interested in learning more about gentle C-sections or are looking for an OB/GYN who understands the importance of family-centered births, Dr. Morales can help. Contact our office in San Antonio, Texas, to schedule an appointment today.