Mother and Baby Friendly Cesarean Sections
A mother’s dream of participating in the birth of her baby or holding her new born in her arms can come true despite a cesarean delivery.
An obstetrician in West London has been slowing down the procedure. The mothers are treated as other birthing women with massage and soft music and words of encouragement. The screen is lowered in order to let them see their babies being birthed while the infant is removed slowly from the womb. After his head is delivered, the rest of his body is left in the womb for several minutes. The squeezing of the womb on his chest imitates the trip down the birth canal in which liquid is squeezed from his lungs, preparing him for breathing. Meanwhile, the baby is still attached to the umbilical cord, as he would be during a vaginal delivery. Instead of being pulled quickly out of his mother’s abdomen, the baby has time to acclimate to his new surroundings.
Bonding is Essential
Once he is fully delivered, the baby is placed to skin to skin on his mother’s chest. The importance of early skin-to-skin contact has been proven to stabilize the baby’s temperature, blood sugar levels and breathing. It facilitates bonding and breastfeeding and keeps mom and baby calm through the release of oxytocin. Despite this, babies born by cesarean sections are normally taken away for medical procedures.
Taking involvement a step further, a doctor in Australia has begun “assisted cesareans” in which the mother births her baby. Following the birth of the baby’s head, the mother’s hands are guided to her baby, where she lifts him out of her womb and onto her chest.
Though cesarean deliveries should not be chosen instead of normal birth, for those with no choice, cesareans can be a friendlier experience for both the parents and the baby.