What is a gentle Caesarean Birth or Caesarean Section and why should expectant parents know about it?
Gentle Caesareans mimic some of the natural processes of giving birth:
- A drug to encourage uterine contractions is given to the mother, so that your baby gets ‘pushed’ out by your uterus rather than pulled by the obstetrician.
- A better view of the birth. You can ask for transparent drapes or have the drapes lowered early so that you can see your baby being born.
- Immediate skin-to-skin contact (Most NHS trusts offer/encourage this as part of any birth, your baby’s health permitting).
- Optimal (aka delayed) cord clamping. Wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsating.
- Less restrictive equipment. Your IV line may be put in your nondominant hand, leaving your dominant hand free to hold your baby. The EKG leads can be placed on your back or lower chest instead of your upper chest, so they don’t get in the way of skin-to-skin. (Most NHS trusts offer this as part of any caesarean birth).
- Dimmer lighting, especially at the time of your baby’s birth. (Most NHS trusts offer this as part of any caesarean birth).
- Reduced noise and background music of your choice. (Most NHS trusts offer this as part of any caesarean birth).
https://www.youtube.com/embed/XyKFvJHyjow?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparentVideo of a gentle Caesarean at Nottingham City Hospital – Note: due to some graphic content shown in the video, the video is age-restricted and you’ll have to login to youtube and watch it there.
A gentle Caesarean Birth seems less like a major abdominal surgery for the mother and more like a vaginal birth. However, although the gentle caesarean is gentler to the baby the recovery post surgery for the mother remains the same. It still is major abdominal surgery.
Who is in the theatre during my gentle caesarean birth?
As in the video above, there are usually quite a few people in the room. They will all introduce themselves with their name and role. Have a look at the video below, it shows one example of a possible setup in the operating theatre.
Regardless of whether you are planning a caesarean birth from the get go, or something has come up during your pregnancy and a caesarean birth seems to be the safest option for you, it is worthwhile exploring your options. What choices do you have for your birth experiences? Which aspects of your birth can you control?
Book a 1:1 birth planning session with me! For just £60 you’ll get 2 hours on zoom with me exploring your options and planning your birth!