Statistics show that 1 in 3 women will definitely have birth by cesarean in the United States. While there is much discussion about the rate being extremely high and how best to bring it lower, until that occurs implementing routines for what is becoming known as the Gentle Cesarean method might be a beneficial step to offering women a more holistic approach to a surgical procedure.
Gentle cesarean or family centered cesarean allows the mother to connect more with her birth experience. In gentle cesarean birth the drape is lowered so that mothers are allowed to see their babies being born. Babies are placed upon the mother’s chest for skin to skin contact right away.
Minor changes are implemented by the surgical team to facilitate this experience.
– The EKG monitors are placed to the side and not put right on top of chest so baby has space.
– The mother’s arms are not tied down.
– The IV is placed in the non dominant hand so that mom can hold her baby.
– An additional nurse is added to the team.
– The neonatal intensive care team is brought into the OR.
Women who have had gentle cesarean share that they feel like they were a part of the experience and not as though something was just done to them. They have said they felt more bonded to their babies.
Although offering the experience changes hospital protocols, more doctors and hospitals are taking steps to offer gentle cesarean, because it makes a big difference in how women feel about their birth experiences.
Listen to the story at NPR
Family centered cesarean birth presentation from the Anne Arundel Medical Center