A growing number of hospitals are offering a “gentle” C-section. We look at how this procedure differs from a traditional C-section and its benefits for mums and their new babies.

What is a gentle C-section?

A gentle C-section involves surgery, but it’s a change in attitude towards the procedure, offering a more family-centred approach. The care team (the gynae, anaesthesiologist and nurses) aim to make the C-section experience in the operating room as similar as possible to a natural birth in the delivery room. The dad is present from start to finish and the new baby is given to the mom immediately after weighing and measuring. The mother can breastfeed as soon as she is able to.

How is a gentle C-section different from a traditional C-section?

The mother doesn’t have her arms tied down and EKG monitors are placed on her back and side, so she is free to hold her baby when it’s born. A clear drape is often used, so the mother can see the delivery In a gentle C-section, the baby’s head is delivered first, followed by the rest of the body. This allows for a bit of a squeeze to get that extra fluid from the lungs expelled. The baby is then placed on the mother’s chest for skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding is initiated. Cutting the cord isn’t rushed, and the child stays with the mom throughout the rest of the procedure.

Benefits of a gentle C-section

  • A gentle C-section allows a woman to be almost as involved as in a natural birth.
  • There is immediate skin-to-skin contact after delivery.
  • Moms can initiate breastfeeding in the operating room.

Can anyone have this procedure?

You can’t have a gentle C-Section if you need an emergency C-section because there is a high risk to both mother and child and time is of the essence. The aim of a gentle C-section is to make you and your partner feel more involved with the birth process of the baby.

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