Say goodbye to old style Caesareans
If you delivered by caesarean section, chances are you glimpsed your new bundle of joy for a moment before they were whisked in one direction, and you were wheeled in another to recover for a few hours. Times have changed, and for the better.
What is a ‘gentle C-section?’
Realising the importance of that initial skin to skin contact, babies are being placed immediately onto their mums for nursing, rather than being handed off to others. Advocates claim this method steadies the baby’s temperature and heart rate, improves parent-infant interaction and helps initiate breast feeding.
Mothers describe the experience as feeling more natural than the traditional approach, “It was really nice to be able to hold him and feel him. He was snuggling in,” said new mum Hilary Pearson.
Nick Fisk, a professor of obstetrics at Imperial College, London, pioneered the gentle C-section method and said, “What I realised was that caesareans were done a certain way because they’ve always been done a certain way, but in fact they can be done differently – and in a way that parents love.’
My experience with this new method
I have delivered via C-section three times. The first time was an emergency caesarean after complications during labour. I was very frightened and exhausted, it was all systems go under those bright lights. There was a lot of commotion and, probably due to the urgency, nobody really explained what was happening. I caught the briefest of glimpses of my baby before they were rushed away, however nobody answered my questions and I didn’t even know if I had a boy or a girl. I was wheeled into recovery with a different team of nurses, none of whom had been in the theatre, so it was another few hours before I met my child properly and discovered that I had a daughter.
Second time around, due to the complications the first time, I was booked in for an elective C-section. However, my son (I found out early this time!) had other ideas and labour began early. Again, there were complications, so in for another frightening emergency operation I went. Cael and my husband were whisked away and I went into recovery for hours. Later on I was wheeled into the ward where all of our family were waiting, minus Daddy and Cael. Nobody knew where they were, a nurse went in search and found them sitting in a chair in the hallway where they had been waiting the whole time.
Third time around was a different experience completely. We had moved to a country area where the hospital practised the gentle caesarean technique. Perhaps because this was not an emergency, the whole thing had a much more relaxed feel. Midwives took the time to explain everything that was happening, while the surgeons played music by The Waifs in the background. My beautiful new daughter was placed directly on my chest and I was encouraged to try and feed her straight away. Finally, I felt like a new mum immediately after birth. I had never had that feeling before. It felt like a natural birth not a sterile surgery. It was a completely intimate experience. The staff, my husband and I, all oohed and ahhed together over this new bundle and once I was stitched up, not only was Ivy allowed to come into recovery with me, but Andy was too. For the first time ever I wasn’t alone after the delivery of my baby and it was wonderful.
After a ‘gentle C-section’, holding my brand new baby for the first time ever
Fortunately for mums like me, it seems that the old way of doing caesareans will soon become a thing of the past, with plenty of doctors predicting that gentle C-sections becoming the accepted standard of care.
This article was written by Rebel Wylie for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz