As a midwife I talk to many expectant mothers about their plans for the birth of their baby. Obviously, the most important goal is always to have a healthy baby and a healthy mom, but there are many other aspects of the childbirth experience that are also important to expectant moms. Most women hope for a vaginal birth, and in most cases vaginal birth is the most ideal and safest route of delivery for both mom and baby. Women want to have immediate skin to skin contact with their baby when he or she is born. Not only is this a touchy feely bonding experience for moms but it also can help regulate baby’s temperature, glucose levels, and help with initiation of breastfeeding. Women also want their partner to be involved in the birth by providing physical and emotional support. And cutting the umbilical cord is like a rite of passage for a new dad.
There are situations where cesarean section (C-section) is or becomes the safest route of delivery. While they are still meeting the goal of having a healthy baby, women faced with a C-section many times feel grief over missing out on the other aspects of childbirth that they would experience with a vaginal delivery.
In the case that a C-Section is or becomes necessary, there are still ways to incorporate some of the benefits associated with a vaginal birth. The Family Centered C-Section technique helps to make the experience positive for mom and baby as well as safe. This technique involves slowing the delivery of the baby through the incision in order to allow for squeezing more fluid out of the baby’s lungs (Similar to vaginal birth). Women who are interested can even have their heads lifted to see their baby being born. Moms can also experience immediate skin to skin contact and have their partner cut the umbilical cord.
MacArthur Midwifery provides the Family Centered C-Section option to our patients. We are excited that one mom has generously shared her experience with us, describing the birth as “healing”. If you would like to see what a Family Centered C-Section looks like, follow this link to her birth slideshow (Password: MatthewMichael). WARNING: there are shots of surgery, etc.