10 ways to have a more “natural” caesarean
You don't have to feel out of control when having a C-section. Here's how to make sure it's a special experience.
If you have to, or choose to, have a caesarean birth rather than vaginal delivery, it is possible to have a fulfilling birth experience. Consult your doctor about making safe and possible procedural changes that make a surgical birth physiologically and emotionally better for mom and baby.
As long as there is no foetal distress or other emergency, the following are some ways to enhance caesarean birth:
- Booking the caesar date on the due date and/or allowing the mother to go into labour, so that the baby is mature and ready to be born. The endorphins released in labour are believed to stimulate the baby’s immune system.
- Warming up the operating theatre to a comfortable temperature so that the baby will not feel cold when he emerges from the womb.
- Dimming the lights before the baby emerges, so the environment is gentle and welcoming, not harsh and alien to the baby who will have spent 9 months in a warm dusk.
- Playing familiar music at the time of birth.
- Lifting the baby’s body half-way out of the cut, bottom and legs still within the womb, then gently holding the upper body with warm, wet, gloved hands and slowly pressing to simulate a vaginal birth, and stimulate the natural compression of the amniotic fluid out through the baby’s nose and mouth. This can reduce the need for suctioning, and the occurrence of wet lung syndrome.
- Once the baby is breathing and the paediatrician has established that suctioning is not required, passing the baby immediately over the sterile zone onto the mother’s exposed chest. (A blanket or soft towel can be put over his back to keep him warm).
- Allowing the baby to then be examined by the paediatrician on the mother’s chest and not on the examination table. (Monitoring electrodes can be attached to the mother’s side so the baby doesn’t get tangled in the wires).
- After a minute of bonding, the cord can be cut and the baby can be placed into a bath of warm water to help the transition from womb to world, or passed to dad, while mom is sewn up.
- Omitting medical interventions such as washing off the vernix, vitamin K injection and antibiotic eye drops unless there is a problem with the baby.
- Latching baby to the breast as soon as possible after birth.
Read: How risky is a home birth?
Also read: Is your pelvis big enough for labour?