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Traditional caesarean section deliveries can be called cold, impersonal, and anxiety-inducing even to the extent of being traumatic. Welcome the new method of delivery that has changed the meaning of childbirth for new mothers across the world.
Most mothers-to-be have a birth plan in place, and while most people are keen on a natural birth, given that the recovery is faster and it is easier to bond with your baby right after, sometimes, the best laid plans go awry, and a Caesarean is the only way out. While a C-sec has always been viewed as invasive and touted as one where recovery takes much longer, a new form of birthing titled ‘gentle C-section’ is making waves. What makes this popular, and how is it different? We take a look.
What is a ‘gentle’ C-section?
There’s nothing worse for a mother than feeling alienated from the birth process. In most Caesarean cases, the father is not welcome, and if he is, he doesn’t get to view his child coming into the world, given the nature of the surgery taking place. Now, doctors and hospitals across the world are trying to make these births gentler, ensuring that the parents are a part of the plan every step of the way, and feel less overwhelmed or intimidated by the birth process and everything that comes with it. These ‘family-centred’ C-sections are more holistic and enhance the entire birth process.
How a regular Caesarean compares
In a regular Caesarean, the mother is placed on her back on a table in an operating room, administered a sedative, and has an IV strapped to her arm, making it difficult to move. The moment the baby is born, he or she is whisked away and the mother only gets to bond with the baby post the preliminary tests and other routine stuff carried out by the paediatrician. The combination of an anaesthetic and the child meeting the mother much later often leads to issues with breastfeeding, as the mother’s milk takes much longer to come in, and the mother often feels powerless and overwhelmed.
Advantages of a ‘gentle’ C-section
This new practice aims to eliminate some of the anxiety that generally accompanies Caesarean births, by trying to simulate an experience as close in nature as possible to a natural, vaginal birth. Most hospitals prop the mother up, so that she can see the baby being born, while at the same time, avoiding the gory sights of the incision being made etc. Unless there is an emergency, the infant is slowly eased out of the mother’s body, making the procedure less traumatic for both the mother and the infant. The baby is usually placed on the mother’s chest almost immediately, so that there is skin contact rather than the child being placed in isolation. Care is also taken to ensure that one’s hands are free, so that the mother can hold the baby without trouble. While this is gaining popularity the world over, we are still some way off from making the entire process seamless for parents-to-be, who have to ditch their original plan and go with a doctor’s instinct when needed.
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