Cesarean sections are the MOST common surgery performed in the world. There does seem to be quite a bit happening in the world of cesarean sections right now. I’m not saying that because I’m excited in any way about their overuse. But it seems that some doctors and hospitals are making more of an effort to create an environment where Moms, Dads and babies can bond immediately after birth. This is an effort I am ECSTATIC about and hope others will get on board as well and pass all this wonderful information along.
I’m not a fan, in the least, where our c-section rate is in America. 33% is WAY to high a number. After we reach about 15% in c-sections rates, we stop seeing mortality rates change which means just because we’re doing more of them doesn’t mean we’re saving more lives. I do recognize though that there is a time and a place for them. Absolutely! How WONDERFUL it is that c-sections CAN and DO save lives.
On top of that, c-sections are safer than they’ve ever been. Now, there is a down side to that. That being that women are feeling more comfortable requesting a c-section (because of fear of birth really) believing that because its safer many of the risks won’t happen to them. But, unfortunately they still do.
Below is an EXCELLENT video I show in my childbirth classes. Of course, the changes that are taking place to help bonding with families during a c-section are happening in the UK but my hope is that this can also happen in the United States. I even thought about downloading this video and passing it along to our local doctors here with the hopes they might investigate a more natural approach to c-sections.
My hope is that an awareness of how we’re treating Moms and babies during c-sections will open for those performing the c-sections. My hope is doctors/nurses/hospital staff will recognize and apply in action the importance of emotional stability and clarity ESPECIALLY for the woman being given the c-section.
I remember when I spent a month in the ICU, I was IMMENSELY grateful for the doctors/nurses who compassionately explained to me what test they were doing BEFORE they did. I think its easy to forget, in our society, that our babies are living, feeling, sensational beings who are entering this world hoping and expecting to be LOVED in a gentle way. To treat them otherwise is nothing less than abuse. And this abuse imprints on their brains and their systems as LOVE. They then spend the rest of their lives believing that abuse equates to love.
All of the withdrawing our babies from their mothers and then returning them only after tormenting them is TRAUMATIC for both Mom and baby! It instills LIFE LONG pain and wounding that can take YEARS to work through.
I understand that there are times when a c-section is very needed but I believe it doesn’t have to be so harsh and cruel. That we can be tender, gentle and kind. Its IMPORTANT that we all REMEMBER that ANY test on baby can be done RIGHT in the mother’s arms. There is NO need to take babies away from Mama’s.
Chris skin to skin RIGHT after birth with Mabel
Even when resuscitating a baby, you can leave baby right next to Mom. In fact, keeping Mom close by with the umbilical cord intact can stimulate a quicker response from baby to breathe. Babies actually regulate themselves when they are skin to skin with their mothers.
Mabel resting skin to skin with Daddy
Dean holding Mabel skin to skin
This is the information as stated in the Natural Cesarean video below. I appreciate how well he/she states the importance of creating immediate bonding between Mom and baby.
“Although much effort has gone into promoting early skin-to-skin contact and parental involvement at vaginal birth, caesarean birth remains entrenched in surgical and resuscitative rituals, which delay parental contact, impair maternal satisfaction and reduce breastfeeding. We describe a ‘natural’ approach that mimics the situation at vaginal birth by allowing (i) the parents to watch the birth of their child as active participants (ii) slow delivery with physiological autoresuscitation and (iii) the baby to be transferred directly onto the mother’s chest for early skin-to-skin. Studies are required into methods of reforming caesarean section, the most common operation worldwide.“
“We often miss the impact fear and anxiety have on human development. Fear has been used by our religious systems for centuries to control pleasure. Today the medical and scientific community use fear very effectively to keep woman, her pregnancy and birth under their control. We force them to do all sorts of unnatural things.
Having her lay flat on her back during delivery, for example. No other mammal gives birth on its back. We know that premature cutting of the umbilical cord is damaging and the benefits of placing the infant to the breast of the mother right away, and of maintaining close physical body contact.
But the medical profession routinely intervenes and takes the baby away from the mother. Deny direct contact with the mother and we set the stage for fear, anger and rage right at the start. No other mammal separates the newborn from its mother at birth.”
Isn’t this what Harlow did back in the 50’s – he separated mothers and infant monkeys at birth with devastating consequences?
“We need to begin before Harlow. Rene Spitz, John Bowlby, and Wayne Dennis noticed that many children reared in orphanages or institutions had arrested emotional, social and intellectual development. Bowlby found a link between these early separation experiences and later delinquency—findings that my cross-cultural studies, which we will go into later, supported.
Spitz noticed that these many of these institutionalized infants, who had the best medical and physical care but no “mother love”— nobody touched, held or hugged them, had depressive and autistic-like behaviors. Spitz called this Marasmus—sickness and death due to depression associated with loss of mother love. With deprivation of physical affection and body contact, which is the biology of love, these infants and children withdrew into their own world and in extreme cases, they gave up and died.”
Just as we strive to make birth, in and of itself, more compassionate for all involved….I believe c-sections should be no different. Even in the rush and anxiety with a baby in distress, we can open ourselves to a tenderness that is VERY needed for the survival of the life that is striving to be saved.
My prayer is that we not forget who we REALLY are as human beings. That we are truly deeply feeling and connected people who LONG for soft touch, warm skin and arms ready to envelope and LOVE us at any moment. As we remember this, I believe we can change ourselves to help create a more peaceful, giving, loving world.
Assisted caesarean: Naomi Chapman just seconds after using her own hands to give birth to her son, Thomas. Photo: Eamonn Mcnulty
Jason Dowling April 15, 2007
WHEN a baby is born by caesarean, the hands that lift it from the womb to the world usually belong to an obstetrician. But now, there’s someone else who can help deliver the baby: the mother.
Called “assisted caesarean”, the procedure allows the mother to be the first to hold her child, with her hands guided into the womb by medical staff. In what is believed to be only the third assisted caesarean in Australia in recent years, Perth mother Naomi Chapman, 38, helped deliver her third baby, Thomas, on April 2.
Ms Chapman, who for medical reasons had to have her three children by caesarean, chose an assisted caesarean to be closer to her baby.
“In a caesarean they put a screen up in front of you, you can feel very disconnected and it can be very quick, and then the baby is handed straight over to a pediatrician and taken away … and for some people they don’t even get the baby brought back to them and they can have a long separation,” she says.
“There was no screen in front of me, I was participating, and whilst I could not see them actually doing the surgical cut, I was intricately involved, I could help participate, it was very emotional, it was just wonderful.”
Ms Chapman says she read about a mother in Queensland who took part in an assisted caesarean and so made arrangements for the procedure at the King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women. Hers is the second in Perth this month, with another planned.
Ms Chapman, a nurse for 10 years before becoming a midwife, says mothers do not need medical experience to have an assisted caesarean.
“You have to be very motivated to want to participate and for some people they don’t like the thought of that, the thought of touching their baby or being near their tummy and that’s fine,” she says.
“At the end of the day, birthing is all about choice and women making informed choices. “I believe it was safe, I feel fine.”
But women should not consider assisted caesareans ahead of vaginal birth. “I still think a vaginal birth is the best way to birth your baby,” Ms Chapman says.
“But for those of us who don’t necessarily have that opportunity, this is a way of making an intervention experience a better experience.
“It was just amazing; I was crying before I started because it was just so emotional. So, basically, the two doctors there got his head in the right spot, but I was really the main person who touched our child first up and that was pretty amazing, because that’s not what happens normally.”
The obstetrician who took part in the procedure, Chris Gunnell, says assisted caesareans are unlikely to become mainstream.
“Speaking to a lot of women and talking about this, a lot of them are actually grossed out about the idea, they don’t like the concept of helping,” Dr Gunnell says.
“I don’t think it will become standard and I don’t think it should become standard. There are still a lot things to work on, things like infections.”
But in theory there were no medical reasons why a husband could not also assist with a caesarean.
Despite the benefits — that a mother gets to touch her baby immediately before it is taken away to be assessed and cleaned up — Dr Gunnell says assisted caesareans will remain on the fringe of birthing in Australia.
“I don’t want women to choose to have a caesarean because of this,” he says.
“We need to be very clear that this is not a good alternative to a vaginal birth; the caesarean section rate is very high.”
No Melbourne hospitals have yet reported women asking for an assisted caesarean.
For Ms Chapman, it was all about giving her and husband Ed a chance to fully participate in Thomas’ birth. “I had that skin-to-skin contact,” she says.
“I was just doing all that connection and bonding with him.
“It’s amazing to be one of the first people to touch your baby.
“I lifted him up, and when I was lifting him up, that’s when we got to say, ‘Oh my goodness’, we have had a boy … it was really overwhelming.”
How I helped deliver my baby boy
■I put special aqua-gel hand-cleanser on and a midwife with sterile gloves put the long, sterile gloves on me.
■A sterile plastic sheet was then placed across me. I laid my hands down and they put a sterile sheet over the top.
■The doctors birthed Thomas’ head and … they guided my hands down to get them in the right spot because I couldn’t see.
■It started off as a standard caesarean where they do the incision, cut through my skin and muscle layers and then cut my uterus to help get him out. They then birthed his head out so it was out of my abdomen … I then reached forward and they guided my hands to the right position.
■I then lifted him from his head and the tops of his shoulders straight out, straight onto my chest — it was just amazing.