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What is a Gentle Cesarean? Know Your Options.

C-sections can come with a lot of negatives - longer hospital stays, weeks and weeks of recovery, and often times trauma that can lead to anxiety and postpartum depression.

Many moms who planned on delivery vaginally can feel as if they failed and that their bodies didn't do what it was “supposed” to do.

But luckily we are seeing a new trend emerging called, a Gentle Cesarean. It’s overall purpose is to bring a more calm and peaceful atmosphere into the operating room. It also allows you to have a more intimate birth experience.

When writing your birth plan there will be several things that you want to add if you would like to achieve a more natural c-section. Again, knowing all your options is the best way to achieve the birth that you want.

What do I need to add to my birth plan?

Request an epidural or spinal block - general anesthesia should only be used in emergencies-also you can ask not to be given any extra meds to calm you so you can be fully present

If mom can’t be conscious request that a partner be allowed to have skin to skin contact immediately after the baby is born

Any EKG or monitoring devices to be placed in areas that don't interfere with you seeing or holding your baby(on your side instead of your chest)

Ask for the drape to be lowered so that you can see your baby being born or you might possibly be able to pull the baby from your womb yourself-clear drapes are now often available as well

Ask that your arms not be strapped down so that you are able to hold your baby while you're being sutured - this also makes it possible to breastfeed in the OR

You can still request that you have delayed cord clamping and can still save your placenta

Music of your choice can be played and you can also ask the doctors and nurses to refrain from any unnecessary chatter

Request that all post-birth procedures be delayed until you're ready(cleaning baby, weighing, etc.) so that you can bond with your baby

Request that a third person can be in the OR with you, doula, grandparent, or friend to record the birth so that mom and partner can both be fully present

This is YOUR birth experience.

Remember that! Your birth experience is something that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Write a birth plan for a gentle cesarean, even if you plan to give birth naturally. Find a doctor who is open to your plan and have a birth team that will advocate for you. Remember that unless it’s an emergency you have every right to take a pause to consider your options. Also, know what the hospital polices are. Even if your doctor is on board with a gentle c-section, hospital policy will override them.

Giving birth is beautiful no matter how you bring your baby into the world. Knowing your options and having a great birth team will help you achieve the outcome that you want. I hope that in the future gentle cesareans become the norm in the birthing world.

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