AND FOR BABY?
Aside from the benefits associated with being born more calmly, there are the proven benefits of delayed cord clamping and being placed on mom’s chest (skin to skin), which stabilises baby faster because
JUST ASK FOR IT
Getting a gentle c-section is becoming as easy as saying you want one. “Most of the hospitals today are baby-friendly and will do it,” says Gayle. “There are, of course, hospitals that still need a lot of work in terms of making it a gentle c-section, but more and more hospitals are priding themselves on it – some are even calling it a ‘natural caesar’.” So what steps do you need to follow if you have decided that a gentle c-section is the best option for you? Gayle recommends making your intentions very clear in a birth wish list, with a gentle c-section as your plan A, or plan B if you intend to try for natural birth. Remember to keep it short and to the point: “Don’t come with a four page letter. I’d suggest coming up with around five key points. Keep it clear and concise and you’ll probably get what you want.”
The most important thing to remember, stresses Sandy, is to be reasonable and realistic about your expectations. “People can get quite adamant that things need to be done a certain way, which puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on everyone. Women need to remember that if they are having a caesarean section, they are having major abdominal surgery.” This means there are certain things that are not always possible, she adds, like breastfeeding straight away, because you’ll be feeling shaky or nauseous from the anaesthetic and there may not be enough space on your chest.
There are also theatre rules to consider, like keeping the room sterile. “The one thing they were quite strict on was making sure that the cut was safe from bacteria,” says Alan about his son’s gentle c-section birth, “so there was a line and nothing could come past that line.” Sandy says you need to remember that a gentle c-section is far more suited to elective or planned procedures, rather than emergency operations where time is often of the essence. Here, you have to trust your doctor. Although a gentle c-section is preferable in non-emergency situations, you should never lose sight of the fact that it is ultimately a life saving intervention for both you and baby. Keep in mind that baby’s safety comes first.