Family-Centered Cesarean

by Guest Blogger Baby Byrd Doula 

Last night I attended a webinar that presented the topic of "Mother and Baby Focused" or "Family-Centered" Cesarean. Many hospitals are changing their policy and procedure concerning how they perform C-sections. Instead of a cold, sterile environment, some hospitals are moving more towards warmer, family-centered one.

Some changes include:

  • Clear surgical drapes so that the parents can see and interact with their baby as soon as he/she is born.
  • Immediate skin to skin contact for mother (or father) and baby. This early skin to skin contact is crucial for breastfeeding success.
  • Breastfeeding in the operating room.
  • Autoresuscitation or the slower delivery of the baby from the uterus to mimic some the benefits that the baby would get from a vaginal birth.
  • The presence of a doula in the OR

I was surprised and delighted to hear the guest speaker take some time to specifically discuss the role and benefits of a doula in the operating room. Here are some benefits of having a doula present in a cesarean birth:

  • Amidst the many new faces in the OR, a doula can be a familiar and calming presence for the mother and father.
  • She can bring the focus back to the delivering family if the conversation drifts away from them.
  • She can point out sounds to listen for, like the baby's first cry.
  • A doula can help make the OR environment more calming, like bringing mom's favorite music.
  • She can take pictures, while both mom and dad can focus on their new baby.
  • A doula's presence lasts much longer than the birth. She accompanies mom, dad and baby to the recovery room and can help get breastfeeding off to a great start. (Reminder: lots of skin to skin)

It was so encouraging to hear that cesarean sections are headed in this direction. For many mothers a cesarean section is absolutely necessary and can be a little disappointing for some, but with this new procedure, it will allow families a more "together" feel. Not all hospitals are participating in this new movement, so be sure to talk to your Midwife or OB and mention this to them. It is better for moms; it is better for babies; it is better for families!

Learn more about Family-Centered Cesarean.