A new Cesarean section being offered at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne is giving moms the chance to be more involved in their baby’s birth.
“Gentle C-sections” have long been performed in Europe, said Carla Morrow, a certified nurse midwife at THC.
“Of course, we didn’t invent this, but we were the first in the area to offer them,” she said.
Gentle C-sections allow a baby’s mother to see the child the moment he or she is born. The mother is propped up and the sheet covering the incision area is lowered so there is an instant moment of bonding, Morrow said. The baby is placed on the mother’s chest for immediate skin-to-skin contact. Nurses clean the baby while he or she is on the mother’s chest, and she is even able to hold her child while being sewn up from the procedure.
“With regular C-sections, they hear the baby, not see it,” Morrow said. “[Nurses] take it over to a warmer while the surgeon is sewing up the mother. Definitely, with general C-sections, there is more postpartum depression, more problems with bonding and with breast-feeding.”
About two dozen gentle C-sections have been performed at THC over the last year. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth also offers the gentle C-sections.
“I had a regular C-section with my previous daughter,” 30-year-old mother Tacoya Richard said. “This was totally better for me; I liked it a lot more.”
Richard said her first birth experience was not nearly as pleasant because it was an emergency C-section.
“You didn’t get to hold your baby or see your baby,” she said. “They just whisked her off and took her away. I remember they took her to the nursery and I didn’t even know what she looked like.”
Lily Ry’Ann Garrelts was born by gentle C-section at 6 pounds, 14 ounces on April 16.
“With this baby, they didn’t take her off [of my chest] until they weighed her, and you get to have her the whole rest of the time. When I was in the hospital, she never went to the nursery.”
Dr. Steven Farzam, an OB/GYN who performs gentle C-sections, said mothers benefit greatly from the new procedure. Not only is there less pain management medicine involved, the birth seems more natural to the mother, he said.
“Actually seeing the baby come out of your tummy is kind of the same experience as Mother Nature intended,” he said. “They can see the whole process from beginning to end. If the baby is not compromised, it stays with mom and they go to recovery together.”
Gentle C-sections also benefit the baby because doctors are able to delay clamping the umbilical cord, Farzam said.
“Delayed cord clamping helps the baby get pink and to get oxygenated blood from mom,” he said. “It makes the transition smoother for the baby, and the mom feels like they are totally in control of what is going on.”
For information on gentle C-sections at THC, visit texashealth.org.