The natural caesarean

It may sound like a contradiction or even (should you have recently dusted off your GCSE English textbook, an oxymoron) but, if you are planning a caesarean for any reason, you may want to think about ways you can make it a more gentle entry in to the world for your baby.

Smith, Plaat and Fisk (when not busy being characters in Dicken’s undiscovered masterpiece A Tale of Three Obstetricians) have been pioneering what they call a ‘woman-centred’ approach to caesareans at London’s Queen Charlotte’s hospital. You can read more about their technique in the Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists journal or in a more user-friendly Times article.

Wherever you are planning to have your baby you may want to talk to your consultant and midwife about:
– playing music you like in theatre
– dimming the lights for the moment of birth
– lowering the screen for you to see your baby emerge
– delaying the clamping of the cord
– your partner cutting or trimming the cord
– discovering the sex of your baby for yourselves
– immediate skin to skin between you and your baby (putting your gown on backwards and asking for the SATs monitor to be placed on your foot will help with this)
– no wrapping or washing of your baby
– help with breastfeeding in theatre

It may not be the way things are normally done at your hospital, but armed with the knowledge that all of the above are possible and have happened, you may feel confident to explore this more natural approach with your team.

And finally here’s a brilliant video that shows a natural caesarean with the team talking us through.

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