C-sections have become very common – in fact, one in three babies are born by c-section in many western countries. While these countries battle to reduce the number of babies birthed this way, c-sections remain a big percent of all births.
A group of delivery nurses from the US have developed an invention that is set revolutionise c-sections tremendously and drastically improving the experience for mothers giving birth by c-section, as well as offering very important benefits for their babies.
Nurses Kimberly Jarrelle, Deborah Burbic and Jess Niccoli have a combined 50 years worth of experience in attending both vaginal and c-section births. During this time, they’d noticed that immediate skin-to-skin contact was less common for c-section mothers, and how empowering it was for the mothers who did get to experience that immediate bonding. There had to be a better way for one in three birthing women.
So you need to have a C-section? Whether planned, unplanned or an emergency, welcoming your baby via cesarean birth can be a daunting thought and harrowing experience for mother and baby. But don’t worry, with the right mindset and preparation, your C-section can be a positive experience regardless of the reasons for it. The key to the right mindset is going in informed and empowered. Understanding what to expect and knowing your options for making the procedure as natural as possible.
Pack your own music, essential oils, and a birth plan, remember that this is your birth experience. Ask questions and speak up about your needs and preferences. Focus on the joy of meeting your baby, not preconceived ideas of what birth “should” be like. With an open heart and calm confidence, you’ve got this. Your baby’s birth is going to be beautiful, no matter the method of delivery. This is the day you become a mother – embrace it!
Understanding Mother-Friendly C-Sections
A mother-friendly C-section means putting mom’s experience, comfort, and preferences first during a cesarean delivery. Why’s this important? is because C-sections can be anxiety-inducing, but with the right care and support, they don’t have to be.
Know Your Options
Mothers, have a voice when it comes to your C-section experience. Make sure your medical practitioner knows your choices on:
- delaying cord clamping so baby gets more cord blood.
- doing immediate skin-to-skin contact and early breastfeeding.
- using clear drapes so you can see the birth.
- playing your own music during the procedure.
- having your birth partner present the entire time.
Being able to discuss any concerns you have and make sure the medical team are aware of and respect your birthing preferences. You deserve to feel empowered and involved every step of the way. With the right care team on your side and an understanding of all the options available to you, you can go into your C-section feeling informed, confident and truly prepared to welcome your baby.
C-Sections and Delayed Skin-to-Skin Contact
The delivery nurses noted women having c-sections were often told immediate skin-to-skin contact was not possible in the operating room, leaving many mothers-to-be disappointed. It isn’t unusual for women who give birth via c-section to have to wait for 30 minutes or longer for that all important first cuddle with their newborn.
A Study shows that skin-to-skin after the birth can encourage bonding, increase maternal confidence and help to establish breastfeeding. It’s something many mothers take for granted nowadays, but for those unable to hold their babies at the birth, it can be heartbreaking.
What is the Skin-To-Skin Drape
The three nurses decided to do something about it, to ensure more mothers could enjoy cuddles with their babies in those vital first minutes of life. Their invention, which has been three years in the making, was brainstormed over cups of coffee. The three friends researched literature highlighting the importance of immediate skin-to-skin contact to prove that the invention was not only useful but necessary.
Their simple invention, the Skin-To-Skin C-Section Drape, is expected to change the way c-section mamas experience birth. The drape features a sealable flap which allows doctors to easily pass the baby to mama once the baby is born. Once the baby has been passed to the new mother, the flap can be resealed allowing the surgical site to remain sterile.
The skin-to-skin c-section drape has only recently launched onto the market, and it may take some time before it reaches your local hospital. It’s currently being tested at a number of hospitals across the US, and the nurses hope the product will soon become a must-have item for obstetric surgeons. If you’re due to have a c-section, ask your healthcare provider about skin-to-skin c-section drapes and whether immediate skin-to-skin will be a possibility in the operating room.
See the Skin-To-Skin C-Section Drape in action in the video below.
Amazing revolutionise c-sections invention.
For those hoping to have a mother-friendly c-section, this product will allow the immediate skin-to-skin contact that many mothers crave. You can find out more about mother-friendly cesareans in BellyBelly’s article 12 ways to have a mother-friendly c-section.
A C-section can be an anxiety-inducing experience, but with preparation and knowledge, you can feel in control and empowered. Here are some tips to prepare you for a scheduled C-section:
- Ensure that you have spoken to your medical team about the procedure in detail. Discuss any concerns you have, like pain management or recovery time. Ask questions until you feel informed and confident about what will happen.
- Do some light exercise like walking, swimming or yoga in the weeks leading up to your delivery date. Staying active will keep your muscles toned and speed up your recovery. But don’t overdo it.
- Stock up on loose, comfortable clothing, nursing bras, maxi pads, and any other post-delivery essentials. You’ll appreciate having everything on hand once you’re home.
- Make meals ahead of time and freeze them so you have easy, healthy food ready once the baby arrives. Casseroles, soups, and sandwiches are all great options.
- Relax and rest as much as possible. Try reading or deep breathing to release any tension. Getting enough rest and sleep at this time will give you strength for your delivery and recovery.
- Educate your partner or support person on what to expect during and after a C-section so they can provide the best care for you and your new baby. Two prepared parents are better than one!
With the right preparation and mindset, you will have a positive C-section experience and smooth recovery.
Recovering After Your C-Section
After your c-section, you’ll experience normal post-operative effects as your body heals from major surgery. The good news is that with time and self-care, you’ll start to feel like yourself again.
After the procedure you will have some pain and discomfort around your incision for the first few weeks. Your medical practitioner will prescribe pain medication to help manage it. Take the medication as directed and don’t wait until your pain becomes severe before asking for a refill. Applying heat pack to your abdomen, icing the area, and changing positions frequently can help relieve discomfort. Your incision will be closed with staples or stitches that need to be removed within 14 days. Until then, avoid submerging the scar in water, after they’re removed, you can shower normally but pat the incision dry instead of rubbing.
Movement and Activity
Walking and light activity will speed your recovery and reduce pain. Take short walks around the house and climb stairs slowly while holding the railing. After 2 to 4 weeks, you can start prenatal exercise classes again. However, avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting and exercise until at least 6 weeks after surgery. Your medical practitioner will evaluate you at your postpartum checkups and let you know when you can resume normal activities.
Diet and Elimination
Drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation, a common side effect after surgery. Your first bowel movement may not happen for 3 to 4 days, so don’t be alarmed, just continue drinking fluids and taking a stool softener as recommended by your doctor. You may also have some gas, so walking and changing positions frequently will help. Making sure you are getting extra rest at this time is important, allowing loved ones to help care for your baby and do some household tasks for you, will help with the body’s healing process and smooth c-section recovery. While it can take up to 6 weeks to completely recover, every week gets a little bit easier. Focus on taking things day by day and try not to get overwhelmed. You’ve got this, mama!