The Natural C-section

The Natural C-section

The term “Natural Cesarean” recently came up in conversation with one of our teachers here at Prenatal Yoga Center. My first reaction was, “Really? How does that work? It seems impossibly cruel to cut into a woman without anesthesia!” The concept intrigued me, so I looked into it right away. Much to my relief, it does not mean “drug free,” instead it is turning a surgical experience which can be cold and emotionless, into a warm, loving family-centered event.

Traditional cesareans are set up so that the parents are minimally involved and the birthing of the baby is done so behind a screen. In the natural cesarean approach, the screen is dropped to let the mother view the baby as it is gently and slowly brought out of the mother’s body. Immediate skin to skin contact with the parents is also encouraged as well as intraoperative breastfeeding. This can help facilitate the bonding experience with the family.

I spoke with a few mothers that had their babies via C-section and asked them to describe their perception of the birth process. Most of them admitted they felt a little removed from the birth process since they did not witness their baby being born, and they felt more like a “sick patient” than a vital, healthy birthing mother. Several of those I spoke with expressed dissatisfaction and disappointment with their birth which can make them more susceptible to postpartum depression. Allowing the mother to be more of a participant than a sideline player can lead to a more positive birth experience.

If you want to go the route of a “Natural C-section,” I would recommend having a conversation with your care provider about this prior to your due date to see if they are on board with this idea. Even if you are not scheduled to deliver in this manner, you may still find yourself facing this procedure nonetheless. It is better to have the path paved with your known preferences instead of negotiating your wishes in the heat of the moment.

I also invite you to read the blog Keeping A Cesarean Birth As Intimate As Possible
The natural caesarean: a woman-centred technique
J Smith,a F Plaat,b and NM Fiska,c

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