Did you meet your baby for the first time in an operating room? One out of three women delivers her baby via cesarean section, or C-section. For some, having a C-section leaves them feeling disappointed that their delivery focused more on a procedure than on bonding with their new baby.
But family-centered C-sections aim to bring a tailored birth experience to the operating table – one that focuses on making the delivery both safe and special for families. Christine Hunkele, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, a labor and delivery nurse specialist at Franciscan Health, discusses this new way of performing C-sections:
While the surgical procedure is the same as a traditional C-section, a family-centered cesarean aims to provide women with some of the same options they would have with a vaginal delivery.
A C-section is surgery, and the safety of mom and baby always comes first. However, as long as everyone is stable, it may be possible to have some or all of the following in a family-centered cesarean:
Delayed cord clamping is healthier for babies. By waiting to clamp the umbilical cord, blood circulates back to the baby from the placenta. This lessens the likelihood of anemia, a condition in which the baby’s blood can’t carry enough oxygen to the rest of the body.
There are also huge benefits to having immediate skin-to-skin contact with your baby after birth. Even though your child is no longer in your womb, you and your baby are still responding to one another:
If your C-section is planned or not in an urgent or emergency situation, you may have a family-centered cesarean as long as your obstetrician and the anesthesiologist are on board. The goal is to try to keep mom and baby together and get early skin-to-skin contact, whenever possible.
During your pregnancy:
I encourage patients to think about what they want and communicate those things with their medical team. As a nurse, I want to know how I can make your labor and delivery better.
Learn more about Franciscan Health's maternity service, and all the ways they can make your birthing experience the best one possible.