Childbirth

How to plan a gentle cesarean delivery

Below is a list of wishes from which you can choose and mediate with the hospital. The hospital where you are going to give birth may of course agree with some points or none of them but at least you will know about them before you even find yourself in that situation.

In Italy, as in the rest of the world, one child out of three is born by caesarean section . Whether planned or urgent, a cesarean leaves mothers with mixed emotions: they may feel disappointed, inadequate or excited but not serene because the memory of their birth experience does not leave them completely satisfied.

A cesarean birth is a full-fledged operation with all the cons that follow.

Many couples, who find themselves having to face a caesarean delivery for whatever reason, must know that it is possible to express wishes without jeopardizing the safety of the mother or the child, and all this is achieved by talking to the person who follows during pregnancy, who is an obstetrician/gynecologist to establish together which wishes you would like to be respected in the hospital where you are going to give birth.

The goal of a gentle caesarean is to create a peaceful and familiar birth atmosphere, therefore not sterile and hasty at all.

Below is a list of wishes from which you can choose and mediate with the hospital. The hospital where you are going to give birth may of course agree with some points or none of these points but at least you will know about them even before you find yourself in that situation.

The gentle cesarean delivery plan

  • I would like to have a support person with me during the caesarean section (partner, private midwife, other support person)
  • I wish I could take pictures
  • I would like to have my arms free and not tied, thus allowing me to hug my baby.
  • I would like epidural rather than general anesthesia so I can see my baby right away
  • I would like to have the ECG electrodes placed on the side or back instead of on the chest thus allowing the skin to skin immediately after birth
  • I would like the umbilical cord to be cut only when it stops pulsing
  • I would like to breastfeed in the operating room
  • I would like to have my baby on my chest as often as possible (unless I need immediate medical attention)
  • I would like to have minimal separation from my baby
  • I would like to delay my baby’s first bath
  • I would like to remove the catheter as soon as possible after the baby is born
  • I wish I could get up and walk as soon as possible

What are the benefits of planning a cesarean?

What we want to encourage is awareness in women, whatever childbirth they face.

We remind you that a gentle cesarean delivery:

  • Reduces the risk of postpartum depression
  • Improve breastfeeding
  • Supports bonding with parents and newborns
  • Improve satisfaction with your birth experience

All this will make you feel more powerful because not only physical health is important but also emotional health. You deserve a birth to be proud of.

If the hospital is not willing to accommodate your wishes?

If the hospital is unwilling or unable to accommodate your wishes, you can choose a different facility to deliver your baby. This is because a cesarean section doesn’t have to be a cold and sterile moment.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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