What is a gentle Caesarean?
Have you heard of a gentle Caesarean? Sometimes called a family centred Caesarean, this is where the doctor and birthing person come up with a birth plan that comes as close to a natural birth as a Caesarean can. It might include some of the following:
+ Doula and birth partner present + Clear drapes + Music playing + Dimmed lights as baby is coming out + Quiet voices or silence, so that the parent's voice is the first one the baby hears + Waiting after the incision is made for the baby to begin moving out by itself, or gently and slowly lifting baby out + Birthing person assists with lifting baby out + Immediate skin to skin in the operating room + Delayed cord clamping + Respect for the golden hour after birth - baby remains with the birthing person and all checks are either done on their chest or later on
For a really lovely example, try this gentle Caesarean video.
Gentle Caesareans can be done in the UK with the NHS, but this is something you would need to discuss in advance with your doctor. They are not generally available in unplanned situations.
There are lots of benefits to having a gentle Caesarean - the birthing person is more likely to feel positive about their experience, breastfeeding is more likely to be successful if immediate skin to skin is given, improved health outcomes for the baby, and both partners feeling more connected with the birth.
Did you know doulas can support you with your Caesarean? Read more here.