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"Natural" c-section

(36 Posts)
Sparklies Wed 05-Jan-11 22:52:02

Anyone had one of these? I have to have an ELCS, so what do you fancy my chances are of convincing a doctor to do even some of the things involved?

Oldish article: cineandhealth

Unfortunately I can't go to Queen Charlotte's as it is too far away or I would! I am in SE London.

More than anything else I'd like for immediate skin to skin as the worst part for me of my EMCS with DD2 was when they had her screaming on the resus table checking her over, when really she just wanted her first cuddle with her mummy. DD1 was born vaginally straight onto my chest and it was such a big difference, she didn't cry at all.

Casseopeia Wed 05-Jan-11 23:03:06

I asked for skin to skin with my ELCS but was told it's too cold in theatre sad. Who can argue with that? You don't want the baby to be cold!

Sparklies Wed 05-Jan-11 23:08:42

Surely they could put a towel round the baby and the mother? That's what they did when DC1 was born! A mummy is the warmest thing of all, after all

OmicronPersei8 Wed 05-Jan-11 23:09:28

I remember reading that article while pregnant in 2005. I thought it sounded lovely. I asked about it at the antenatal classes (I was booked in at Queen Charlottes) and the midwives all looked at each other blankly. I think it is more common there now.

I didn't end up having c-sections for either of my DC so don't have any direct experience.

I wonder how much this is something you can discuss with the hospital before birth - how much can go on a birth plan? It's certainly worth asking what their policy is on first hugs/skin-to-skin/first feeds/bathing etc so you'd know what to expect or what you could ask for. So if they say they do have a policy of skin-to-skin, put it in your birth plan under 'if I have a caesarian' etc.

clareanna Wed 05-Jan-11 23:11:52

sparklies thanks for posting this- v interesting. I'm have ds2 in 4 weeks time by elcs and am seeing consultant next week so will ask about some of these things.
They have said I can have skin to skin (remember to put your gown on backwards!) but only after they've done the apgar check etc. I think you can also ask for the screen to be lowered, or some theatres have overhead mirrors - it depends how squeamish you and dp are!
I like the idea of slowly lifting the baby out to try to mimic the squeezing on lungs effect.

QTPie Wed 05-Jan-11 23:23:08


It very much depends on your surgeon, I think. I accepted that... never want to upset the person with the sharp knife... grin

I had an ELCS at John and Lizzies with Gubby Ayida (also consults at C&W). She agreed to the screen being lowered and I also had skin-to-skin, but after my son was checkend and, the surgeon's choice, the placenta was delivered (I guess that required a bit of pulling and pushing maybe?). So, whilst I laid of the operating table being cleaned and stitched, I had my baby inside my gown with a towel over the top of us for warmth: indescribable! smile. If you can do it, do it!

Did have music, but didn't have lights dimmed or "slow" delivery (they whipped him out - surgeon said "if you hang about, they (in particular little boys) tend to pee!" blush

Good luck

Sparklies Wed 05-Jan-11 23:23:08

I certainly will bring it up with the hospital before birth (currently 22 weeks so early days yet!) and see what they say. There's a high chance I may end up in pre-term labour and an emergency c-section in which case it would all go out the window but it would be nice to think with a scheduled c-section they would be amenable.

clareanna - let me know what your consultant says - it would be nice to hear a reaction to such requests! The apgar checks should take seconds surely (after all they do them for vaginal births and they can go straight on your chest) so I don't know if it's different for c-sections.

They had the curtains up for my EMCS and it never occurred to me to ask for them to be lowered but with hindsight I wish I had. I am a bit squeamish but only with things that aren't meant to happen (e.g. accidents) - a planned operation I am somehow fine with! I am also going to see if DH can video it (okay, not one for Facebook!) as well - they were fine with photos last time at Kings College although DH was too chicken at the time to take anything beyond DC2 when she was on the resus table as the whole EMCS had taken us both by surprise so we weren't prepared.

I'm already cross enough I am genuinely, no way out of it whatsoever doomed to c-sections for eternity, as I'm a huge fan of natural birth so anything I can do to get some of the magic back I will!

QTPie Wed 05-Jan-11 23:26:41

I have/had photos posted on facebook of the moment of birth... Ok, you can't see my inards, but you can see blood dripping off of the surgeon's gloves... (wouldn't have had photos posted at a VB!)

Is there an eay way to post them on here?


Sparklies Wed 05-Jan-11 23:29:02

QT - Ha ha, now that you mention it I recall DC2 weeing just after she came out! I'd forgotten about that!

I tend to agree with you though - never upset the one wielding the sharp knife! We were totally unprepared for our EMCS (isn't everyone?) so we didn't think or even know to ask about these things. But as it's an ELCS this time out hopefully we can find out just how amenable the consultant will be and maybe do a bit of convincing in advance. Sounds like your consultant was lovely - I hope I am that lucky! What you describe sounds ideal

Thank you!

madamimadam Wed 05-Jan-11 23:29:06

Sparklies, I had an emergency c section in our local London hospital and they passed my DS to me over the barrier for skin to skin - so I could cuddle him before they took him off to do his checks.

I don't know how long I held him for - but it was a really wonderful experience and they took great care to make sure that all of us were connected - and distracted me brilliantly afterwards.

Good luck to you and Clareanna. Hope you both have a lovely experience.

Sparklies Wed 05-Jan-11 23:31:44

I think you can stick photos in your profile, or link to them maybe?

I did stick a photo of a very, very fresh DC2 onto Facebook, when she was covered in blood and gunk - it was via a link though so people would have had to have clicked through!

Sparklies Wed 05-Jan-11 23:34:20

madamimadam - with my EMCS they waved her about at the top of the curtain for me to see her for about two seconds, then took her away quicker than planned for her checks because she was dripping apparently. Like I cared!!

I did have a lovely midwife though who did her very best to make sure we had skin to skin in recovery and helped me with breastfeeding. Whilst I was being stitched up she was in a towel being held by DH as I didn't realise I could have asked for her to be on my chest at that point.

Sounds like your team were lovely with you too

QTPie Wed 05-Jan-11 23:44:53

Ok, have added photos to a gallery on my profile (delivery, lowered screen, skin-to-skin...). Can anyone see them?


OmicronPersei8 Wed 05-Jan-11 23:55:53

Wow QT, what amazing pictures! What a lovely record of your baby's arrival. And it looks like a great way to have an ELCS.


Sparklies Thu 06-Jan-11 00:12:57

Awww, those are lovely! Thank you for sharing! Now I really do wish my DH had been a little braver

madamimadam Thu 06-Jan-11 13:22:20

Ah, Sparklies - my DS was handed to me for a proper cuddle while they did me up. It was v. much like QTPie's (except Bat out of Hell was playing on the radio hmm...). The team were absolutely wonderful - I was shaking like a leaf when I had my epidural as I was so scared but I have to say I'd still describe my EMCS as serene. Sounds like you had a fantastic midwife - it makes such an incredible difference, doesn't it?

QT, I think they must have taken their time about delivering DS as the first I knew I'd had a son was that he wee'd on me as they handed him over (Left that out of the earlier post, as didn't want to break the erm, magic, of the moment...). I agree, Sparklies - dripping is the least of it!

They did the agpar checks after that. I had my DS in 2009, so perhaps your consultant will be pretty used to requests for this type of ELCS and be more than happy to go along with it - if it's not already standard practice at your hospital.

And QT, what beautiful, amazing photos! Made me all teary - but in a good way smile

sh77 Thu 06-Jan-11 15:10:05

Gosh QT amazing pics! Making me teary also. Ta for sharing.

gummymum Thu 06-Jan-11 16:44:02

It's like any other delivery - know what you would prefer, ask everyone (including the anaesthetist who is by your head so can help) and then be open for any changes if baby needs help/ oxygen/ you are in pain / bleeding / the op is more difficult etc. etc.
If baby screaming on exit, no reason why it should be taken away for apgars - they don't do this for a vaginal delivery!
Cold theatre is no excuse - tell them to warm the towel and put baby on your chest! Screen down for birth is a different matter esp if emergency - if tricky to deliver baby best not to have an audience!

Lcy Thu 06-Jan-11 18:54:40

I had a very similar experience to QT 5 weeks a go with DS. It was magical and he had his first feed as I was being put back together on the delivery table. Wonderful (apart from Gillian McKeith talking on the radio in the background!).

QTPie Thu 06-Jan-11 18:57:04

Thank you very much - it was the most amazing experience and I am so glad to have the photos (would recommend anyone getting their partner to do it). I was actually concentrating on waiting to hear the first cry and probably didn't see as much as I should have (didn't have to wait long though - he screamed virtually straight away... as you can see from the photos).

I think that "Bat out of hell" might have been more approrpiate (than Michael Buble...) for DS.... grin

I was very lucky, husband held DS whilst the placenta was being delivered and DS did a wee all over husband's arm!


QTPie Thu 06-Jan-11 18:59:09

Oh.... Michael Buble over Gillian McKeith ANY DAY! grin

Lcy Thu 06-Jan-11 19:03:41

And DH got to cut the cord which made his day!

Sparklies Thu 06-Jan-11 21:26:51

madamimadam - yes, despite the fact my EMCS was allegedly "emergency" there was nothing rushed about it! It was pretty serene too - I wish I had people offering to make it more natural though, then it would have been perfect. This was in 2008 so maybe, just maybe, things have got more progressive since too. I can but hope!

gummymum - All good tips, thank you! And yes, obviously if things go bad I would want the full on medical stuff to come in!

Porcelain Fri 07-Jan-11 18:10:26

I had planned a homebirth, but had contingency birth plans for hospital and emcs, the latter having elements of natural cs.

In the end I had emcs. They wouldn't lower the screen, apparently this hospital wouldn't. I was told I could see the baby straightaway on the resuscitaire before he was given to me, but in reality there were about 4 people in the way sad I'm not that bitter, it was only a few minutes before DH brought him over to me, but I remember feeling very frantic and anxious to see him.

They did do skin to skin in theatre, he was under a blanket on my chest, surely thats warmer than just in a blanket?

MidgeW Fri 07-Jan-11 22:17:17

I had to have a Emergency CS although was booked in for a planned CS 3 days after my baby came - my waters broke and she was breach and i had oligohydramnios (less than a coke can of amnio fluid in me around the baby).

I appreciate that skin to skin is important but wanted to share my experience with you. I just wanted my baby to be delivered in the safest way possible. An operating theatre is really cold and it is really important they get the baby out quickly, massage its lungs to get any fluid out and get the baby crying as soon as possible.

My hubby is a surgeon (orthopaedics) and he told me that whilst i may want to hold our daughter straight away, its really important for our child's future life to be checked over properly by the docs. When they brought my little one out they showed her to me very briefly over the screen and then whisked her away to be checked by the paediatricians. Then once she was of a state they were happy with they wrapped her up in towels and gave her to my husband. I was too too sick from the anaesthetic to go near her and by this time the surgeons were busy stitching me up so I could get onto recovery. It all happened so fast and before I knew it I was in recovery and the baby was put to my breast and I had all the skin to skin I wanted in the quietness and privacy of our own recovery cubicle and it was delayed but it was no less special. In fact it was magical.

So, try not to get too hung up on having skin to skin straight away. What's important is to get you and your baby through the op safely - you will get all the time in the world to have plenty of skin to skin atferwards and it will not affect any bond with your baby by it being slightly delayed.
The magic never dies - nor do the memories.

Good luck
M xx

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