When the circumstances of childbirth endanger a baby's life, doctors can decide to deliver the baby via C-section as a last resort -- but it doesn’t have to negatively impact the bond between a mother and her child.
Venezuelan obstetrician Jham Frank Lugo posted a video on Instagram that shows how a gentle C-section is performed even if the baby is in breech position. While it's entirely possible to deliver a breech baby vaginally, it involves more risks, and why doctors often opt to perform the surgery.
"We can see the video of a respectful and careful birth, with described obstetrical maneuvers and with surveillance that guarantees the safety of the baby and the mother," Lugo said in the caption, which was originally written in Spanish.
In the video, the baby's bottom presents itself first as the doctor gently pulls the baby out of the mother's abdominal section. He then assists the baby by carefully taking his legs and arms out of the C-section incision. When it's time for the baby's head to pass through, the doctor doesn't just yank the newborn off his mother's womb, but instead slowly eases the little one's head out.
According to Lugo, the baby in the video had skin-to-skin contact immediately after being born "with patience" and while "listening to the music that the parents choose for this moment." The doctor added that the father of the baby and their doula was present to support the mother throughout the whole process.
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Another video posted by Lugo shows another gentle C-section birth. This time, the baby came out of the mother's abdomen with the head first. The doctor carefully held the baby's head as he gently guided him into this world. Roughly translated, the caption read, "With calm, tranquility and peace – these are important and necessary when a baby arrives in this world.
A gentle natural C-section allows the mother to be awake. The medical instruments are strapped to the side of her body so she can hold the baby immediately after birth, even with the umbilical cord still attached. In her birth plan, the mom can also choose to play music, dim the lights and do away with the curtain. It's the next best scenario for moms who can't deliver naturally due to medical and safety reasons.
This is not the first time a gentle C-section birth has been documented. Last year, we featured two gentle C-section birth videos (watch them here and here). In these videos, however, everyone in the operating room patiently waited as the newborn literally crawled out of the mother's C-section incision. "Walking the baby out," the British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology called it.
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"Birth does not need to be clinical, rushed hard lined and full of rough handling...let's make cesarean birth a special place because all birth deserves to be and feel beautiful for baby, mama and family too," said Angela Gallo, a doula based in Australia who also shared the video.
Make sure that when you make -- and own it! -- your birth plan you've discussed everything with your doctor so you can make an informed choice!
That said, you also have to allow some flexibility. Giving birth is one of nature's magnificent wonders, regardless of whether the little one is delivered via normal delivery or via C-section, whether you had a gentle and natural one or it was performed because of an unforseen complication.