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For many, learning their delivery may require a cesarean section can be a source of anxiety surrounding delivery. 

Vaginal delivery is often associated with immediate skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, higher success rates in breastfeeding, and the introduction of vaginal flora (bacteria) into the newborn infant.  While traditionally cesarean delivery did not allow for many of the items listed above, an increasing number of healthcare facilities and providers are introducing the concept of the “gentle cesarean delivery.”

What is a Gentle Cesarean Delivery?

A gentle cesarean is a method of delivery to accommodate as much of the vaginal delivery experience as possible, while keeping both mother and baby safe during the perioperative period.

A gentle cesarean delivery may mean different things to different people. Assuming immediate newborn resuscitation is not required, aspects may include the following:

– Immediate skin to skin contact, where either with the mother holds the baby with the help of her support person or skin to skin contact entirely with the support person until the mother can hold the baby on her own.

– Use of a clear cesarean drape, instead of a cloth drape, to allow the family to watch the birth

– Delayed cord clamping

– Cutting of the cord by the support person

– Vaginal swab to inoculate their child with vaginal bacteria (similar to inoculation that occurs with a vaginal delivery)

I am interested in a Gentle Cesarean Delivery. What are my next steps?

It is important to begin discussions regarding your cesarean delivery early with your provider and the delivering institution. Many institutions have maternity nurse navigators that can answer questions regarding availability of procedures at their institution.  

Your provider will also be able to discuss which options are available and safe given your specific indications for cesarean delivery. For example, some pregnancy conditions make cesarean delivery a higher risk procedure than others. Therefore, some options may be limited due to the specific diagnosis.  It is important to have these discussions early on, rather than the day of delivery.

Communication is Key

Whether delivery via vaginal or cesarean, having an open dialog with your care team is important. At the end of the day, the goal is to facilitate a safe and joyous experience, regardless of the circumstances.

Contact Us for Help

We are leaders in maternal fetal medicine, offering state-of-the-art screenings and tests, as well as advanced ultrasounds and monitoring options to reduce your risk before and during your pregnancy. 

If you recently found out you are pregnant with multiples, Perinatal Specialists of Kansas City can help. Contact us at (913) 291-0069 to book your first appointment.

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