TMH Living Well: New kinder, gentler c-section available at TMH
When the instructor covers cesarean sections in birthing class, you never imagine it’s going to be you. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that one in three babies in the United States are delivered by cesarean section.
The Memorial Hospital is pleased to join a growing movement in the United States to make C-sections less like major surgery and more like natural birth. The result is what’s known as a gentle C-section, or family centered cesarean. This gentle method was first introduced in England in 2005 and is slowly making its way across the nation. TMH joins just two other hospitals in Colorado that list it as an option — Vail Valley Medical Center and Rose Medical Center in Denver.
“Dr. Ellis and I are thrilled to be able to perform cesarean sections in this way at The Memorial Hospital for moms in our region. TMH has embraced this patient-friendly method that encourages early bonding between moms and babies,” said Dr. Eileen Joyce, OB/GYN with the hospital.
The hospital made little adjustments, such as replacing a regular drape with a clear one so mom can see the birth, and moving equipment to allow the baby to be placed on mom’s chest immediately after birth, enabling her to hold her baby and even start breastfeeding.
“I’ve been performing gentle C-sections for years and I’ve had moms breastfeed on the table while I finished up surgery. Although it can’t replace a vaginal delivery, it allows women to experience some of the same benefits,” Joyce said.
During a typical C-section, babies are often removed for care rather than given a chance to have skin-to-skin time with mom. An opaque curtain is placed across mom, blocking her view. In some hospitals, her hands are sometimes strapped down, making holding her baby impossible.
Recently, Dr. Joyce performed a gentle C-section for a couple who wanted an improved cesarean experience. The couple was thrilled with the outcome.
“Mom really appreciated the clear drape which allowed dad to sit by her head and tell her how things were progressing. She said it cut down on the claustrophobic feeling she had with her past C-section, and was amazed that she got to breastfeed the baby so soon after delivery,” Joyce said.
Her first baby was born via a traditional C-section. She was whisked away to PACU for aftercare and that delayed getting to hold her baby for the first time. This time at TMH, mom and dad stayed together, with their baby, during the birth, right through the PACU and into their private room.
“Moms tell me it’s wonderful, especially those who have had a traditional C-section in the past. They really appreciate the chance for early bonding with their baby. Many studies show that skin-to-skin time right after delivery improves bonding and breastfeeding success,” Joyce said.
It’s great for dads as well who can stay with mom and have skin-to-skin time with their new baby after surgery in the PACU room while mom gets cleaned up. Simply put, it makes the birth less of a surgical procedure and more of what it should be — bringing a new baby into the world.
“It builds confidence for both parents from the start,” Joyce said.
The Memorial Hospital is pleased to join this relatively new movement to ensure a pleasant birthing experience for moms in the region.
To schedule an OB/GYN appointment with Dr. Scott Ellis or Dr. Eileen Joyce, call TMH Medical Center at 970-826-2420.
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