Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Positive Cesarean Birth

Approximately 10% of women will truly need to give birth to their babies via surgery. For most of the women in this country this is far from a positive experience. Their babies are born behind a screen and then are moved to a plastic box, called an isolette, far enough away the mothers can't really see them. Once they are checked over and determined to be breathing ok, they are wrapped up so only their tiny faces are visible and given to their dads sitting next to the mothers' heads. The mothers who are lying flat desperately want to at least see their babies' faces. The dads try to find a way to accomplish this with their floppy newborns. Mothers crane their necks trying to catch a glimpse of their babies' gaze. They are biologically driven to look deep into their babies' eyes and connect. In just a few minutes dads and babies are whisked away to a nursery. All the other normal biologic functions which kick into gear as soon as the mothers have given birth are disrupted. These are called claiming behaviors. We are meant to smell our babies, kiss our babies, touch our babies. We are meant to look them over from head to toe and to count each tiny finger. And of course to put the baby to our breast and begin the breastfeeding relationship. Our senses and our babies are heightened at the moment of birth. We are both exquisitely aware of each other. We are meant to connect on a deep emotional, biological, chemical level; a connection which will last a life time. But for most mothers around the world having cesarean babies they get none of these. By the time they get to really see their babies they have been washed and dressed and are deeply asleep; too sleepy to breastfeed for  hours.

For a different perspective on the cesarean birth experience please watch this video. Then talk to your doctor, your midwife, your doula, your husband, and your hospital. You and your baby have a right to the most natural positive birth possible. You can make this happen!

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