April is Cesarean Awareness Month. Learn More About the Natural Cesarean Technique
Studies haven proven the bonding benefits of a natural childbirth, such as the skin-to-skin contact that occurs when a newborn is placed on its mother’s chest immediately after birth. According to Los Angeles OB/GYN Dr. David Ghozland, these benefits may now be available through a new procedure called natural cesarean technique.
Deemed to be a “family centered” procedure, the natural C-section incorporates the elements that are most important to expectant mothers, allowing them to witness the delivery and have immediate access to their infant so that breastfeeding can begin immediately.
Dr. Ghozland notes that currently, C-section is the most common surgery in the United States; one in three babies are delivered this way. In a traditional C-section, the woman is given an epidural and the mother’s view of the surgical procedure and birth is blocked by a curtain. Immediately after delivery, the baby is whisked away by nurses and the mom is wheeled away into recovery, sometimes without even touching her newborn. The difference offered by a natural C-section is that the mother would not only be allowed to see the birth, she would also have the option of having the infant placed on her chest to stimulate bonding and encourage breast feeding. The goal with the move toward natural or family centered C-section is to keep the mom and infant together as much as possible.
Although still relatively new, the gentle C-section procedure has become popular in Europe and is getting positive buzz in the U.S., especially among mothers who have experienced it. While pushback could come from the potential for increased costs, in reality there are actually minimal differences in hospital costs. Rather, the birth itself simply needs to be pre-coordinated with the entire neonatal team so that the mother’s wishes are clear. Dr. Ghozland says that in his experience, it is very possible to provide the mom with an exceptional, “natural” birthing experience, without compromising safety.
As with any medical procedure, not everyone is a good candidate for a natural C-section. In situations where the mother requires general anesthesia instead of an epidural, she would end up being sedated for before, during and immediately after the birth, and would not be a candidate for a natural C-section.
Dr. Ghozland advises women to look at all of their birthing options well in advance of their due date to make sure the experience is as positive as possible. Dr. Ghozland considers the natural C-section an excellent alternative to the traditional C-section procedure and is thrilled to offer it to patients in his Los Angeles practice.