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The Gentle Cesarean

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Written by Kelly Meehan

 

What is a sacred Cesarean? A gentle, or ‘sacred’ Cesarean means creating a birth with awareness and mindfulness that involves a heart centered approach and experience.

 

The purpose is to support how a woman gives births for greater healing physically, psychologically, and spiritually as well as her baby’s own experience. The energy around a sacred Cesarean begins with the mother in pregnancy consciously working with a gentle and kind philosophy for her birth and into her postpartum healing. A sacred Cesarean can be an incredibly positive, deeply gentle, and highly loving experience for both mother and baby.  

Putting into action a sacred and heart centered Cesarean has many parts that utilize the natural gift and talents of each intuitive woman during pregnancy by accessing the physiology of her body, the psychology of her mind, and her spirituality within her heart. Meaning, she invites the full range of her oneness into developing deeper understanding of self, and expanded self awareness around birth into motherhood.  A sacred Cesarean includes building a practice of inner dialogue, communication, trust, intuition, reflection, ritual, and meditation.  

It is a universal understanding that Cesarean births are a needed intervention, whether it is planned or unplanned. Birthing by Cesarean does not need to be a disconnected and disempowering experience. The sacred Cesarean, also known as family-centered Cesarean, positive Cesarean, gentle Cesarean, and natural Cesarean has been promoted and offered by medical professionals in certain cities around the world. A sacred Cesarean is about the mother and baby’s spiritual union, and this includes support from her doctor and her medical team that supports a gentle Cesarean. Finding a supportive doctor and hospital is important for building a birth that is sacred, but it can also be experienced even if your medical team does not promote gentle Cesareans.         

Positive Cesareans are being supported and implemented by many medical practices around the world, and the only difference is the names and practices, but most have similar gentle and kind approaches towards Cesareans. Medical doctor David Ghozland of Santa Monica, CA, offers natural Cesarean births for his patients and understands that Cesareans are not just medical procedures, but the miraculous event of meeting your baby. He promotes early skin to skin contact and early initiation of breastfeeding, which is not typical for Cesarean births, along with other bonding methods in what he calls a “natural Cesarean.”    

 

Another sacred Cesarean experience is from Dandenong hospital, Australia, in which a “maternal assisted Cesarean,” supported a mother to deliver her third baby and she felt closer to her baby by being involved in the birth instead of having separation and no involvement. She has shared pictures of delivering her own baby from her womb with assistance of medical staff. The mother wanted a positive Cesarean and she did her homework to find a supportive doctor and hospital. The mother was inspired by reading about the healing and bonding that comes from “assisted Cesareans,” with specific locations that have offered births in her country from Queensland and Perth. 

Dr. William Camann from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, is considered a pioneer in family-centered Cesarean procedures in the U.S. His clinics, Family Centered Cesarean, involves skin to skin, viewing of birth through clear drape, doula support in the room if desired, and encourages breastfeeding. Dr. Camann says he would like family-centered Cesarean births to become routine in all hospitals instead of only upon request. 

Other hospitals that promote a natural and gentle Cesarean are U.K. Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in West London. These medical doctors and hospitals are aware that “surgical rituals” can easily inhibit and prevent challenges in that early first moment of bonding for the maternal-infant dyad. No dangers in safety have been reported by offering a positive and gentle birth by Cesarean. A study from JABFM (Journal Of The American Board Of Family Medicine) by Brown University at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island implemented a “gentle Cesarean program” that ran for five years and became a routine program. It became the standard of care for all Cesarean births.   

 

How can you create a sacred Cesarean?

 

You begin with talking about it with your partner. You look at all parts involved in a Cesarean birth, even the fearful ones. Beyond the intellect you openly explore and act upon ways to support your sacred Cesarean using visualization, ritual, aromatherapy, flower essences, homeopathy, spirit-baby communication, and hiring a doula who supports you. This includes seeking out supportive doctors and hospitals as well. Do research in what is involved in natural Cesareans and positive Cesareans. In your Cesarean birth plan look at some common requests: soft lighting, low voices, gentle music, slow movement to deliver baby, delayed cord clamping, skin to skin, and other gentle options in creating a kind birth. It can be beneficial to allow natural labor to start, to provide the natural progressions of birth for mother and baby. Allowing labor is important for baby in overall development of brain, lungs, and other organs along with weight gain and oral motor development for sucking and swallowing. If it is not an option to labor naturally you can still have a loving and compassionate birth. Remember to be a part of your birth by Cesarean and remember to talk to your baby after the birth. Acknowledge his or her experience.

“Addressing the needs of your newborn involves paying attention to the emotional state of your baby after birth with empathy, loving touch, soft voices, clear thoughts, loving intentions, and the bonding experience of nursing.” 

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Creating a sacred birth by Cesarean can offer a new connection to birth. A sacred Cesarean is for mothers that have difficult breech presentations, for multiple births, the choice of elective cesarean, mothers with extreme birth fears, sexual abuse survivors, and other medical issues that inhibit a vaginal birth for the wellbeing of mother or wellbeing of infant. It can also serve to have a gentle Cesarean back-up plan for vaginal births and for mothers that are working towards a VBAC. It helps to create a positive, gentle, and sacred backup plan, but also keep in mind that sometimes true medical emergencies need immediate care.  

 

A sacred Cesarean is the future of sugrical birth because it offers a gentle and compassionate experience for mother and baby, who deserve to be treated with great care in a safe and gentle way without being subjecting to unneeded trauma.

 

Birth is a unique experience and creating a sacred experience can provide deeper healing, awareness that supports better recovery, less trauma for mother and baby, better bonding, breastfeeding success, and better emotional coping postpartum.    

About the Author
Kathryn Los
Author: Kathryn LosWebsite: https://holisticparentingmagazine.com
Kathryn Los is Owner, Editor, and Publisher of Holistic Parenting Magazine. Kathryn is married to her soulmate and together they parent six delightfully vibrant children in the Colorado Rockies. She has a background in sociology and philosophy, and has enjoyed working as a birth doula and breastfeeding counselor for over a decade. She has founded and led several women's groups, on a spectrum of communities and interests. Kathryn is an advocate for authentic, intuitive parenting. She considers herself a cheerleader of her six life learners. She is passionate about holistic parenting, and loves sharing inspiration with like minded people across the globe.

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