In this day and age delivery of our babies via caesarean section is on the increase. The reason for this varies with some people preferring this option and some people not having a choice. However in either case there are steps you can take to promote a safe, calm and beautiful delivery for your baby.
For me personally when I found out I had to deliver my baby by c-section (due to medical reasons) I was devastated – I cried my eyes out. Luckily for me I had time to come to terms with it (not all mothers have this luxury) and in that time I decided that no matter what, I would do everything I could to deliver my baby in the beautiful, serene way I had envisioned.
Enter the beautiful Melissa Spilsted of Hypnobirthing Australia. We used the hypnobirthing methods in my first pregnancy and the whole experience was amazing. It helped both my husband and I feel at ease and ready to go through the life-changing experience that is birth, together (for the first time). On top of the Hypnobirthing methods for ‘normal’ deliveries, Melissa has created a comprehensive Hypnobirthing plan specifically for caesarean births – the only one in the world! Doctors in the UK now use her techniques – she is amazing! The techniques help mothers (and fathers) to feel calm and empowered going into a surgical environment, during and after the birth.
As I said when I first found out I had to deliver via c-section I felt powerless and scared. The Hypnobirthing techniques, which included visualisations, activities to do on my own and with my husband and a detailed personalised birthing plan, are what helped me to feel calm, focused and excited about the birth of our daughter. The birthing plan specifically helped me to feel back in control as it gave me a way to communicate to my doctors and caregivers in the hospital what my preferences were when it came to my babies delivery. For example, one of my preferences was to have my baby ‘seeded’.
What is seeding you ask?
C-section babies aren’t exposed to the same natural bacteria that babies born vaginally are exposed to. The bacteria that’s picked up by the baby during birth is what kicks off the colonisation of bacteria in the gut and all over the body. This initial exposure is extremely important for the development of the baby’s immune system.
There is a fantastic documentary called ‘Microbirth’ that encourages the ‘seeding’ of babies, born via c-section, with their mothers natural bacteria. This is done by taking a swab of the mother’s vagina before delivery then post-delivery wiping this swab on the babies face and body. Sounds strange at first but if you think about it, it makes sense! Although this isn’t as effective as when the baby is born vaginally, it is much better for the baby than not being exposed at all.
When I requested this the nurses thought I was crazy (only because they hadn’t heard of it before). But when I spoke to my OB he was familiar with the documentary (he had actually worked with the Dr who had come up with this idea), and was happy to go along with this request. I was thankful I had a doctor who was open minded. Unfortunately there are doctors out there who aren’t. My message to the women with this type of doctor:
this is your body, your baby and you will only get one chance to birth this baby. So anything you want to happen, or don’t feel comfortable with, speak up! You want to give your baby the absolute best start to life.
So if you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, I hope this info will help to have a beautiful birth and give your baby the best start to life – no matter how they are born.