Originally Posted by ~Cricket~
I'm going to copy and paste from a previous discussion, but there's some great info here!
This is from the Banned From Baby Showers Blog.
The Mother-Friendly Cesarean - A Ceci Jane video debut
I have mixed feelings about writing this post. I don't want to glorify the cesarean or make it look desirable. It's become so common to elect for a cesarean section instead of experiencing childbirth. I honestly believe fear is at the root of this epidemic. I've been there with my first baby - I get it. But that is not the purpose of this post.
This post is about those women who want and have planned for an unmedicated birth. They dream of the water birth in the quiet, dimly-lit room, where their baby is baby is placed immediately on their chest. They want to experience the oxytocin and bonding that is held so precious in natural birth circles. They want to be empowered through their natural birth.
Every now and then a cesarean birth becomes the only option. I'm not talking about the mom who didn't do any classes and has placed all her trust in her OB who tells her it's dangerous to go past 40 weeks and her baby is too big anyway. I'm talking about the mom who truly has no other options. My graphic designer for Birth Boot Camp, who had a bicornuate, or heart-shaped, uterus. She tried everything possible to get the baby to turn before finding out why her baby couldn't get head-down, or even butt-down. It broke her heart to have a cesarean.
Sometimes a cesarean is actually even a better option than a vaginal birth. I bet that surprises many of my readers to hear me say that. I've been talking with a mom, who, at 18, gave her baby up for adoption. She had an episiotomy which led to a 4th degree tear, or into the rectum. For many years, she has lived with a poorly stitched perineum and has had many issues. She had a reconstructive surgery, but is still dealing with problems and pain. Now, at 9 months pregnant, she's been advised to have a cesarean. She's getting a second opinion, of course, but she is devastated. She's been preparing for and looking forward to a homebirth. The doctor explained that the skin and muscles between the vagina and rectum are paper thin and she has a significantly shorter perineum. He is convinced that the baby will tear things open as he/she passes through. He said she is certain to be looking at another surgery with probable lifetime incontinence and even leaking fecal matter through the vagina. Of course, there is no guarantee that is how things are going to go down, but at some point, you are left deciding which surgery do you want to recover from? Which possible life-long effects from which surgery are you more "willing" to deal with? I am grateful I was never forced to make a decision like that. I honestly am not sure what I would choose and it's not my place to tell her what I think she should do. She is informed and she will make the right decision for her family.
The moms that have been in this position are left mourning the loss of what they didn't have - their natural birth. All the "at least you have a healthy baby" comments often make them feel guilty for being sad about their birth. It's OK to be sad or disappointed. If the sadness is interfering with bonding or parenting, seek help. Talking about it with people who understand will help.
If you are in this situation of having an unwanted cesarean, it doesn't have to look so different from the immediate postpartum vaginal birth. Many women want their baby immediately and they don't want to delay breastfeeding. My good friend, Ceci Jane, recently filmed a birth video for a family desiring a Mother-Friendly cesarean. She called me immediately after this birth, so excited! She said it was amazing, that it "felt" very much like a vaginal birth. I've worked with Ceci on a number of projects, including Birth Boot Camp (read about her version of recording/editing the documentary-style classes), and I knew she had been asked to film this video a few months ago. I am honored she allowed this debut to take place here on Banned From Baby Showers. The mother and father were treated with such respect and their wishes were honored. Rather than spoiling this special video, I'll let it speak for itself. Grab your tissues.
Uriah Nehemiah from Ceci Jane on Vimeo.
So, you've seen the video, but the question inevitably comes up - What makes this a Mother-Friendly Cesarean? You are always hearing me talk about the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative written by CIMS. Many of those steps can be applied to cesarean birth as well. A Mother-Friendly cesarean is a gentle cesarean, for one. The baby - and the mother - is not handled so aggressively. The cord is not immediately clamped, but rather the baby receives all of its cord blood. Mother has the baby handed to her in a matter of seconds. In this birth video, baby stayed on his mama's chest for a solid 2 hours. Baby breastfeeds soon after birth, like a vaginally born baby would. Newborn procedures, including weighing the baby, were delayed until parents were ready. Like anything else, if the consumer demands things be done a certain way, eventually, we will see change. If you find yourself in this situation, where a cesarean is the last - or best - option for you and your baby, request a Mother-Friendly cesarean.
Ultimately, no matter how your baby enters the world, you are becoming his or her parents. We wish a gentle birth for all babies, but so much of that is about the first minutes and hours of his/her life. We talk so often about natural birth being empowering, but empowerment also comes from knowledge and making informed decisions and having those wishes and decisions respected. Some of the best mothers I know had cesarean births. You can still breastfeed, co-sleep, and wear your baby. Ultimately, it doesn't make you a better mother just because your baby came out of your vagina.