There’s a debate on Twitter this morning about the ‘natural caesarean’ as a term that promotes a positive experience of birth by caesarean. I don’t agree with the term and I think as health care professionals working in the area of birth we should ensure that every birth is a positive birth . Milli Hill started the The Positive Birth Movement with this goal in mind (@birthpositive on Twitter )
Bearing this in mind I’d like to ask the following questions for you to consider and share with with your colleagues, family , friends , midwives and obstetricians .
1. How many women who have an emergency caeserean and/or instrumental birth (forceps or ventouse) are given information in the antenatal period about the far reaching health and psychological benefits of skin to skin contact in this setting to both mother and baby ?
2. Compare the above with how many women are given information about skin to skin contact around normal birth ?
3. Compare both to how many woman are informed that skin to skin is possible during manual removal of placenta and repair of any perineal trauma in the theatre setting ?
4. Are women informed
- They can TELL midwives to defer the weighing of their newborn in order to enjoy the benefits of prolonged skin to skin contact
- That they should never be separated from their baby unless a clinical situation becomes apparent or they themselves choose not to have skin to skin contact despite being FULLY informed
- That their baby could ‘self latch’ at the breast without any handling by staff and also correct its own acidosis and stabilise its own breathing because of skin to skin contact ?
- That skin to skin and early breastfeeding “Pronurturance ” is linked to a reduction in the incidence of postpartum haemorrhage? CLICK RIGHT HERE for the Pronurturance paper
- That if babies could talk they would choose skin to skin contact despite their birth environment
- That skin to skin contact is the building block for a persons social and psychological development
The midwives and staff on social media who talk about caesarean are not promoters of it , they are giving women information about choice – so that if the operation (which is major surgery) does take place then these women are able to not only enjoy their birth experience but give their relationship with their baby the best possible start .
I suppose it’s similar to the question “does having a teenage pregnancy strategy increase teenage pregnancy rates ? (and I much prefer the term “young women”to ‘teenage pregnancy’)
Does having full information about your choices if you do go on to have a caeserean increase caesarean rates ? I don’t know the answer to either of these questions but I do know that the women I have assisted and sometimes fought for to have skin to skin contact with their newborns in different birth situations have all told me this
-that they never realised the positive impact it had on them as a successful mother
To me this is enough .
Thank you for reading
With love , Jenny ❤️
I am also promoting #MatExp as a platform which enables and encourages discussion between women, families and health care professionals .