How to Have a Natural & Gentle Cesarean

How to have a gentle and natural cesarean section when possible

One of the single most difficult moments of my life was as I was being wheeled down the hall to an emergency c-section and I hugged my husband good-bye and we said our “I love yous.” He was able to rejoin me just as our little one entered the world, but that day and its difficulties are a painful whirlwind in my memory.

I’m so glad for that experience, especially in hindsight, but as I recounted before, that day was so difficult and there are so many things I wish I’d known to do differently.

That c-section has been good for me as a mother and as a doula. It was humbling and difficult, but it taught be so much.

A Gentle Cesarean?

As grateful as I (now) am for that experience, there are so many things I wish I could do differently for the sake of our son. I hadn’t read any of the books about c-sections because I thought I’d never have one and I wasn’t at all prepared.

Because he was early, he spent 8 days in the NICU and I didn’t get to hold him until the end of that time. I had to pump and he was fed through a bottle or a feeding tube. We didn’t get skin to skin and he definitely didn’t get any beneficial bacteria from me after birth. (As a side note, I’m smiling in that picture because of the happy drugs they gave me since the epidural didn’t work, not because I had a gentle birth!)

After my own c-section I started researching gentle c-sections and how to optimize factors in the event that a c-section is necessary. Having been through it myself, I know how difficult it is, and I wanted to find ways to help other women have a more gentle time (and an easier recovery).

I’ve now had the privilege to be a doula at several cesarean births and to help implement these ideas and I’ve seen the benefit to mom and baby. It is too late for me to have implemented this with my own son at the time of my c-section, but I hope that what I’ve learned since then might be helpful to some of you.

Obviously, natural birth is optimal whenever it is possible (and it is possible much more than the 30+% that it occurs now) but there are times where it is legitimately not possible to deliver vaginally (like my placenta previa) and there are ways that we can make the best of that situation for mom and baby.

Skin to Skin & Bonding

One important aspect that is lost in many c-section births is the vital skin to skin time with mom and baby. I didn’t get this with our son because he was having a slight trouble breathing. I really wonder if we’d had even just a minute of this, if his breathing might have improved and he would not have needed the time in the NICU (some research is showing this is a possibility).

Skin to skin contact between mom and baby helps regulate baby’s temperature and breathing patters and also helps mom hormone levels:

For example, Dr. Camann realized that by using both clear and solid sterile drapes, obstetricians could switch the solid drape for the clear one just before delivery and allow mom to see her baby being born.
“We also allow mom a free arm and place the EKG leads on her back so that she is able to hold, interact, and provide skin-to-skin contact with her baby in the moments following the birth,” said Camann, who teamed up with BWH registered nurse Kathy Trainor, to make this option available to patients and their families.

Kathy Trainor notes that research has shown that techniques such as skin-to-skin contact have important benefits for a mother and her baby.

“Allowing mom and baby to bond as quickly as possible after the delivery makes for a better transition for the baby, including better temperature and heart rate regulation, increased attachment and parental bonding and more successful rates of breast feeding,” she said. (source)

Research is now showing that this skin to skin contact immediately after birth is important for culturing baby’s gut bacteria and microbiome properly.

Microbiome

Perhaps even more important for baby’s health long term is the need to properly develop the microbiome. An excellent new movie called Microbirth delves into the way a baby’s gut bacteria is cultured during the birthing process and how this affects the baby throughout his or her life and can even affect things like cancer and heart disease risk later in life.

The movie points out that a baby born via c-section has 1/3 less variety of bacteria in his or her gut than the gut of a baby born vaginally in an optimal environment. This seems especially disheartening and scary, especially to moms who have no choice but to have c-sections, but the movie also offered some unconventional advice and some hope…

One of the doctors interviewed in the documentary explained how they were able to create the same variety of healthy gut bacteria in a baby born via c-section. They inserted a sterile gauze into the mother’s birth canal for the hour or so before delivery (by c-section). In the time before birth, the mother’s body will culture trillions of bacteria in the birth canal that are passed on to baby as he or she is born. Of course, this transfer doesn’t happen in a non-vaginal birth but this offered a work-around.

The sterile gauze was removed from the mother just before the baby was born and placed in a sterile container. As soon as baby was born, the gauze was wiped in the baby’s mouth, nose, and all over the face and skin of the entire body. This exposed the baby to the mother’s beneficial bacteria first and in a five year follow-up, babies who went through this process had similar gut bacteria to babies born vaginally and had lower rates of obesity, allergies, eczema and more.

It sounds strange, especially at first, but it certainly isn’t any more strange than the way the transfer happens during a vaginal birth where baby comes fully in contact with the bacteria in the birth canal, getting it in his or her mouth and nose.

I highly recommend the movie Microbirth to any expecting parents, but especially to those who must deliver via c-section. I’m purchasing several copies to pass on to doctors I know to spread the word about this important topic. As Toni Harman explains:

As the fetus grows in the womb, it develops in a near-sterile environment relying on its mother for protection. But when the baby emerges, it is entering a world of bacteria, some of which are bad (pathogens) but some of which are good.

In the weeks and days leading up to birth, specific species of good bacteria are migrating to key locations in the mother’s body and are transferred to the baby during and immediately after birth via the birth canal, immediate skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding. The role of these good bacteria is to train the baby’s human cells to distinguish between what is “friend” and what is “foe” so that its immune system can fight off attack from pathogens. This process kickstarts the baby’s immune system and helps to protect the infant from disease for its entire lifetime.

However, with interventions like use of synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin / Syntocinon), antibiotics, C-section and formula feeding, this microbial transfer from the mother to baby is interfered with or bypassed completely. For babies that enter the world by C-section, their first contact could be with bacteria that is resident in hospitals and from strangers, i.e. not with the special cocktail of bacteria from the mother.

The latest scientific research is now starting to indicate that if the baby is not properly seeded with the mother’s own bacteria at birth, then the baby’s microbiome, in the words of Rodney R Dietert, Professor of Immunotoxicology at Cornell University, is left “incomplete”. Consequently, that baby’s immune system may never develop to its full potential, leaving that infant with an increased risk of developing one or more serious diseases later in life.

This area of research is very much still in its infancy but as research develops, I know many families that are attempting this method of culturing baby’s gut bacteria since there is no documented downside and baby would naturally encounter these bacteria during birth anyway. Baby is usually wiped off and dried anyway, there isn’t a reason this could not happen with a gauze that had been exposed to the mother’s gut bacteria.

A Gentle Cesarean Birth Plan

When c-sections are needed and especially pre-planned, there are some factors that families can discus with their doctors and birth team to try to create a more gentle environment if circumstances allow. Things like:

  • Dropping the drape or using a clear drape so that mom can actually witness the birth of her baby (especially since she won’t be able to see the incision because of its placement
  • Immediate skin-to-skin once baby is born and while mom is being repaired if possible. If not, dad can have skin to skin with baby while mom is being repaired.
  • Fostering of the early nursing relationship by having baby on mom’s chest during the rest of the procedure so baby can start to nurse if he/she desires
  • Using a specially cultured gauze to swab the baby and expose him/her to mom’s beneficial bacteria
  • Letting the dad cut the cord if circumstances allow
  • Keeping mom, dad and baby together in the recovery unit to let nursing and bonding happen
  • Allowing for an extra person (doula, grandparent, etc) to be there to photograph the birth so that mom and dad can both interact right away
  • Have music of choice playing if possible
  • Having all IVs, straps, etc on the non-dominant arm so that mom can touch and hold baby once he or she is born
  • Performing all newborn tests on mom’s chest if possible
  • Ensuring that all medications are approved for breastfeeding, if possible
  • Letting the cord continue pulsing after birth if possible

This video talks more about how doctors can incorporate these gentle c-section practices and I know several women who have showed this to their doctors as an introduction to the idea:

Have you ever had a c-section? Did you try any of these things?

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Reader Comments

  1. Hi Katie,

    I had two C Sections, first was an emergency, and second happened because I got pregnant only one year after the first one so doctors strongly recommended second surgery. I recovered easier after the first one, because I wasn’t aware of almost anything, adrenaline and first born helped a lot. I had time to prepare for the sedond surgery, had everything under control, but pain afterwards was more intensive. Although, I started to nurse immediately. There is nothing I would love more than giving natural birth but it is obviously impossible. I agree that there should be skin to skin contact and all this things you wrote, but they didn’t let me unfortunately. I was just given chance to breastfeed every couple of hours.

    I think every pregnant woman should prepare herself for the possible C section and inform herself about it, I wrote an article on this subject on my blog Countryside Mom.

    • matea ,
      I just wanted to encourage you…. though I know every situation is different, I had two c-sections and then was able to find a doctor who would work with me to try a v-bac. I have gone on to have three successful v-bac deliveries, and have been so glad I was able to go that route.

    • Just wanted to offer some additional encouragement, that VBAC (even after multiple c-sections) is entirely possible, and safe. There is typically only a slightly increased risk of of uterine rupture (around 1%) and this can be mitigated with good monitoring. There are more and more VBAC friendly providers. To find one, please contact your nearest ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) group. You will find tons of support there.

  2. Where can I find the Microbirth movie?

  3. Thank you for this timely article. We are currently pregnant with identical twins who share a placenta. Apart from the fear of TTTS, a c-section is a huge fear. I have had 5 previous vaginal deliveries, and I never thought about needing a c-section. However, this time it is a very real possibility. I really appreciate sharing your wisdom!

  4. Thank you so much for this post. It really hit home. My son was born via cesarean a little over two years ago. I was induced at 41.5w and things went downhill from there. After two hours of pushing i got a high fever and my sons heartrate went over 200 so they said we needed to get him out. They thought I had some sort of uterine infection so he was taken to the NICU and we were both administered two full days of a really strong antibiotic. I nursed him but the nurses convinced me I wasn’t doing a good enough job so they said i had to supplement in order to get him out of the NICU. I stopped that after i convinced myself that i could do it. I nursed him for over a year. He started gettting eczema around two months (could have been sooner). His digestion has always been poor. I supplemented with probiotics for him but not nearly enough and probably not a great kind.

    Well he’s two now and since his eczema started getting worse we decided to do something to fix it. We started the GAPS diet and that was nothing short of a failure. He reacted very poorly to the diet. His digestion never improved, he started getting hives and his eczema got significantly worse. We quit the diet after two months because he was literally getting worse and worse by the day.

    Now I’m just not sure what to do about the damage I caused both at delivery and from the GAPS diet. Do you or anyone have any suggestions on whom we should talk to or the next step we should take to help my son? Hopefully someone does because I am feeling at a complete loss on what to do for him.

    • Try homeopathy my child was born by c-section and has had bad eczema since about 1. She is 3 now and the last time it got really bad i took her to a homeopathy. It is brilliant now. I highly recommend going.

    • IgG allergy testing: this helps to eliminate food allergens. Once these are identified removing them from the child’s diet for at least 4 months. While doing the elimination diet also out the child through a gentle detox. For my daughter we used a company called Bioray. The three products I suggest are Liver Life , Cytoflora and NDF+. Follow there protocol. My daughter developed allergies after our c-section around 9 months old . We did all the above testing and detox and now she no longer suffers from any of the allergies or skin issues. She is a healthy vibrant little girl and is able to eat whatever she wants. I have placed several PT’s on this protocol and they are Seeing great results. The body will heal you just have to remove the interference ..

  5. Hi Katie! My first two were born naturally but my third was born via C-section. I was at the hospital, in the pushing stage of labor when the doctor or nurse realized my baby was breech. I kinda knew something wasn’t right about his labor compared to the two previous babies. The doctor gave me the choice of either a C-section or to continue a vaginal birth with a breech baby. I chose a C-section because in my heart I knew that was the best choice (in this situation) for a healthy baby and healthy mother. Unfortunately, since I was so far along in the labor process, I had to be put completely under and did not get that immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth. I did, however, get to give him his first meal (breastmilk) so I was happy about that. Come to find out later that not only was he breech, he was also turned sideways. Not sure if that is common or what would have happened if I chose to deliver him naturally. But in the end, everyone was healthy and happy. Even though he is my third baby, I was not truly educated on C-sections and what happens afterwards with me and the baby. I am so grateful for you and your website as I am learning so much towards a healthier lifestyle for me and my family. Thank you!

    • I had a client that this exact scenario happened. Third baby that flipped breech sometime before she was complete, cesarean and general anesthesia. That is so awesome that your provider gave you the option to go about a vaginal breech or cesarean and that they had the confidence in their skills to assist in that. On the other hand, it is pretty neat that you and your baby’s intuition told you both that cesarean was that way for him to come into the world.

  6. Thank you so much for this post!!! I am someone who has to have a c-section (due to a previous surgery on my cervix) and I want to make it as natural and gentle as possible. One question, do you think it would be possible to delay anti-biotics until after the baby is born? I mean, I’d rather have no anti-biotics, ever, but being cut open seems like an appropriate use for them. I’d much rather the baby not get them intravenously, so I’m hoping they will agree to not start the anti-biotics until after the cord is cut. I know some will go through the breast milk, but surely less than in the blood stream. I haven’t asked my specialist about this yet, but I’m hoping he agrees. What do you think?

  7. 6 months ago I had my 4th Cesarean. I am happy to say that the hospital I used did in fact do several of the things you have listed without me asking for it! Now that I know that there are more options the next time I will talk to my doctor and plan for them as well.

    One thing I wish they would change – they used three different adhesives on my during surgery. I developed an allergic reaction to all three. This made my fist two and a half weeks after birth uncomfortable and stressful due to the fact the only meds they could give me to get rid of the rashes is the kind that can potentially dry up your milk. I wish that there was an alternative to using any adhesive during surgery.

    Thank you so much for this post and for talking about your own Cesarean delivery.

    • I had a planned csection a few months ago due to breech baby. Because I knew it was coming I did some research and was able to implement many of the things you mentioned. I soaked the gauze in saline and wore it overnight like a tampon. Then I removed it and swabbed myself with several qtips right before delivery. We put all of that in a ziplock bag and “seeded” our baby in the recovery room, by swabbing his mouth, nose, palms, etc. With gauZe and qtips. I Hope it worked!!!! Oh I also rubbed some vaginal fluid on my chest and nipples before surgery, so when he was immediately put on my chest and nursing he would come in contact with it. Not sure how long the bacteria stays alive after it leaves the body though. My surgery team would not delay antibiotics until the cord was cut, they brought up medical “laws” which I couldn’t argue wit, but after much pleading they agreed to wait until the moment before the incision to administer the antibiotics. Since the baby was out so quickly once they began, I hope he didn’t get any of it!

  8. Hey Katie,

    Great Article! Thank you for sharing this 🙂 I have a question (not sure if you’ll be able to answer), but in the example you used of placing the gauze in the mother’s birth canal to pick up bacteria to then transfer to baby… I’m curious how soon these bacteria migrate to the birth canal, or are they just kind of always there through pregnancy? I had to have a c-sect 6 weeks early, and am curious if this process would have been beneficial (I can’t imagine that it could have hurt!) but was wondering if the process of labor (which I never experienced) sort of signals this bacterial migration, or what. Just curious if you know anymore about this!

    Thanks again for your insight and sharing your experience with us 🙂
    ~Sarah

    • They are present throughout pregnancy. They do amp up during labor, but the benefits were still seen even with scheduled c-section moms 🙂

  9. I also had 2 C-sections, 1st unplanned, 2nd planned. I went into the first not knowing a thing and never would have dreamed I would have one. I am ok with gore but I don’t know how I would feel about seeing everything going on with me. I was thankful for the white sheet. My husband said it was pretty graphic. I am going to be honest, as much as I LOVE my children and loved it when they were babies…. it was hard on me.

    I was in pain. I was exhausted and I was scared. The post-partum care is sketchy for the first timer. For me, all the stuff with the babies came pretty natural and my kids are older now, so it seems like a memory. What I didn’t forget was how scared I was and how I was in pain trying to roll myself up at 2 am and get to the baby. I couldn’t move fast when chasing after my other son (he was still little when the 2nd baby was born). I just think there is more to tell. I wish I had better advice on how to care for myself during post partum and not feel guilty that I was also worrying about me. I mean, it’s a serious mental roller coaster…. Maybe your follow up can be post partum care and it’s ok to take care of yourself with a newborn, because it is. 🙂

  10. Thank you for this article. It made me cry. I’ve had 2 c -sections – the first was an emergency & the second elective. They were both traumatic ( although on paper everything went well) and it’s putting me off having a third baby. Ive spoken to many women and some but not all have been left feeling traumatised after & I wonder why I feel so emotional and damaged after the surgery? In retrospect I believe I was suffering from PND but everything from the spinal to recovery was terrifying to me & I couldn’t get the surgery out of my mind for a very long time. I have been advised to get hypnotherapy and to ask for anti anxiety drugs if I do decide to try for a third, just to help me through the process. Has anyone else tried these measures?

  11. Thank you so much for this article- My little one (born via c-section) is now three and I am pregnant with my second hoping for a natural vbac, but terrified about the possibility another c-section. This article gave me hope at some natural interventions should a c-section happen again. My son has some pet allergies and minor food allergies and also some trouble with eczema. I suspect his c-section birth contributed to this.

    Although I planned and desperately wanted a natural vaginal birth and did not even consider a c-section, my son was found breech in my 39th week (after no sign of being breech before and being head down at my 38th week appointment) and a planned c-section took place before I even went into labor. Hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I would have waited at least until I went into labor and tried to turn him- but my doctor scared me into thinking if I went into labor it would be dangerous to my baby- and the surgery was scheduled less than 24 hours after he was discovered breech so I did not have much time to prepare or research.

    This article also helped me realize (3 years of regret later) that I did have some natural blessings on my side for my c-section. I did have an arm “free” and met my son during the surgery (although he’d already been taken aside, tested, swaddled and capped). We did get skin to skin contact about an hour after surgery- and he was only breast fed. Thank you for making me realize these benefits- my memory only recalled the grief of my loss of a natural delivery and the horrors of recovery. And you’ve also given me more options to arm myself with should it happen again. Thank you Katie.

  12. Thank you so much for writing these 2 posts, Katie! Your blog is such a blessing to so many!!!

  13. Hello Katie,

    I am infected with HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) so from what I have read, I am supposed to have a cesarean in order to avoid passing the virus to my child. Can the “sterile gauze” be used in my case also? Is it true that I must have a C-section?

  14. When I 1st read the title of this I was like- What!? But actually this is the best article on c-sec I have ever read. I’m sorry you had to go through it- but God sure used it for good. Because of your experience how many women will be blessed? Because you did the research, and with your doula and personal experience I hope eventually the way they do c-sec will change. This article made me much more peaceful that if it ever came to a c-sec, I could mentally be prepared and not let the medical community make my decisions. I’m really liking your blog- so helpful so far. I’m gonna keep exploring. Be Blessed, and keep up the good work with the super quality content- that seems hard to find now-a-days. Content worth my time anyways. I got here because of the butter coffee recipe by the way- ha ha.

    • Thanks so much for the kind words and for reading. These articles are always the toughest to put out there because they are so personal and I really appreciate your comment 🙂

  15. Hi Katie,

    Thank you so very much for all this great and huge work you’re doing for those interested in a healthy lifestyle ! It is so much appreciated !

    I’d just want to ask if the “sterile gauze” works if infected with Strep B. If not, is there a natural approach to treat Strep B once you’re tested positive the 1st time it’s checked during pregnancy ?

    Thank you very much again !

    Daniela

  16. Do you have any insight as to whether the vaginal gauze can still be done if group b strep positive?

    • Great question. I’ll email about it, but I’d say that I’d personally do it and just avoid the mouth/nose as much.

      • Did you find any answer to the GBS+ question? Not that it matters now, but I had to go in for a c-section with a breech baby. I thought about doing the swab/gauze thing but didn’t think they would let me or I should do it since I was GBS+. Just wondering for future reference if you found an answer to this one. Thanks

        • Yep. Basically, I would still do it, but avoid the mouth and nose. I have also heard of moms sleeping with a baby blanket on their chest for a few days prior to birth and using that in place of the vaginal swab.

  17. Thank you so much for this post! I have tried unsuccessfully to implement some of these things in my past 3 c births. Now that there is documented evidence on it maybe my doctors will listen!

  18. Hi Katie,
    Firstly I want to say that your website has given me comfort, especially during my first pregnancy and during all my research.
    I had an emergency caesarian and I was very sad not knowing that I wasn’t passing on the good bacteria that I would have during a normal birth. I’m been meaning to do some reading on how to remedy it and stumbled across this article while looking for teething help on your website for my 3 month old.
    Your article suggested a solution during the caesarian, however is there anything I can do now given that I missed that opportunity?
    Thanking you in advance, Erin

    • Hi Erin, I wish I’d know this before my cesarean too! At this point, I just focus on supporting my little ones gut bacteria with broth, fermented foods, probiotics and time outside (or vitamin d).

  19. For those whose babies are in breech position, I would recommend moxibustion and acupressure/acupuncture on the pinky-toe.

    I vouch for acupuncture, as it was through that and Korean herbs (I went to a Korean Acupuncturist) that I was able to get pregnant, after a few years of trying with no luck. I was lucky enough to live close to an acupuncture University which made my treatments very affordable.

    • Wish it had worked for me. 10 acupuncture sessions and 3 moxa sessions later, still a breech baby.

  20. Hi Katie,
    This was a very interesting article and made me wonder about my own birth process. I had my son naturally, but I gave birth in a jacuzzi tub. My son didn’t have his first bath until he was 3 weeks old, and I remember thinking he was so clean and saw no reason to even give him a bath at that point, but just did because I had help at that time. That made me realize he basically had a bath immediately, so does having a water birth affect the ability to pass any of the good bacteria onto the baby? I am pregnant again and am due in July and know that the water was soooo helpful for my birth, but I want to make sure I am making the best decisions for my baby’s immune health. Thank you!

    • This is a really interesting question…

  21. Hi i will be going through my fourth c-section and i am ver nervous and scared…… ?what can i do.

  22. Hi Katie,

    I am anticipating an early c-section delivery and time in the NICU due to some complications with my pregnancy. My question is, if my baby will be receiving antibiotics in the NICU will this completely negate the passage of any good bacteria passed from the gauze? If so, is the good bacteria in the vagina during birth different than down the road? In other words, could I do the gauze myself after baby is discharged from the hospital and off all of the antibiotics?
    Thank you so much for sharing these ideas they were so helpful!

    • Good questions. I’m going to email a doctor and see what he thinks. I would think that an immediate transfer with the gauze would still be helpful since the antibiotics would be IV and the gauze would help culture the GI tract. You could also repeat once you get home though. Best of luck for delivery and quick recovery.

  23. Hi Katie,
    Thank you for such an interesting and informative article.
    I am expecting DCDA twins in December, and am considering an elective c-section due to a previous stillbirth at term.
    I was just wondering if delayed cord clamping was possible for twins in a c-section?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Congrats on your twins! I am not sure… You would want to talk to your doctor about that. Even with a single birth, some will do it but some may not. Definitely ask!

  24. Katie, I’ve wanted send you a note since first reading your wonderful blog a year ago. This post finally gave me the impetus to write it. We are currently pregnant with our third baby and trying to decide what type of birth is best for both me and baby. I’m high risk after losing our infant at 40 + 5 weeks last summer due to complications with the placenta and umbilical cord. My first daughter was born via emergency C-section, and little Saint Sophia was born via what I can only describe as a “crash” C-section. We’ll never know, but an elective C-section prior to my due date MAY have saved her life. Now having had two C-sections, we’re weighing the risks on all sides. I’ve been lucky with my recovery after both surgeries, but I desperately want to do what’s healthiest for little Theodore in this case. Sometimes I think that this is natural birth, but given our history, this is pretty terrifying. Reading your thoughts here — and knowing how naturally minded you are — yet feeling the gentle compassion of this article has eased my stress a bit if we do decide to go the surgical route. Thank you for the information about seeding (it was the gut biome that I worry about the most), so I’m grateful for this information to pass on to my MFM (Maternal and Fetal Medicine specialist — fancy speak for a high risk OB.) Luckily, my doctor is spectacular and is even open to a VBA2C, but we’re praying for guidance on what is best. Your words here have soothed my heart that it is OK if I do decide that a C-section is the way to go. THANK YOU!

    P.S. The fact that you are supplementing with an R. Paul curriculum in your homeschool is spectacular. 🙂 Prayers for you and your family from our home in Poland!

  25. Hey Katie,

    I love love LOVE this article – such an empowering and informative insight into how Caesarean Mamas can have an awesome birth experience. I wondered if I would be able to republish it in the Rockstar Birth Magazine? I have a Caesarean-specific issue coming out in December and would love more mamas to receive this info. The Rockstar Birth Magazine is a digital mag and available to members only (via the issuu platform) so the share will not affect your SEO rating as it will not come up in google.

    Either way, thanks so much for sharing your won personal experience. I believe pregnant mamas need more amazing insights like yours so they can rock their birth, their way.

    Cheers Shalome

    • Hi Shalome, I don’t allow my posts to be republished elsewhere. However, you can quote from an article as long as attribution is given and you link back to the original post. Thanks for reading!

  26. Thank you so much for this article. I hope all soon to be moms read it. I have had 2 c-sections. The first was with my little girl and it was unplanned and I too was un-prepared. I never even considered that I would need a c-section. After several hours of pushing and no baby the doctor recommended c-section(although baby’s heart rate was fine and she seemed to be tolerating labor ok). After delivery she was wisked off to the NICU and she and I were put on a strong antibiotic because there was maconeum in my uterus from labor. I had no skin on skin contact and they would not even let me leave my hospital room to see her or breastfeed her until almost 12 hours later. I was heartbroken. She had been bottle fed in the NICU and nursing was a struggle the entire time I breastfed her. My second baby was also a c-section but a planned one. It went a little more smoothly. I was able to hold him almost immediately after he was born and made sure all of the doctors and nurses knew I would be breastfeeding and not to give him a bottle. I definitely recommend all moms have 2 birth plans, one for vaginal delivery and one for c-section. And be sure your doctors know your wishes and will try to accommodate you. If they won’t, then find a doctor who will. I wish I had been more prepared.
    and p.s. I HATE how they strap your arms down and you can’t even move them or touch your baby when they show them to you after birth!

  27. Hello! I was told I had strep B, so for my 2 vaginal births, I was given antibiotics. That probably killed all the good bacteria too, didn’t it? 🙁 Are there any other options that you know of if someone has this? Thank you!

  28. Hi. I had 2 c-secs, the first one was a nightmare. They rushed me to the OR because the Dr. was at the end of her shift so she didn’t want to wait a second. They didn’t let my husband to at least kiss me, they took me thru a back door without informing him ofanything. He was so worried because no one was telling him why the rush?! In the OR, they also rushed the epidural and it went wrong, seems like they didn’t aim for the spinal cord, so I had breathing difficulties and my heart rates were all wrong. They got scared and in the middle of the drugs they started asking me lots of questions about my heart’s history but they never said or asked my husband about the incident. When my mom asked they said was nothing and is not in my Medical Record Notes. After that chaos, I passed 2 hours jumping in the bed, I couldn’t control my body and it was super painful, I guess that was a side effect of the epidural. After the Recovery, they had me drugged for 36 hours with Morphine and something else because I can’t remember those hours. I could not breatsfed my son, I tried so many options but nothing worked with him. He was always sick of his stomach, the first 6 months were a true nightmare, unil I met a Homeopathic Dr. Anyway for my 2nd c-sec, I was so scared that I didnt show up for the first appoinment, they set me for the c-sec at 37 weeks and I kept saying No until my 42 weeks, that I met this German Dr. and he truly heard me and understood my fears. He made the c-sec, they let my husband be inside with me at the OR holding my hands, as soon as the baby was out they placed him in my chest for like a minute and then daddy help to clean him and cutted his cord. Right after that he was back to my chest and nursed almost immediately and they never took him from my side, not even for his tests. A very different experience and beautiful under the circumstances. I wish I would know before about the microbes and the gauze technique.

  29. I’m wondering why seeding wasn’t demonstrated in this video and how this woman was allowed to have both an OB and a midwife in the room. As far as I know this isn’t a choice in Canada but would love to know more. Great article!

  30. Hi,
    I ended up with an emergency c-section after planning extensively for a drug-free birth. I say “drug-free birth” instead of “natural” because I want to include myself and other women who have had c-sections in the category of natural deliveries (you do what is best for your baby which is the most natural thing a momma can do!)

    I met with the surgeon before my surgery and stated that I wanted all the ingredients to a gentle c-section (skin to skin, immediate contact, lower curtain, baby weights and measures done after bonding time, etc). Nothing was honored.

    What is very important to remember a is that the pediatrician has to be on board. The surgeon did not communicate with the pediatrician so she did not honor our wishes either. Just a head’s up for anyone planning. And share with your husband or doula so they can be your voice in case of an emergency c-section.

  31. Would you be able to share any info you have on the procedure around immediate skin to skin when the baby comes out after c-section? I am hoping to not have one, but between a low lying placenta and a HSV virus I’ve decided it’s better to be educated than not.
    There is only one hospital to birth at here and they don’t do immediate skin to skin after c-section. When I brought it up with my midwife she didn’t know about it, and wasn’t sure how it would work to keep the Dr sterile after passing off babe.

  32. I am so fascinated that you were “allowed” to vaginally deliver two breech babies. I’ve had 3 c-sections. The first two babies were frank breech and I was given no option: automatic c-sections. By the time the 3rd baby came along, my doctor wouldn’t hear of a VBAC and my local midwives group wouldn’t see me because of my risks (protein S deficiency, thryroid disease, multiple miscarriages, etc.)

    I SO wish I’d explored other options instead of accepting my mainstream OB’s decision for a c-section. I didn’t know then half of what I know now as a much more natural mama.

    Thanks for spreading the word about natural options for natural mamas!

  33. I’ve had 2 C sections & will be having my 3rd shortly. My uterus is shaped differently so my babies don’t turn head down, they are breached. Both babies came early- my water breaks. I would like to do the bacteria gauze thing, but don’t know when to put it in….after my water breaks, does that mean the good bacteria “trickles” away? Should I put the gauze in as soon as my water breaks?

    • Good question. While I was waiting on my last little one (born vaginally but breech), I cultured a gauze each day (before labor/water breaking) and threw it out and made a new one if it wasn’t needed.