Monday, November 30, 2009


I thought I'd take a few minutes to summarize the previous five posts as they have all been links.

The links are to numerous writers including a doula, a birth educator, academics and patients all suggesting that cesarean sections can be done in a way that results in a better experience for the birthing woman.

Based on the reading I have done, links mentioned and my personal experience would like to suggest that all women considering childbearing give at least a little thought to the potential of having a cesarean in order to advocate for their wishes should one become necessary.

In hindsight it would have been helpful for me to have thought about the following so that I could have advocated for myself:

My wish to view the birth by mirror or lowering the screen.
Asking to have the surgery described for me.
How I wished to have the moment of birth announced.
Asking for a view to the pediatric area.
Asking to have the newborn exam delayed until I had met my baby.

Also I feel extremely lucky that I was allowed the chance to:
Have skin to skin contact in the OR.
Breastfeed in the OR.

I'm sure not everyone wants the same things as me. Maybe the last thing some women would like is to have surgery described to them. Still having considered that in advance and being able to ask the attendants to use distraction techniques would help personal choice enter a situation where loss of control can be very overwhelming.

I know I spent more time considering genetic testing then I did having a cesarean, yet my risk of baby having a genetic abnormality was significantly less then the more then 1 in 4 chance Canadian women have of having a cesarean.

For me it came down to an emergency situation, everything moved very quickly and now I see how a little more prep could have saved me much heartache.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Faceless Caesarean

Above is a call to action to help better cesarean experience from:

The Faceless Caesarean by Caroline Oblasser.
"Caesarean mothers in words and photographs"

I found this book fascinating and I'm glad that it exists because more people need to know the truth about Cesareans. Women's own narrative accounts are so helpful in understanding what it's really like. Also by interviewing 162 women this book is one of the few firsthand authorities I've found on what women want when surgical birth IS necessary.

The photos are also very powerful.

Her book is available at

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Natural Cesarean

I've got to say there are some things I just love about the web. Thanks to Karen, who left a comment on one of my posts I have been researching Prof. Fisk who is pioneering "Natural Cesareans". Yay! Now all we need to do is get this info out there.

The natural caesarean: a woman-centred technique
J Smith,a F Plaat,b and NM Fiska

"Although much effort has gone into promoting early skin-to-skin contact and parental involvement at vaginal birth, caesarean birth remains entrenched in surgical and resuscitative rituals, which delay parental contact, impair maternal satisfaction and reduce breastfeeding. We describe a ‘natural’ approach that mimics the situation at vaginal birth by allowing (i) the parents to watch the birth of their child as active participants (ii) slow delivery with physiological autoresuscitation and (iii) the baby to be transferred directly onto the mother's chest for early skin-to-skin. Studies are required into methods of reforming caesarean section, the most common operation worldwide."
Please cite this paper as: Smith J, Plaat F, Fisk N. The natural caesarean: a woman-centred technique. BJOG 2008;115:1037–1042.

Here is a link to an abstract of his article, and a chance to download to the whole thing:

Here is a link to an magazine article about this new procedure.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Planning a Good Cesarean

Here is a link to a

UK Midwifery Archives page titled "Planning a Good Caesarean Section"

It's amazing how much I can relate to the stories, particularly the first complaint of "Karen, 33"
Who writes:
"Things that didn't help:
Not being given the choice to see my daughter being born. I would have liked the screen to be down so I could see but this wasn't offered - and at the time I was too concerned for my daughter's welfare to even think of it but would have said yes if asked."

Also pretty amazing is the story by "Tikki" she sais:

"I read a magazine article about a woman in the UK who birthed her own baby with a C/S! The surgeon asked her to reach down to feel the baby's head, and she just started to pull, and he let her! There's active involvement."

I am starting to imagine a time when disconnected "sheet-up cesareans" are as passe as lifting the baby up by it's heels and smacking it's bottom!

Spiritual Cesareans

Here is another link I found.
It's about doula care for cesarean sections .
It's the reflections of a doula who took a day course with Lanell Coultas about attending cesareans.

I wonder how many hospitals allow for doula care during cesareans?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spiritual Cesareans

The term "spiritual cesarean" popped into my mind a few days ago, so this morning I searched the web. This link is to the Birthing From Within website and I thought it started to address the idea I feel forming. Definitely worth a read.