Reading this http://talkbirth.me/2012/03/28/birth-pause/ has put words to my own observations that had not yet become thoughts. “Birth Pause” sounds very poignant and relevant to what happens when a baby’s birth goes smooth and linear.
As a midwife I try always to check with mums-to-be if they want baby delivered onto their lower abdomen, most do and some want them wiped beforehand. Additionally baby stays there for at least a minute if active management has been chosen for birthing the placenta, which allows for the birth pause. But maybe to leave baby there in future, even once cord is cut instead of moving baby towards the breast would allow the mum to further inhale and exhale until she is ready herself to reach for her new baby (we are all different and our birth pauses will differ in timing for each individual and for each birth). This happens quite naturally when physiological management is chosen, as there is no reason for me to be moving baby unless asked or cord is short.
Additionally babies are known to crawl by reflex to the breast, this I have seen and it is quite amazing! So my new mantra will be “leave baby be for birth pause”.
Tell your friend, depending on what type of anaesthesia she has, if she is awake during the caesarean section she should be able to have skin-to-skin whilst they stitch her up – if she wants. As a Midwife I always suggest and facilitate skin-to-skin asap following a caesarean delivery (this was initially met with scepticism from other staff attending, in my new workplace, but generally they all think it rather neat now!).
Also I want to say that your friend is not surrendering at all, she just requires some additional help in the delivery of her baby girl. Quoting a very wise midwife; Mary Cronk. Isn’t it just wonderful that she can get that help!
So, this girlfriend of mine has always wanted a super crunchy, all natural, birth center birth. With her first pregnancy, she did her research, interviewed the local midwives, and made a birth plan. And then about half way through the pregnancy, the worst thing happened. Her water broke and she lost her baby girl.
Second pregnancy, she was all revved up to try again. She embraced hope, fell in love with her growing belly and the baby inside it, and made up her birth plan for her all natural, birth center birth. But wait! This baby was breech, and despite her best efforts (including the attempt of a very good OB to perform an external version–turn the baby from the outside so he could be born head first), he stayed that way. So my friend ended up having a cesarean birth. A very good cesarean, with her rainbow baby kept close by…
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