Wondering what a gentle c-section is and how you can have one? Find out everything you want to know about a gentle c-section birth plan and see if this is an option for you! If you are having a scheduled c-section and want to make it as natural as possible, then keep reading to get your gentle c-section checklist printable and be prepared for your gentle cesarean!
I have had 4 c-section deliveries….
And if I’m being completely honest with you, after every c-section, my heart ached a bit because it wasn’t a vaginal delivery.
I had no other option and I tried very hard to have 2 VBACs but God and my babies had other plans…and that’s okay!
Thankfully, all of my babies are healthy and my doctors were wonderful. There are a few things I would have liked to have done differently and I wish I knew more about the option to have a gentle c-section.
Here is everything you need to know about having a gentle c-section! Also, tips on what information you need to have a gentle c-section birth plan set up and ready for your medical team, even a gentle c-section birth plan printable!
All the tools you need to have a more natural cesarean birth you want!
What is a Gentle C-Section?
A gentle c-section, or otherwise known as a natural cesarean, is a c-section birth that uses many traits of natural vaginal birth. The surgery still takes place, however, the environment and aftercare of the baby are a bit different. (source)
Gentle Cesareans are becoming more and more common because of the benefits it has for both mother and baby!
Why Have a Gentle C-Section?
Studies show that women who have cesareans have less satisfactory childbirth and are more prone to postpartum depression, unsuccessful breastfeeding, and even bonding difficulties.
Therefore, doctors wanted to find a way to help mothers who have c-section deliveries receive some of the same benefits mothers who have vaginal births get.
What is the difference between a Gentle C-Section and a Regular C-Section?
Here are some of the differences between a gentle cesarean and a traditional c-section. With a gentle c-section:
- You can ask your doctor to use a clear curtain or lower the curtain that divides you from seeing your surgery if you wish.
- Some gentle c-sections allow calming music of your choice to be played during the procedure
- Request for an epidural or spinal block rather than general anesthesia
- Your significant other may be able to participate in cutting the baby’s cord
- Delayed cord clamping can also be offered as long as the baby and mom are healthy and their medical team approves it. To learn more about the benefits of delayed cord-clamping, click here.
- Mother has skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible right after the baby is removed from the uterus for early breastfeeding and bonding.
- Testing and newborn assessments are delayed so mom and baby can get to know each other.
- You can have your Doula or MidWife present to assist you or take photographs if allowed by the hospital.
- You can request to have pain medication that isn’t too strong after your surgery so you’re aren’t sedated and are able to breastfeed your baby and be more alert after your delivery.
- You may be able to wear your own robe or gown instead of the hospital gown they provide.
How Can I Have a Gentle C-Section?
All you have to do is talk to your doctor about it! Let your doctor know ahead of time about your gentle c-section birth plan!
It is becoming more and more common today than ever before.
My doctor and nurses never mentioned any of this to me. However, they knew how I felt about breastfeeding my baby as soon as I could and made sure it was possible for me to do so. They were also great about my requests for less severe pain medication after my surgery.
Remember, always check in with your doctor first to see if they allow this and if you don’t have any medical complications first.
If you are high risk or have had previous problems giving birth, many of these options may not be available to you. It all depends on your doctor and hospital.
You’ll also want to consider what is comfortable for not only you but your doctor as well, so they can do their job without any distractions. (For instance, maybe heavy metal or hardcore techno music in the background isn’t the best choice LOL)
If you have a doula or midwife, they can assist you with this process and help you discuss this with your doctor. I honestly wish I knew more about a gentle cesarean so I could have opted for one.
The most important thing is making sure baby and mom are healthy, so always listen to your doctor and see what they recommend first and go from there!
Gentle C-Section Checklist
Here is a list of everything you need on your gentle c-section checklist!
Click this link for a gentle c-section birth plan printable and keep it for yourself to use! Below is a copy of the checklist so you can see what you get!
From My Experience
As I mentioned earlier, I had 4 c-section deliveries. My very first one was an emergency, therefore, having a gentle cesarean my first time was not an option for me.
I tried having a VBAC with my second and third pregnancies and both times I wasn’t able to.
The one thing that I wish I could’ve changed with my c-sections was how long the wait was from the time they took my baby out of my uterus until the time I got to hold them.
I felt like this was an eternity! I so badly wanted to hold my baby immediately and didn’t know a gentle c-section was even a possibility at the time.
As soon as my medical team had my baby all checked out and weighed, I was able to hold him or her for as long as I wanted. However, some of the pain medicine they gave me, made me incredibly itchy after two of my deliveries. I also experienced crazy chills which made it hard for me to hold my baby.
It broke my heart but at least my husband had the chance to hold them. After about an hour, my chills wore off and I was able to care for my babies and breastfeed them.
For my last c-section, I wasn’t allowed to try for a VBAC. I talked to my doctor about my concerns with the epidural I received during my previous deliveries and how I wasn’t a fan of it.
We planned for a spinal block instead and it worked out much better! The medication wore off about an hour after my surgery and I was able to breastfeed my newborn without feeling so “out of it” so to speak.
Every woman’s experience is different but if there’s one thing I learned, I didn’t like the medication they gave me. If you’re trying to breastfeed your baby, you want to be awake and aware of what you’re doing as much as possible. Having a gentle c-section will help a great deal with these issues!
One good thing that worked out that was similar to a gentle c-section, was that my husband was able to cut the cord after two of my c-sections.
Having your partner cut the cord is also a nice option with a gentle c-section. You can have it delayed and once you or your significant other are ready to cut the cord and your doctor allows it, they can be a part of this process!
Here’s a photo of my husband cutting my son’s cord after my c-section with him.
Worried about breastfeeding your baby after a c-section? Click here or the photo below for more information!
C-Section Postpartum Tips
After your c-section, you will feel totally wiped out. Talking to your doctor beforehand about the type of pain medication they give you is important if you want to breastfeed successfully and be more aware of the first important postpartum hours!
Once you get home, stay on top of your ibuprofen, and be sure to take it every 6 hours as needed! If you’re interested in a more natural pain reliever, some moms swear by using Arnicare rather than ibuprofen.
For more tips on how to recover fast from a C-Section, click here or the photo below!
Final Thoughts on Gentle C-Section Birth Plan
Having a scheduled c-section isn’t always what we plan but when it’s best for our babies, then that’s all that matters!
Luckily, there are ways to have a more natural, gentle c-section and get some of the benefits of vaginal birth as well.
I hope this post helped some of you decide if a gentle cesarean is right for you and prepare you to talk to your doctor about it!
What to read next…..
- What to pack in your hospital bag for your scheduled c-section
- 14 Things to Expect From a Scheduled C-section: Tips I wish I knew before my first cesarean delivery
- C-Section Recovery Tips: Find out what postpartum essentials you need to recover fast from a mom who did it 4 times!
- Third Trimester Checklist For a Planned C-section