Skin to skin at Caesarean Sections

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Skin to skin at Caesarean Sections

It’s extremely important that, whether it be a vaginal or Caesarean Section delivery, women and their partners have a positive birth experience. As well as providing a calm, supportive environment, we give practical help that adds to the experience for many women. We routinely offer women the chance to watch their birth with a mirror, and support people are welcome to watch too (and to take photos throughout).

At elective caesarean sections, alongside our paediatric colleagues, we often facilitate ‘skin-to-skin’ contact between mother and baby whilst we’re completing the surgical aspects of delivery. This is where a mother holds her unclothed newborn on her bare chest directly after birth. Skin-to-skin can be very beneficial, helping to regulate a baby’s temperature and calming both mother and child. It also enables colonisation of the baby’s skin with the mother’s beneficial bacteria, providing protection against infection and stimulating the release of hormones that assist with breastfeeding.

Women who deliver via a caesarean section can also be engaged and involved with their birth. Following elective caesareans, we offer new mothers the opportunity to breastfeed their baby in the surgical recovery area, with the assistance of their midwife. This early feed is important for establishing breastfeeding, and is a special time for mother-and-baby bonding. When a midwife is available, this is also possible after emergency caesarean sections.

You can always talk to your WOGS obstetrician about the kind of birth experience you are hoping to have. We will do everything we can to help you achieve a safe and positive experience.