CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (NBC News) – The clinical nature of Cesarean sections can make moms feel like they’re having an organ removed rather than bringing life into the world.
Now some hospitals are doing what they can to make C-sections more family-friendly and more like natural deliveries.
Upbeat music set the vibe for Rebecca Cook’s fourth C-section.
“I had my doula was who was allowed to be with me, rubbing my eyes and my head to relax me, I had my husband manning the music station,” she recalls.
It’s a sharp contrast from a typical C-section, where hopeful mothers become surgical patients strapped down with blood pressure and heart monitors to move around much.
The experience leaves many women feeling out of control and disconnected from the birth experience.
“I had felt cheated previously,” Cook says. “I didn’t get an opportunity the minute my baby was born to connect with my baby, and this time I did.”
“Family-focused C-sections” are a growing trend at hospitals like Brigham and Women’s in Boston. EKG and blood pressure monitors are rearranged on the mother’s body so she’s not as restrained.
“We try to place the monitors in such a way that the mother has an arm which is totally free to interact with the baby,” explains anesthesiologist Dr. Bill Camann.
Perhaps the most striking change is the addition of a clear drape so mom can witness the birth of her child, unheard of in tradition C-sections.
“To actually lay my hand on his head, even though it was through the drape, was as a mother the best feeling you can have because it’s letting your child know that you’re there,” Cook says.
Dad was there too, getting skin-to-skin contact with his new baby, a son named Wyatt.
It’s an immediate family bond, regardless of the method of delivery.