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The birth of a baby is always a special moment for a family. Surgery, on the other hand, is something that requires the specific skills of a medical team when it is a complex surgery, it requires all their concentration, but when the operation is routine, it may carry the air of an every-day chore. It is no wonder then, that c-sections cause some trouble for many families who give birth that way. That special event and the surgery often don't combine very well in the mind, even if the surgery is life saving. But, could there be a better way to have a c-section?

You only have to visit a few parenting forums to find out that tons of women who gave birth by c-section somehow feel robbed. Instead of a magical moment, their birth was full of fear (for emergency c-sections) or had the atmosphere of a routine operation during which surgeons and supporting staff went through the motions. Doctors and nurses will hold your baby before you do, and you may not feel like an active participant at all.

Well enter the family center, or "natural" c-section. The concept was "invented" by a British doctor, Nicholad Fisk, who noticed many women were not satisfied with a cold approach to birth, even if they had a c-section. So, what is this natural c-section business all about? About respect for the birthing woman, her baby and her family. If you are having a planned c-section for whatever reason (elective repeat c-section, breech baby, placenta previa, for instance), a family centered birth may be an option for you too. Expect being told what is going on all through the process, and watch your baby's (slow, gentle) birth after your abdomen has been opened and the surgical drape is lowered.

"Natural" cesareans may take longer than their traditional equivalent, because a slower extraction of the baby allows the uterus to clamp down on his body and squeeze some of the fluids out of his lungs, helping to prevent complications post-birth. Mothers who have a family centered cesarean section may have the opportunity to hold their baby immediately, and can enjoy skin to skin contact as nurses carry out the newborn assessment right on their chests. In addition, lights can be dimmed and music can be played. The family centered c-section is certainly something that can make the experience of birth much more pleasant for many families. If you are interested, talk to your OB about the possibilities. You may also like to read, Can you have a VBAC after two c-sections?

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