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Patients who request a cesarean section have the option of getting a gentle C-section, a new practice used at Children's & Women's Hospital to provide a more comfortable environment.

Published Jun 30th, 2021

By Brittany Otis

For women who have a scheduled cesarean section (C-section), USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital is offering a more comfortable environment for the patient by providing gentle C-sections.

A C-section is the delivery of a baby through incisions in the abdomen and uterus. During a gentle C-section, some of the options provided to the patient are aromatherapy oils, music of their choice, dim lights, with spotlights on the surgical area, and a request for staff members to use low voices during the procedure.

Newborns also will benefit from the new practice. Skin-to-skin contact, where the baby is placed on the mother’s chest as a chance to bond, and breastfeeding are initiated immediately after delivery, if the newborn is healthy. In traditional C-section cases, immediate skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding are not guaranteed practices. The goal is to make the operating room feel similar to the labor and delivery room.

“By implementing gentle C-sections as a standard of care, we allow our patients to take ownership of the procedure,” said Nicolette Holliday, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist with USA Health. “This is one of the most vulnerable times in a woman’s life. She’s having an operation where she is awake and can’t tell what’s happening to her. By being able to have a relaxed environment, it brings more control over the experience.”

Cesarean sections are one of the most common procedures performed on women in the United States. The benefits and risks should be discussed with your physician.

“We continue to personalize the experience at our hospital, whether it’s for a C-section or vaginal birth,” Holliday said. “We are dedicated to patient-centered care that exceeds their needs and expectations.”

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