5 Things to Know About Gentle C-Section

A father holding his newborn for skin-to-skin contact

We sat down with nurses Patricia Constanty, Deborah Cruz and Nancy Parks from our Labor and Delivery department here at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to learn about what makes a gentle cesarean section different from the standard.

1. So, how does a gentle C-section differ from a standard C-section?

Parks: During a gentle C-section, the mother can view the birth of her child. The top half of the drape that normally blocks the mother’s view of the surgery is transparent. The bottom half is still opaque as to not let her see the incision. Only with the patient’s permission is the drape lowered for view of the delivery.

2. What are the benefits of a gentle C-section?

Cruz: This form of C-section allows moms to feel more connected to the birth of her baby. She can view the baby as he/she is born.

3. Is skin-to-skin still possible?

Cruz: It is sometimes difficult to do skin to skin in the Operating Room due to the typically cool temperature of the room; however, when conditions are favorable, mothers can have that contact with their baby in the recovery room, which is only feet away in the next room. When skin-to-skin with mom is not possible, dads or partners can step into action.

4. What are the risks with gentle C-section?

Parks: We really haven’t discovered any. When we have difficult births, we conduct as standard C-section.

5. Is this a common practice?

Constanty: Gentle C-sections are now standard at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. There are more serious cases, in which there are concerns for the mother or baby, where there is a need for the surgery to be performed in a more expedient manner. In those instances, we would not offer to have the mother and support person view the actual delivery.

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