Unlike in a standard caesarean delivery, the barrier is lowered so that you can see your baby being born. The area is kept sterile in the same way but the baby is delivered more slowly. The obstetrician lifts out one shoulder and then another, slowly easing the baby out and fluid is squeezed out of the baby’s lungs as it is born.
The cord is usually cut very quickly in a caesarean section but during a natural caesarean, the cutting of the cord is delayed. NICE guidelines recommend delaying the cutting of the cord to allow all the foetal blood to move across into the baby’s body, which is important for oxygenation and iron stores and what would happen in nature.
With most caesarean sections it is perfectly possible for you to have skin to skin contact in theatre while the surgeons are stitching you up. Your midwife can talk to the anaesthetist to ensure any electrode/ monitoring equipment be moved away from your chest area to make room for your baby. All the assessments of the baby by the midwife and any injections, for example, Vitamin K, can be done while the baby is skin-to-skin contact with the mum. The baby can be weighed while the mum is gently moved off the operating table to a recovery bed and taken to the recovery room. At this time the birth partner can also hold and cuddle the baby.
Mums who previously had a tough birth and even post-natal depression have reported that a gentle mother-centred caesarean birth was wonderful and a healing experience. The difference in the surgical technique is small, but the experience is much better for mums and dads and probably more gentle for the baby too.