Clear Drapes Change the Way Moms Who Have C-Sections Meet Their Babies

This is a real game-changer for many moms.

By: Amanda Mushro
Mother touching hand of her newborn right after c-section

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Mother touching hand of her newborn right after c-section

Photo by: Westend61

Westend61

Is there anything sweeter than seeing your newborn’s face for the very first time? How about holding them in your arms? For moms who are delivering their babies via a C-section, that precious view and sweet snuggle may now come earlier thanks to changes in the operating room.

Typically, moms who undergo a cesarean will hear their baby’s first cries after they are born, but their first view of their baby may come a few minutes later. This can be really disappointing for any new mom; however, some hospitals are now opting to use partially clear drapes during the procedure to change the entire experience. While an opaque drape on the bottom blocks the incision from view, the top part is clear and lets the mom see her baby as soon as they are born.

Many moms-to-be are learning about these clear drapes thanks to viral pictures taken by doula and photographer Tracy Abney. “Watching my client see her baby as it was being born was such a sweet, sweet gift,” Abney wrote in the now viral pictures.

Photo by: Facebook: Tracy Abney

Facebook: Tracy Abney

“Clear drapes help the mother feel like she is part of the birthing process,” Abney said in an interview with Parents. “She can see her baby before it is taken to the warmer. She can see the baby when everyone else does, the moment the baby is born. She can match the sound of the baby’s cries while watching the quiver of the baby’s little chin.”

The clear drape is one part of the “gentle C-section” movement, which is changing the way doctor’s approach childbirth so mothers can begin bonding with their babies. While a C-section is still surgery, moms have their arms free during procedures without complications, allowing them to hold and even breastfeed their babies in the operating room.

For moms who are feeling squeamish about seeing the incision and the more surgical parts of the C-section, Abney says that the bottom part of the drape is still opaque; so, while the mom is lying down, all she will see is the beautiful sight of her baby being raised up.

Abney adds that her own experience with childbirth and a C-section was not positive. “Everyone saw my daughter before I did,” she told Parents. “I could hear her, but not see her. I didn’t see her until she was cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket, then she was taken away and I didn’t see her for a long time.”

Hopefully this trend towards a gentle C-section, skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and clear drapes will be adopted by more hospitals so moms and babies can immediately begin their bonding experiences.

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