Category Archives: C-section

A healthy baby is not all that matters … by Milli Hill Gentle c-section

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From webpage with links to author – Milli Hill and publication:  

You’ve just given birth. You had a tough time and you’re not sure how you feel – but your body hurts and there are some memories floating around that you’d rather forget. As you hold your newborn and greet the stream of well-wishers, there’s one phrase you’re almost certain to hear: “All that matters is a healthy baby.”

This phrase is repeated so often it has almost become a cliché. New mothers hear it over and over, usually the moment they begin to open up and say that having their baby was difficult or even traumatic. Sometimes they even find they are saying it themselves: “Giving birth was awful, but at least I got my healthy baby, that’s all that matters.”

And this is wrong. Because a healthy baby is not ALL that matters.

This article might push your buttons so before we go on I want to ask you to stay calm, grab a cuppa and keep your wig on. I need to be very very clear, because I know from experience that talking about this issue can cause an outcry. So please listen carefully. The following sentence is crucial:

When a woman gives birth, a healthy baby is absolutely completely and utterly the most important thing.

Got that? OK – do not adjust your wig, there’s more…

It is not ALL that matters.

Two things – just to repeat: a healthy baby is the most important thing, AND it is not all that matters.

Women matter too. When we tell women that a healthy baby is all that matters we often silence them. We say, or at least we very strongly imply, that their feelings do not matter, and that even though the birth may have left them feeling hurt, shocked or even violated, they should not complain because their baby is healthy and this is the only important thing.

Not only do we turn a blind eye to the woman’s feelings, but by gaily proclaiming everyone ‘healthy’ we also ignore the complex relationship between mother and baby, and the impact of the birth experience on the future mental and physical health of both of them.

Too often women who say they care about the details of their baby’s birth day are accused of wanting an ‘experience’, as if it is selfish to care about how their baby is born, how they feel or how they are treated. But, as the saying goes, ‘when a baby is born, so is a mother’. If a mother feels broken, dispirited, depressed or traumatised, how will this affect her baby? Is this healthy?

A good birth doesn’t have to be a hippy dippy ‘natural’ birth, all candles, knitting midwives and placenta smoothies. Many women who have hospital births that don’t go the way they planned and end in interventions such as caesareans, report feeling positive about what happened. This is because how a woman is spoken to and treated as she has her baby is much much more important than the actual mode of delivery.

Women need to feel that they have been consulted, respected and given the information they need to make free choices in the best interest of themselves and their child. This allows them to begin motherhood feeling strong, capable and mentally healthy – surely the best way to be when you are about to be given another human being’s fragile developing psychology to hold tenderly in the palm of your hand?

Birth matters. To be respected, to be treated with dignity, to be in control of what happens to our bodies. To really feel the power of bringing a new life into the world – no matter whether in theatre or at home in a birth pool – why is it so wrong for women to want this?

Some women ask for a ‘woman-centred’ caesarean. This means a caesarean in which things are done differently, only slightly, but different nevertheless. Doctors keep their voices low. Music of choice can be played. The screen is lowered for the woman to watch the birth, if she so wishes. Wires usually attached to her chest are instead put on her back, so that baby can be placed immediately on her for skin-to-skin contact. The atmosphere is kept reverent, respectful. Why?!

Because birth, no matter how it happens, is important. It is a huge event in a woman’s life that she will remember in great detail for as long as she lives. We don’t have much ‘spirituality’ these days, but even for the most cynical of us, the moment when a new human being takes their first breath is a special and significant one. And yes, being there and being a part of it, is an ‘experience’.

Video Link  Natural C-section

Some reading this might feel this is nonsense. They don’t want a spiritual experience, or a rite of passage, or essential oils or a statue of a goddess. They don’t want the curtain lowered so they can see either, they just want the baby out safe and sound, and that’s fine too. Women are many and varied; birth can be many and varied too and should, ideally, be just as each woman wants it.

What we do know is that many women DO care about what happens to them when they have their baby, but that they find it hard to talk about these feelings in a culture which persistently tells them that they really shouldn’t, and that what goes on in the delivery room is always acceptable as long as everyone survives.

Taken to the extreme, this idea that the woman does not matter as long as the baby is healthy can create an environment in which her autonomy over her own body is completely lost. If there is even a very small risk to the baby, what is justifiable? Recently, we have seen more and more reports of enforced caesareans, putting me in mind of the story – hilarious and awful both at once – of Dr Donal O’Sullivan, who famously declared on Irish radio in 1996 that if a woman wanted a home birth, her husband ought to put a bridle on her and ‘drive’ her to hospital like cattle.

Extreme, perhaps, but if we continue to repeat that a healthy baby is all that matters, we open the doors for all manner of undignified or even abusive treatment to happen to women in the quest for absolute safety. We reduce a woman to being a mere ‘vessel’ for her child, and we quickly silence anyone who wishes to protest against any aspect of their care that they didn’t feel comfortable with.

A healthy baby is the most important thing, and it is not all that matters.

Respect, consent, choice, dignity – all that matters too.


Milli Hill birth writer

© Milli Hill

Writer Milli Hill

BestDaily columnist Milli Hill is the founder of The Positive Birth Movement. You can read more from Milli here:

I was not allowed: the words that steal our birth power

What’s behind our birth fear – and how to lose it

The Positive Birth Movement is launching a new project, All That Matters. They want to hear women’s stories of what mattered to them when they were giving birth, apart from a healthy baby. To find out more visithttp://www.positivebirthmovement.org/all-that-matters-project.htmlor find the project on Twitter @atmprojectpbm

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Bengkung Belly Binding

Wrapping the Belly …

A sacred belly wrap provides the mamas postpartum body with 360 degree support to assist the abdominal wall, help muscle retraction, improve posture, stabilise loosened muscles/ligaments, it provides support to the torso while vital organs are returned to their pre-pregnancy size and position.  In 6 – 8 weeks the postpartum mama will find that her body will gently shrink and she will start to recover a little quicker.

Using the most wonderful warming paste on the tummy and then gently wrapping a protective layer over this before adding the belly bind.  This supports the pelvic area, which is very important in the immediate weeks after birth, the belly bind helps the expanded pelvis to gently and more easily “close”.

The belly bind helps heal diastatsis recti (the expansion & separation of the linea alba) via the constant supportive pressure on the abdomen area.  As these muscles separate their strength is reduced and this can lead to back pain.  The condition can occur where the abdominal muscles were weak prior to pregnancy.  It’s vital that the abdominal wall returns to its pre-pregnancy location to protect internal organs & properly support the torso.

Posture is greatly affected as the baby grows larger in the womb.  The combination of the kyphotic  / lordotic posture results in the classes “S” shaped spine of a pregnant woman and a direct result of a shifting centre of gravity.  This shifting can affect the woman’s nervous system and cause aching, weakness and numbness in the body.

Pelvic floor provides balance, body stabilisation and vital organ support.  The pelvic floor is the base of the core muscle system attaching to the abdominal muscles & the sacroiliac joint.  Hormonal changes stretch the ligaments during pregnancy which loosens the structure of the pelvic floor.  After the birth the pelvic floor can remain loose & unstable.  The pelvic floor supports the lower intestine, colon & bladder which may be less supported during the postpartum period.  One of the reasons why some women have incontinence when they cough, sneeze or laugh after birth.

Thus the belly bind supports the back & helps relieve back pain, it helps to reduce the strain in lifting & carrying  a baby and can with regular use help support the body during the postpartum period.

Begin a soon as giving birth, definitely from day 5 through to day 40.  Great for both vaginal births and c-sections.  Major benefit to wrapping post section is the support the muscles around the incision receive, protects the incision and helps reduce pain.  Plus the mother has mobility and therefore can be active whilst recovering during the first few weeks.

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Shyjus’s C-section technique

Video Link

This is absolutely amazing …

Published on Jan 1, 2013

No Force…No forceps…Get more ‘Natural’ with your Caesarean section with Shyjus’s technique of Naturalised Caesarean section…..
An effortless baby delivery technique used at a Caesarean section,where the uterus is made to contract with the help of Oxytocin infusion and expel the baby by itself just like a normal delivery, with least amount of manipulation from the Obstetrician or assistant. In this technique baby almost ‘walks out’ of the Uterus rather than being pulled out. This technique also avoids the use of Fundal pressure and use of Obstetric forceps at a Caeasarean section. Formulated and presented by Dr. Shyjus, Asst. Professor,Department of OBG,MES Medical college, Perinthalmanna, Kerala
Also watch this link to know more about it………..http://youtu.be/qT9Dynu0cRU