If you’ve never heard of a “natural C-section,” hold on to your chair. C-sections often get a bum rap for a number of reasons, but a British mom wants to change that.
That’s why Sarah Saunders posted a video on YouTube of her natural cesarean. You are definitely going to want to watch it. The video, which was posted in February 2015, has been viewed nearly 1.4 million times.
British OB and Professor Nick Fisk pioneered this approach that some call “groundbreaking”—it's meant to allow parents to feel more involved in the birth. In many cases with C-sections, birth can feel a little, well … surgical.
After noting the rising rate of C-sections in England about a decade ago, Fisk wondered why the medical community hadn’t made any advances in making the birth experience more meaningful for those who needed a C-section for whatever reason.
So how does this natural cesarean work? The doctor cuts the incision, just as with any C-section. The umbilical cord is left intact, while the doctor helps the baby’s head emerge from the incision.
According to Fisk, when the baby is making its way out of the incision, it’s still attached to the umbilical cord and placenta, so the baby continues receiving oxygen that way—whereas, with a traditional C-section, the cord is cut and baby is removed promptly so it can begin breathing on its own.
As the doctor said in a 2005 interview with The Guardian, “By leaving the baby’s body inside the uterus for longer once the head is out, the body is squeezed and you see the lung liquid coming out of the baby’s nose."
As you can see, the baby literally wiggles its way out of the incision after getting a little guided help from the doctor to get his shoulders out. What happens next is pretty freakin' amazing.
The parents are instructed not to touch the baby until they pass him to the mother for bonding, since the incision area needs to stay as sterile as possible. But the end result is that the mom gets to hold her baby to begin bonding almost immediately.
On YouTube, Saunders wrote that she wanted to share her experience because "if you are unable to give birth 'naturally' ... having a natural caesarian is the next best thing!" She noted that the experience is one she'll cherish forever.
Of course, the idea of a natural C-section is really only plausible when you’re not having an emergency C-section. For moms who don’t want to have the baby-turning procedure known as ECV, this could be a great alternative for a less "surgical" birthing experience.