Moms now able to see their baby’s very first moments during C-section

SASKATOON – It’s something that has never been experienced in operating rooms before, until now. A clear drape option during caesarean sections will allow a mother to see her baby the moment he or she is born.

A simple switch that is making a world of difference to families who can now experience the birth as opposed to it just feeling like a procedure. Basically, the drapes serves as a wide open window to your baby’s very first moments of life instead of being obstructed by a solid blue drape.

“Before, really you had to wait until the baby’s cord was cut so the baby could be lifted up for mom to see so it’s an opportunity for her to see the baby actually being born,” said Leanne Smith, director of maternal services with the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR).

Royal University Hospital (RUH) is the first medical centre in Saskatchewan to offer this option. Eight weeks ago it was first made available to couples but only a select few because the region had a hard time finding a Canadian supplier that stocks clear drapes.

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“We actually never did so we went to one of our supplier and said could you make us drapes so they made us some prototypes which we’ve trialled and now we’ve got them on order,” add Smith.

It’s an emerging birthing trend known as a “family-centred caesarean.” Officials say doctors will begin to offer them once more drapes arrive. In the meantime, a couple can always request it.

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So far half a dozen families have been able to experience this type of birth at RUH. Obstetric teams who have been witness to this magical moment between mom and baby say they’ve been brought to tears.

Saskatoon residents polled on the street all said they were very supportive of this new clear-drape caesarean.

“There’s no right or wrong way to birth a baby and if you’re giving those options for families to be able to participate and experience it as they would like to I think that that’s key,” said Candice Kloeble, who was out for a stroll with her nine-month-old baby Violet.

Nearly one-quarter of all births in the SHR are by caesarean section or approximately 12-hundred babies a year. According to Smith 40 per cent are scheduled C-sections, the rest unexpected.

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The six couples offered this more positive birthing experience were all planned C-sections but officials say that could change depending on the complexity of the case and as long as the family is interested.

“It’s not for everyone but the people who have chosen to have the clear drape at their birth have been very excited about it and it was really a meaningful delivery for both them and the team,” said Smith.

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