08 September 2008

'Natural' birth is best?

Mothers who give birth naturally are more responsive to the cry of their baby than those who choose to have a Caesarean, American research suggests.

A research team at Yale carried out brain scans on 12 women two to four weeks after they had given birth - known as the early postpartum period.

Half had a Caesarean, the other half gave birth naturally.

The differences in brain activity were found in regions that not only appeared to influence a mother's response to her child, but also to regulate her mood.

It seems oxytocin, the 'love' hormone is a critical factor in the bonding process.

The researchers suggest that women who have caesareans should be encouraged to cuddle their babies straight after birth.

I think this is all a bit problematic. Sure we have known for quite a long time that oxytocin does a number of important things for birth and bonding. Yet, making sweeping claims on the basis of a sample of 12? Hmmm.

Anyone have a different experience? Did you have a caesarean? How was your bonding experience? Did you get to cuddle your baby straight away? If not, how long did you have to wait?

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7594282.stm

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had an emergency caesarian and wasn't allowed to cuddle my baby until at least an hour afterwards (too cold for her in the OP) - even though I wanted to earlier. I wouldn't have required any 'encouraging' as they put it. Even once I had been stitched up I had to wait a long time before being delivered back up to the birthing suite and my baby. During this time I was alone, paralysed and terribly frustrated at missing the first precious minutes with my daughter.

Bonding was difficult until I realised that I was traumatised by the birth and looked for help well over a year later (a gaping hole in the support system that this wasn't picked up much earlier)!

Now my daughter and I are a great team, and I'm finally a happy Mom. But I am very sensitive about the Caesarian / natural birth topic - sometimes for all the wishing in the world it doesn't work the way you want it to.

Caesarian Moms shouldn't be given the message that they are considered to be 'lesser' mothers because they couldn't give birth naturally. Instead the support systems should be improved to ensure that women receive extra moral support during and after a caesarian birth.

It seems to me that caesarian has become such a 'standard' procedure that the medical personnel involved have forgotten it is childbirth and a really, really significant time for that new mother and baby.

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