The concept of Gentle Cesarean section, where infants are immediately placed on mother's chest in the operating room after birth, is not new. However, this concept is new for Rhode Island! This process of skin to skin contact in the operating room is important for mother-infant bonding, prevention of post partum depression, breastfeeding initiation and success, and overall experience for a family when birth must take place in the operative setting.
Memorial Hospital has pioneered this effort in the state, and they have been performing Gentle Cesarean for over a year now. Drs. John Morton and Susanna Magee, an obstetrician and a family physician, in conjunction with nursing and operating room staff, pediatric and anesthesia colleagues, first implemented Gentle Cesarean in late 2009. They presented their first experiences with patients and Gentle Cesarean at the at the Rhode Island International Cesarean Awareness Chapter (ICAN) meeting in April of 2009. Since then, the positive response has been overwhelming. Patients are enjoying time with their babies immediately, and women are even seeking out providers at the hosptial to provide their OB care when they are planning a cesarean section. Now all women who have a cesarean for any reason may experience Gentle Cesarean as long as there are no neonatal complications preventing skin to skin contact.