Family-Centered C-sections: A New Birthing Experience (Video)

(VIDEO: Watch gynecologists/obstetricians Patricia Perfetto, M.D., and Alberto Sirven, M.D., speak about the family-centered c-section birthing experience offered at West Kendall Baptist Hospital.)

One out of three babies in the U.S. are born by “cesarean section,” making c-section the most common surgery in the country. As Rina Verschoor prepared to welcome her second child at the Family Birthing Suites at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, a quick look around her hospital room gave a glimpse into the special touches intended to personalize the c-section birthing experience that’s typically treated like a regular surgical procedure, rather than one of life’s most memorable moments.

The subtle personal touches are atypical of most maternity hospitals. At West Kendall Baptist Hospital, the amenities are part of efforts to transform the experience of delivering babies by c-section into special family-centered birthing moments.

The private, spacious labor and delivery suite is decorated in warm wood tones and brightened by natural light streaming in from a large window, with “Welcome baby Samuel” written on the white board of patient information, a keepsake silver baby spoon, and a “birthday cake” made out of stacked diapers. All of these features help create a warm, welcoming environment for mom, dad and baby-to-be.

“I am anxious and excited to see him,” Ms. Verschoor said from her labor and delivery bed. “I think it’s very important to give the baby that warmth from his mother to create a deeper bond. I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time with him right after birth. To be able to have him with me, lay him on my chest right away, is going to be great.”

A native of Colombia, Ms. Verschoor is also mother to 18-month old daughter Gabriella, who was born via c-section in a regular operating room at a hospital in Texas.  She looked forward to having a different experience with the birth of son Samuel and she felt grateful for the chance to stay with him, instead of being separated from him for the typical three-to-four hour, post-operative period of time that a mother and baby are traditionally separated after c-section surgery.

Birth vs. Surgery – Creating a Difference

Once prepped for the c-section and ready to deliver, the hospital’s birthing suites team transported Ms. Verschoor a short distance down the hall to a dedicated c-section operating room housed on the same floor as her and delivery suite.  After the approximate 10-minute surgery to deliver the newborn, baby Samuel and father Noel traveled a few feet into a recovery room where nurses took the baby’s vital signs, and the newly expanded family waited for mom to join them.

Separated from them for only a few minutes while being sutured, Ms. Verschoor joined her newborn and his dad less than 10 minutes after the c-section in the recovery room, where she initiated skin-to-skin contact with Samuel and immediately started to breastfeed him.

Mother-baby Bonding Critical to a Healthy Newborn

“Skin-to-skin contact between mothers and their newborns is critical for bonding,” said Patricia Perfetto, M.D., a gynecologist/obstetrician affiliated with West Kendall Baptist Hospital and South Miami Hospital who delivered baby Samuel. “The physiological connection helps regulate the baby’s respiratory and circulatory systems and body temperature, as well as spur chemical reactions that tell the mother’s body it’s time to create milk for breastfeeding.”

Early maternal-infant skin-to-skin contact significantly enhances the success of first breastfeed and encourages effective continued breastfeeding, according to several studies published in international medical and academic journals such as Pediatrics and Australian College of Midwives.

The family-centered c-section experience at West Kendall Baptist Hospital’s Family Birthing Suites follows a two-year initiative to encourage breastfeeding among new mothers, which is part of the hospital’s efforts to meet “baby friendly” hospital criteria set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  All Baptist Health hospitals that offer maternity services – Baptist, South Miami, Homestead and West Kendall Baptist Hospitals – have committed resources to support baby-friendly initiatives.

“The first hours after birth are some of the most precious moments for mother and baby, and research is showing the benefits of keeping the immediate family together as well,” said Sonya Clayton, R.N., supervisor of the nursing staff at West Kendall Baptist Hospital’s Family Birthing Suites. “We are thrilled to bring patient-family centered care to the maternity unit to help create new and improved birthing experiences for our patients.”

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

Language Preference / Preferencia de idioma

I want to see the site in English

Continue In English

Quiero ver el sitio en Español

Continuar en español