Houston Methodist offers ‘family-centered' C-sections

About 1 in 3 births in the U.S. is a cesarean section

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - About one in three births in America is a cesarean section, but some moms feel there is a disconnect because it's not quite the same bonding experience as a traditional delivery.

Houston Methodist is now offering what they call a "family-centered" c-section, which evidence shows is better for mom, dad and baby.

"Women who've had c-sections, they feel left out," Houston Methodist OB/GYN Dr. Hailey Hall said. "They feel like they have not gotten that experience."

Having had two c-sections, Seabrook mom Keri Stankavich was ready to try something different with her third child, William.

"I said, 'Sure! Of course! 100 percent! I definitely want to try it,'" Stankavich told Local 2.

Dr. Hall said with the family-centered approach, dad is right next to mom during the entire procedure.

Then the drape can be lowered at the couple's request when it's time for baby to come out.

"We try to replicate the vaginal delivery in that aspect, but they don't really see the procedure itself," Dr. Hall explained. "They get to see the delivery of the baby. They can see the sex if it's a surprise. We can show them the sex. They can see it together and so we do drop that drape so that they can be involved in that birthing process."

Then, rather than whisking baby away, the newborn is instantly given to mom, establishing immediate skin to skin contact.

"It's a huge deal because it maybe would've been an hour, maybe an hour and a half before she would be able to see the baby and now she's holding the baby, getting that connectedness right away," Dr. Hall added.

"I now know what the vaginal delivery experience, him coming straight out and getting to see the baby right away," Stankavich said. "It was really amazing. Just being able to spend time with your baby immediately after your delivery is something I had never experienced before."

Stankavich also said her husband felt a greater bond with William as well.

"You automatically have that bond, but just the extra time he says, just did something different for him," she said. "They definitely have a special bond."

But, doctors want parents to know that while you may come in with a specific birth plan, when it comes to delivering babies, not everything goes according to plan."

"I usually tell my patients to fill out a birth plan, but call it their preference list because any thing is given to change at any moment,"Dr. Hall explained.

Doctors said a family-centered c-section would not be appropriate in cases where the newborn is less than 34 weeks or if there are any complications with the delivery.

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