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Woman-centered Caesarean Birth at UMHL

Write up by Sarah Brennen

 

This 2017 ALCI conference presentation was given by Cliodhna O’Sullivan, RGN, RM, Clinical Skills Facilitator, BSc, MSc

 

As a GP and lecturer with a special interest in lactation and optimising the birth trajectory to facilitate optimised breastfeeding, it was a pleasure to hear Cliondhna talk about University and Maternity Hospital Limerick and their intervention to respond to mothers’ requests for gentle caesarean births using a mother-centred caesarean birthing program.  With this approach, mothers are given a menu of options prior to their caesarean, which includes lowering the drape so that the mother can see her baby being born, optimal cord clamping, immediate skin-to-skin and baby checks done while in skin-to-skin contact.

 

With such a high rate of caesareans in Ireland (currently at 30%) and  the evidence already for patient-centred care and immediate skin-to-skin with zero separation,  this initiative will have huge positive impact on the health and well-being of parents and babies, and ultimately society as a whole. The roll out of woman-centered caesareans  is simple and reproducable and thus scalling up of this intervention in all the maternity hospitals where c-sections happen, in the main should be very achievable.

 

During her presentation, Cliodhna gave us the following quote from January Harshe:

“I do not care what kind of birth you have….A homebirth, scheduled caesarean, epidural hospital birth, or if you birth alone in the woods next to baby deer. I care that you had options, that you were supported in your choices, and that you were respected.”

 

Read more about woman-centred  caesarean birth here http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/media/pressrel/CaesareanUMHL.html

 

Review of Cliodhna’s talk was by Sarah Brennan
MB BAO BCh MICGP MRCSI MHSc-Primary Care PgDipMedEd, GP and lecturer with NUI Galway
Donegal Medical Academy, Letterkenny

Sarah teaches an optional 12 week infant feeding Special Study Module to medical students in year four, where it fits in nicely to peads, general practice, obs abd gynae and psychiatry.