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Delivering A More “Natural” C-Section Experience

Photo credit: Getty Images

Oreland, PA mother of two and ER nurse, Lindsay Ley had just scheduled her second baby’s Cesarean section at Bryn Mawr Hospital, part of Main Line Health, when she came across a fascinating article about a new way of giving birth, called a gentle C-section. “It was the first time I’d heard of it but I immediately knew I wanted to do it,” she says. Ley gave birth to her first son, Charlie, via Cesarean section in 2014 and wanted something a little more natural this time around. “You know it’s strange but when you’re a mom who’s had a previous C-section you feel like you’re missing something,” she says. “I wanted a more natural birth experience.”

Ley met with her OB/GYN, Thomas Dardarian, DO and he actually offered her the option before she could even mention it. “It was like he read my mind,” she says. “I said, ‘yes absolutely!’ before he even finished explaining it to me.” Bryn Mawr Hospital had recently added this as a birthing option and Dr. Dardarian was excited and eager to offer moms-to-be a more intimate and personalized birthing plan.

Although gentle C-sections are performed the same way as a traditional C-section, Ley admits to feeling completely different the day her second son, Henry was born. Unlike her first Cesarean section, where the procedure was performed behind a solid blue sterile drape, her gentle C was done through a clear drape, so she was able see the actual birth. “It was so comforting, seeing the doctors perform the procedure with such ease,” she says. “It gave me such confidence in them.”

Ley with her husband, Greg and boys, Charlie and Henry

When the time came for Henry to arrive, Dr. Dardarian told Ley to sit up to see the baby being born. Before she knew it, she was face to face with her healthy baby boy. “I could see him so clearly, and hear his little cry. I’ll never forget it.” The nurses quickly cleaned and checked out Henry before handing him over to mom for bonding time. “That was such a difference from my first C-section. It was hours before I held my son Charlie,” says Ley. “With Henry, they put him on my chest right away. I was able to examine his little face, and fingers and toes. It was just so awesome.”

Nearly two years after Henry’s birth, Ley still can’t stop gushing about how happy she is with her choice. “When I tell women about the gentle C, they always hesitate at the idea of seeing a procedure,” she says. “Trust me—I didn’t see anything I didn’t want to see. You don’t see anything but your beautiful baby. It’s amazing,” she says smiling.

* Be sure to talk with your obstetrical care provider in advance about these preferences and the options available to you. Not all obstetrical care providers perform these services. *

For more information on Bryn Mawr Hospital’s new maternity unit or to schedule an appointment, click here.