Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Helping Hand From the Start

Mothers help their children.  They start helping from conception and keep helping...forever.  That's the ideal, of course.

This timeless and instinctive behavior, to nurture one's child, has taken intense (and arguably extreme) forms in modern times.  We all remember the recent TIME magazine article about attachment parenting.  And even if you don't remember the article, you most certainly remember the cover photo...

from May 21, 2012

And if that imagine doesn't jog anything, google the words "TIME magazine breastfeeding", then google the words "attachment parenting".  You'll be caught up in no time.

As I did in my response post to the TIME Magazine article, I'll again reiterate that I don't support or not support attachment parenting.  I do, however, think it exemplifies a hands on approach to parenting.  Say (or think) what you want about attachment parenting, you can't successfully argue that parents who subscribe to its tenets are laissez faire about child rearing.  Quite the opposite, it's an active, considered, and deliberate way of parenting.

Many women start parenting during pregnancy.  This is done with diet, exercise, meditation and other life style choices.  Eating certain foods allegedly prepares the unborn child's developing palate (more on that here).  There's labor preparation through prenatal yoga and labor preparation through childbirth classes.  Some mothers-to-be talk, read and sing to their unborn baby in a specific way so as to communicate in utero.

With all the parenting methods used before the baby arrives and after the baby arrives, it's no surprise that a way to parent during the baby's arrival has emerged.  In comes the mother assisted Cesarean section.  Who knows what I'm talking about?  I know at least one of you does (because one of you emailed me about this topic, thanks again!).  A mother assisted c-section is when the mother pulls the baby out of her uterus all by herself.  Why leave the delivery to the doctors when you can get your own mitts in there?  And by "in there" I mean inside your abdominal cavity.

When I first heard about mother assisted c-sections, my mind immediately went to that episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians when Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to Mason.  Kourtney K. didn't have a c-section, but she did pull Mason out of her own cookie (cookie = vagina).  If you have more respectable taste in television than I, watch this clip below to see it all unfold (the action is around minute 4):

I remember being slightly freaked out and slightly impressed when Kourtney grabbed Mason and literally yanked him out of her.  I also remember wondering whether it was planned or spontaneous.  I'd wager on the latter only because who could plan that and effectively execute it?  With a mother assisted c-section, there is a specific plan for the mother to yank her baby out.  Or so I've read (here).  In the context of being an active participant in your child's life, I sort of get it.  In the context of being an active participant in your own surgery, I'm not a huge fan...but maybe that's because I'm squeamish and not a doctor.


1 comment:

Amy said...

This is really interesting! I've not heard about mother assisted cesareans, but I have heard about "gentle" cesareans, which is when the mother isn't tied down in a t-formation and as long as there are no problems with the baby, he is placed on her chest immediately, just like in a vaginal birth.

Personally, I'm all for stuff like this. C-sections are something that a lot of women fear because we're constantly told we won't be able to bond as well with baby, won't have as much success breastfeeding, etc. I think anything that can help overcome those fears and allow mother and baby to interact as early as possible, much like in a vaginal birth, is a great thing.