Brandon Gill New is about to deliver her second child through a scheduled, medically necessary C-section. While thousands of C-sections are done every year, Brandon will be only the second mother at Sunnybrook to do so using a new technique called Skin On Skin C-section. Traditionally, babies are taken away from the mother to be cleaned and given routine care. Push mommy, push! But this new technique tries to mimic vaginal birth by asking Brandon to push, involving her more in the process. And as soon as little James is born, he is placed on Brandon’s abdomen and then passed through the surgical drape to her bare chest for skin on skin contact. After a brief cry, James quickly falls asleep on his mother. Dr. Jon Barrett is leading this initiative at Sunnybrook, and says the physical connection starts right away. Thank you! And so do the benefits of skin on skin contact including increased bonding, improved breastfeeding and preserving babies temperature and blood sugar. Also, the umbilical cord is left unclamped for longer which improves babies blood flow and breathing. So there is actually medical evidence that skin to skin contact is better for the baby and mom, as well when you’ve done a few of these, you can sense immediately that it’s a different procedure. It’s much less medical. Dr. Ambika Aneja delivered James and says Brandon’s doula had asked about this procedure. As a mom myself having had two previous C-sections I think it would have been great if the procedure can be performed without compromising the health and safety of mom and baby. Special precautions are taken to minimize the risk of infection, like sterilizing the mother’s chest, and having a sterile handoff by the mother’s head. He’s very content! Brandon and her husband Brett who was also ready to do skin on skin if Brandon was medically unable, says skin on skin C-section should be a standard option. It was amazing, it was a really amazing experience to be able to have a C-section and also have your baby come right on top of you and transition into the world in such a peaceful way. It was so great to be able to be involved in the whole process to help transition our little one into the world and he was put on my wife’s chest so quickly and then there were three of us there together as a family keeping him calm and happy. Sunnybrook is now studying skin on skin C-section, and the effects on mother and baby for the first time in Canada. You know, cesarean section rates are now between 25 and 30 percent of all births. So if we’re delivering one third of our babies via cesarean, we should look at ways to see if we can mimick the normal process. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.