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Phone

(03) 9416 2802

 

Email

info@drstephencole.com.au

 

Fax

(03) 9495 6491

 

Address

Suite 207, 320 Victoria Parade

East Melbourne, VIC 3002 

 

My private consulting rooms are located on the ground floor of the Epworth Freemasons Day Procedure and Maternity Centre in East Melbourne.

 

Getting There

Underground parking is available for a fee. There is also limited on-street metered parking in the area.

 

The number 12 and 109 trams stop right outside the building, and the number 11 and 30 tram stop is a 5 minute walk away.

 

The number buses also stop right outside the building.

 

Train access is via Parliament station, which is a 10 minute walk away

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Maternally-Assisted Caesarean Section

 

Like most things to do with pregnancy (and life in general for that matter!), there is often no single “right” way of doing things.  Equally, there is usually no single way that all women feel about issues related to their pregnancy.  Attitudes towards caesarean section are a classic example of this.  For some women, having a caesarean section is their preferred method of childbirth.  Others don’t have strong feelings one way or the other.  Many women though see caesarean section as a necessary evil, while others are profoundly disappointed that they ended up needing something that they were hoping to avoid.

 

Similarly, the reasons for negative feelings about caesareans are often complex, and vary from person to person.  Some are frightened of the surgery itself, or of the anaesthetic that goes along with it.  Some don’t like the fact that the natural process of childbirth becomes a medical procedure.  Others are disappointed that they didn’t get the opportunity to experience vaginal birth, while some feel that they are distanced or removed from their birth experience by the processes and procedures associated with caesarean births.  I’m sure that there are other feelings also that I haven’t captured in this list.

 

As a caring and compassionate obstetrician, I strive to be aware of, and supportive of women’s choices and feelings related to childbirth.  This includes respecting different attitudes to vaginal birth, as well as different approaches to caesarean birth.  In this context, I am midful of the small but growing trend for women to be more engaged in their birth experience, even when that involves caesarean section.

 

The phrase “Maternally-assisted caesarean section”, along with similar other labels, has been around for a few years now.  In different places in can mean different things, but in essence it is about facilitating women to be more actively involved in the caesarean birth of their baby if they are keen to do so, and if it is safe to do so.  It allows women to help lift their baby out of their own womb, and up onto their chest, welcoming them into the world, and having their first cuddle.

 

Maternally-assisted caesarean section is not for everyone.  Participating means becoming involved in the medical procedure.  This includes being instructed in and performing a surgical scrub hand wash, and donning sterile gloves and a gown.  It also means that the surgical drape that usually shields you from having to watch your operation is lowered, so that both you and your partner will see what is happening during the operation.  This of course means that you will see the incision in your tummy, your blood around the operation site, and the procedures used to deliver the baby, which may be more forceful than you were imagining.  Many people are not prepared for these scenes, and may find them confronting or distressing.  Remember also that even if you feel OK with it, your partner may not be comfortable seeing you in this way.

 

It is also important to remember that caesarean section is still a major operation, with potential for difficulty and complications, just like any other surgery.   There may be some circumstances where maternally-assisted caesarean is not possible, or where it is inappropriate.  Given the extra time involved in preparing a woman for participation in the operation, maternal participation is not possible / available for emergency (unplanned) caesareans.  There may be other factors which make the procedure more complicated, including having a low-lying placenta, having twins, having a baby in the breech presentation, having a preterm baby, etc. This is not an exhaustive list, and any woman interested in a maternally-assisted caesarean will need to be assessed on an individual basis to determine if it is appropriate.  It may also be the case that something occurs during the course of the operation that means that the plans are changed at the last minute. 

 

If you are interested in the option of maternally-assisted caesarean, you will need to discuss this with me during the course of your pregnancy to consider whether this is something you are prepared to do, and whether it would be an appropriate choice in your circumstances.  You will also need to participate in a counselling / education process to ensure that both you and your partner are fully prepared for the experience.

 

Please feel free to discuss this with me if you would like further information.