New trend in C-sections allows mom to witness baby’s first breath


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There’s a new option for moms who want to incorporate natural aspects of childbirth into their C-section.

A clear surgical drape allows mothers to see the actual birth of their baby and witness their very first breath.

“Mommy loves you, Ava,” whispered Jasmine Dzieniszewski. She’s in awe of her brand new baby girl born at Saratoga Hospital via C-section—Jasmine’s fourth.

“I knew the experience wasn’t that personal. I wanted to try something a little more personal this time,” she said.

Her OB/GYN, Dr. Susan Verleger, was happy to help.

“She was a little bummed she wasn’t able to see her childbirth in progress,” said Dr. Verleger.

A typical C-section can feel more like a surgery than a birth.

“I’ll deliver the baby, I’ll say, ‘your baby’s out,’ but mom’s just sitting there,” she said.

But that wasn’t the case Monday around 8 a.m. when, at 8 pounds and 7 ounces, Avalynn Vangundy entered the world as mom watched on.

“Honestly, I started crying. It was a very intense moment, and I’m very glad to have experienced it,” said Jasmine.

Instead of a regular surgical cloth, for the first time at Saratoga Hospital, what’s called a “clear drape” allowed Jasmine to witness that special moment.

“Being able to watch her first breath and connecting with seeing her, instead of just hearing her cry behind the curtain was amazing,” she said.

And it’s dad approved.

“I liked it, too. All dads would like it,” said Christopher Vangundy.

Sometimes called a “gentle C-section,” it’s designed to make a mom feel more a part of the birth.

“The main thing is trying to limit too much trauma to mom and baby,” said Dr. Verleger.

Part of that involves not exposing mom to the entire procedure.

“There is an opaque area that does not need to be lowered if you do not want to see anything,” said the doctor.  

The outcome is a happy baby and a positive experience that Jasmine recommends.

“Definitely give it a try. It’s not at all scary. Some people said it was going to be scary, but it wasn’t. It was beautiful,” said Jasmine.

Saratoga Hospital plans to order more of the clear drapes and offer this to more patients in the future. If you’re interested, talk to your OB/GYN.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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