How Geelong mum delivered own bub in c-section
A new mum has removed her baby from her own uterus in an emerging birthing technique.
St John of God Geelong Hospital has become the first in the greater Geelong area to birth a baby by an emerging technique known as a maternal assisted caesarean section.
The procedure allows the mother to remove her baby from her uterus while under a spinal anaesthetic, allowing for intimate bonding between a mother and baby within seconds of the birth.
The baby boy, Sam, was born safely on Thursday thanks to his mum, Emma Whittaker, and the support of obstetrician and gynaecologist Sam Sabary.
"The maternal assisted caesarean is an important option for mothers who require a caesarean section but would like to more actively involved in the birth of their baby," Dr Sabary said.
"During the procedure, the mother is required to scrub in and wear a sterile gown and gloves into the operating theatre.
"Once the surgeon is able to lift the baby's head and shoulders from the incision, the mother places her hands under the baby's arms and gently lifts the baby on to her chest.
"When conducted in a safe hospital operating theatre environment under instruction from the medical and nursing teams, mum and baby can enjoy the benefits of immediate skin-to-skin contact and delayed cord clamping."
Baby Sam is 34-year-old Mrs Whittaker's first child.
The Lethbridge resident said she already planned on having a caesarean section for medical reasons, and told Dr Sabary she was eager to have skin-to-skin contact with her newborn as soon as possible.
Dr Sabary explained the new procedure, asked Mrs Whittaker if she was interested, and she said yes.
Mrs Whittaker described the birth as "such a blur".
"It was a bit scary at first, because I had to be scrubbed up, so I couldn't even hold my husband's hand," she said.
Mrs Whittaker said everything else "just disappeared" when she first saw her baby's head.
"Dr Sabary said 'put your arms underneath him' and he said 'pull up and bring him to you'," she said.
"It was quite an easy action.
"Everything else just melted away. It was surreal - I don't know how to describe it."
Mrs Whittaker said she was "definitely" glad she had chosen the birthing technique.
The experience was "quite quick" and not painful at all, she said.
Mrs Whittaker said baby Sam was "very chill" and going extremely well.
St John of God Geelong chief executive Stephen Roberts said: "We are delighted to offer the maternal assisted caesarean birth to Geelong mothers as we are always exploring new opportunities to develop and improve our maternity offering to the local community and empower women to have the birth of their choice."