A cesarean, although a surgical procedure, is primarily a birth, one that needs to be respected. Bonding is not lost if a cesarean is necessary. Fathers are now welcome at cesarean births, and it is a beautiful sight to see a father with his newborn during a surgical birth. Here are some ways to foster birth bonding following a cesarean.
For the mother. Request a regional anesthesia—meaning an epidural, which anesthetizes from the navel to the toes. Unlike general anesthesia that puts you to sleep during the birth, an epidural allows you to be awake and aware during the procedure, and enables you to bond with your baby following the operation. Expect the bonding time to be somewhat limited, since you may feel physically overwhelmed, have only one arm free to hold your baby (there will be an intravenous drip in your other arm), and your baby may be able to spend just a few minutes cheek-to-cheek and eye-to-eye with you. The important thing is that you connect with your baby either visually or physically. Though bonding is different after a surgical birth, an important connection is still made.