A mother from Australia has shared the moment that she helped deliver her own baby via caesarean section.
The first time mum revealed that she had requested a maternal-assisted caesarean after she discovered that she would be unable to give birth naturally.
With the assistance of her surgeon, Sarah Downs, who lives in Queensland, reached down during her operation and lifted her daughter out onto her chest.
“I wanted to have a more personal experience,” Sarah told Daily Mail Australia.
“Why wouldn’t you want to be the one that pulls the baby from your womb? Being able to deliver your own baby and be the first person to hold her was incredible.”
The 31-year-old mum planned the assisted birth with her obstetrician Dr Shiri Dutt after reading an article written by the doctor in her local newspaper.
Describing the experience of helping to perform her own c-section, Sarah said: “A couple of pushes on the stomach and the head was out and that was all done by the obstetrician.
“Then I pulled her up to my chest. I was so excited to meet her. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.
“Oh my goodness, it’s hard to describe the moment I held her in my hands. I just had this whole rush of emotions going through me. I started crying tears of joy.”
Sarah’s delivery was the fifth time Dr Dutt, of John Flynn Private Hospital on Australia’s Gold Coast, has conducted a maternal-assisted caesarean.
Dr Dutt told A Current Affair that mothers receive counselling, information and training prior to assisting with their baby’s delivery.
Although many obstetricians do not recommend the procedure due to concerns about an increased risk of infection, Dr Dutt argues that it is completely safe – provided the environment and mother are well prepared.
In the lead-up to the birth, Sarah attended appointments and an interview to learn what to expect on the day.
When she arrived for the delivery, she had to wear scrubs like the other medical staff and to sterilise her hands and arms to avoid spreading an infection during the surgery.
Can anyone have a maternal-assisted caesarean?
Maternal-assisted caesarean may be an option for some women, but Dr Dutt says there are certain circumstances where help from Mum would not be appropriate.
If the baby is very large or small, if there any medical complication, or if the placenta is in a difficult place then the caesarean will need to be left in the care of expert hands.
When asked if she would recommend a maternal-assisted caesarean to other mother’s, Sarah told Daily Mail Australia: “Not every person could have the procedure. But if you have an obstetrician who is confident enough to do the procedure – because some are against it – then definitely go for it.”