Accepting a change of plans: The evolution of the C-section experience

Giving birth via C-section is not how you envisioned it … it wasn’t part of your birth plan. Your doctor has explained the whys – the logical reasons why a vaginal birth isn’t the best approach for you and your baby’s safety. You know it’s the right thing to do, but in your mind there are questions. Will I get to hold my baby first? Am I missing out on an important part of the experience?

Golden Hour for those undergoing C-section

The first hour of your baby’s life – called the Golden Hour – is important for so many reasons; it’s your first glimpse at their tiny face, first touch of their skin and opportunity to establish the bond so important to growth and development. And most importantly a key factor in successful breastfeeding, which is proven to benefit your baby’s health in many ways.

Until recently, these firsts were not always experienced by women who had a C-section.

A program in Labor and Delivery at TMC is changing that for many women with a new type of surgery drape and a new process after you give birth to get your baby in your arms faster.

How we’re making it happen

The new dual-sided surgery drape, with a solid side for the surgical moments and a clear side that allows you to see your baby emerge, means you won’t miss the very first moments of your child’s life. You aren’t separated from the process, “I’ve seen surgeon and patient talking and laughing … it’s so different than with the traditional drape,” said Crystal Gulotta, Labor and Delivery nurse and author of the project .

With a goal of taking your baby’s first vitals and measurements, and putting on a diaper and hat while mom is cleaned up, the next step to this new C-section program ensures that when you leave the OR, your baby is on your chest getting the skin-to-skin contact that is so important.

What moms are saying

One new mom said of the experience with the new drape and the skin-to-skin contact, “It was truly one of the best parts of having my baby. I was very concerned about who would get to hold my baby before me and how long it would be before I got to hold him. This was the answer to all of my worries. I was so thankful! We don’t know why someone wouldn’t want to do this.”

Making clinical improvements that directly impact patients is a foundation element to providing exceptional healthcare. Find out more about maternity services at Tucson Medical Center by taking a tour.

Free Maternity Services tour

Having a baby? TMC’s Labor & Delivery receives top honors by Arizona Daily Star readers

BDP35955TMC’s Labor & Delivery was named Best Birthing Center by a recent poll of Arizona Daily Star readers. Readers’ Choice awards also went to TMC for Best Hospital, Best Surgical Weight Loss and Best Emergency Department.

More than 5,000 babies are born at TMC every year. In fact, physicians at TMC delivered 5,527 babies in 2014. With all private rooms, laboring mothers can enjoy walking around the unit while using telemetry fetal monitoring.

Expectant moms know that they and their newborns are in good hands, around the clock. Labor & Delivery has dedicated perinatologists, neonatologists and anesthesiologists who are in house 24-hours a day as well as a level III Newborn Intensive Care Unit that provides advanced care for premature, low birth-weight and critically ill infants.

TMC is also the only hospital in Southern Arizona to participate in the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program, giving expectant parents the option to publicly donate their baby’s umbilical cord blood. Donated cord blood that meets a certain set of criteria will be included on the Be The Match national registry where it could save the life of someone with a life-threatening disease who needs a stem cell transplant.

TMC promotes the “Golden Hour” – an hour of skin-to-skin contact with mom and baby for the first hour after birth – as well as 24-hour rooming so that baby never leaves mom’s room unless medically necessary.

Inpatient lactation services are also available seven days a week to help new moms get the hang of breastfeeding. Seven registered nurses who are international board-certified lactation consultants are dedicated to helping women breastfeed their newborns. But the support TMC offers doesn’t stop when baby goes home. Outpatient lactation services are available seven days a week for moms who need extra breastfeeding support, regardless of where they delivered. TMC’s many childbirth classes are noted as the best in the community and are also available to all women, again – regardless of where they will deliver.

Getting babies home safely is also a priority. TMC has had a car seat program for more than 30 years. This includes a car seat loaner program, a special needs car seat program, Children Are Priceless Passengers (C.A.P.P.) in which parents receive education and an appropriate seat for their child for only $35 as well as Boost Your Booty, which offers free booster seats for children over age 5 who weigh more than 40 pounds.

For more information about TMC’s Maternity Services, please click here.

Thank you, Tucson, for trusting us with your growing family.


Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461