Hospitals Are Starting to Use Clear Drapes for C-Sections Instead of Opaque Ones

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C-sections are a grueling surgery, and they can be really tough on new moms. One especially disappointing part is that, typically, moms are not able to see their new baby right away. Because there’s a drape obscuring their view of the surgery itself, they can only hear their babies, not see them.

That’s why some hospitals are beginning to use clear drapes.

It may sound scary to have a clear drape instead of an opaque one. Nobody wants to see themselves being operated upon!

But these drapes are actually only partially clear. The lowest part is still opaque, so it completely blocks the mom’s view of the operation. The upper part is clear, so she can see when doctors pull the baby out of her womb.

Tracy Abney, a doula, mom and birth photographer, is a huge advocate of clear drapes. She had a typical C-section with a solid drape and told Parents that she felt “disconnected.”

“Everyone saw my daughter before I did. I could hear her, but not see her,” Tracy said. “I didn’t see her until she was cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket, then she was taken away and I didn’t see her for a long time.”

“Clear drapes help the mother feel like she is part of the birthing process,” she added. “She can see the baby when everyone else does, the moment the baby is born.”

Clear drapes are one aspect of the new “gentle C-section” trend, which aims to make C-sections more like the traditional birthing experience. Doctors pull the baby out slowly and immediately bring the baby to the mom for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding, if it is medically safe to do so.

Anything that helps is well worth the adjustment!