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Incredible photos of a C-section taken through a clear drape

Last month, Alabama parents Allison and Brent welcomed their second child into the world. Baby Bennett was born via caesarian section – with one very notable feature. In consultation with their doula (and birth photographer) Tracy Abney, the couple opted for a clear surgical drape for the procedure.

Incredible photos of a C-section taken through a clear drape(Tracy Abney, Birth Doula)

Clear-drape C-sections are increasingly popular as part of what are called ‘gentle’ or ‘natural’ C-sections. This practice aims to bring some of the crucial mother-child bonding moments of vaginal delivery to those who for whatever reason need to, or have decided to, deliver surgically.

RELATED: What to expect when you have a caesarian

In addition to the clear drape, the new baby is brought around to its mother for skin-on-skin contact immediately after the birth.

Incredible photos of a C-section taken through a clear drape(Tracy Abney, Birth Doula)

The goal is to make delivery as ‘family friendly’ (read: organic, connected and non-traumatic) as possible. As CNN reported, the trend has been growing, especially since a 2015 study confirming that it is proven to increase breastfeeding success and general maternal wellbeing without adding any additional safety risk.

Incredible photos of a C-section taken through a clear drape(Tracy Abney, Birth Doula)

“It changed the traditional cesarean, [which] is quite cold and clinical, into a sort of event that reflected how important one’s child’s birthday is,” a London-based anesthetist told CNN.

RELATED: ‘I had a planned C-section and loved every minute of it’

Allison had delivered her first baby vaginally, and planned to do the same for Bennett’s birth. But due to a complication with her placenta, a C-section was deemed safer.

“We knew this was going to be a complete opposite kind of birth, but we still wanted the skin-to-skin, to see him being born,” Allison told BuzzFeed News.

Incredible photos of a C-section taken through a clear drape(Tracy Abney, Birth Doula)

An opaque drape is kept over the clear drape for the beginning and end of surgery, and removed just when the baby is being delivered. Due to the angle of the drape, very little of the surgery is actually visible to the parents.

Incredible photos of a C-section taken through a clear drape(Tracy Abney, Birth Doula)

“My husband is squeamish but he had no issues with him being pulled out, that’s all you see is your baby,” Allison said. “It’s pretty special.”

Tracy’s own experience informed her passion for this new movement, and her commitment to guiding Allison through a calm and meaningful process.

“The very strongest memory I have from my own cesarean birth 13 years ago was being the very last person in the room to see my baby,” she told Love What Matters.

“The clear drape allowed Allison to be an active participant in their baby’s birth. This wasn’t a birth that just ‘happened to her’ with a sense of detachment, but it was her giving birth to her son.”

Incredible photos of a C-section taken through a clear drape(Tracy Abney, Birth Doula)

Allison and Tracy are firmly agreed: Any mother wanting access to a clear drape for their C-section should get it – especially as there’s generally no extra cost.

“As long as everyone is healthy and safe I believe that a cesarean birth can be just and beautiful and special as a vaginal birth,” Allison told BuzzFeed News.

“We don’t have to miss out on those as cesarean mothers.”

You can find out more about Tracy Abney and her work via Facebook or on her website.

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