Supplementary Material for: Exploring Parental Expectations and Experiences Around “Gentle” and “Standard” Caesarean Section

<p><b><i>Background/Aims:</i></b> “Gentle” or “natural” cesarean sections are implemented to improve parental satisfaction. The objective of this study was to investigate whether there is a need for adopting such a gentle approach. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> We recruited those with low-risk pregnancies scheduled for elective cesarean delivery at term. Three questionnaires were administered to both partners: prior to delivery, 2-5 days after delivery, and 6 weeks postpartum. Questionnaires assessed the couple's expectations, fears, and satisfaction prior to and after cesarean section. Additionally, participants attended 2 structured interviews: one prior to delivery and one 6 weeks after delivery. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Fifteen couples underwent a “standard” cesarean section (group 1) and 6 underwent a “gentle” section (group 2). Overall, parental satisfaction with cesarean section was high. However, women in the standard group felt less involved in childbirth and both groups still preferred vaginal delivery in light of eventual future pregnancies. Participants in group 2 showed less fear of childbirth after delivery than prior to delivery. There were no differences in total questionnaire scores between groups or between mothers and partners. <b><i>Conclusion:</i></b> This study shows that there is room for improvement in satisfaction levels around cesarean section, even though satisfaction is generally high. A “gentle” cesarean section may help to achieve this.</p>

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