A cesarean delivery is one in which the baby is delivered through an abdominal incision instead of vaginally. This type of delivery may be warranted if the baby is in fetal distress or they are too large to pass safely through the birth canal. It is an easier and safer way to deliver baby quickly in the event of an emergency.
For a scheduled cesarean section, you will be advised of what to do pre-operatively. First, since it is surgery, you will not be allowed to eat or drink after a certain point. If the section is planned, this is the case.
An anesthesiologist will talk about what to expect as far as pain management is concerned. You will not go to sleep so you can stay alert and talk to the doctor. But, you may be given a spinal block so that you don’t feel anything below the waist.
During the case, you will be given an IV for delivery of pain medications. A mask across your face will deliver oxygen to help you stay calm. Be sure to tell your anesthesiologist if you feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
Your surgeon will prepare your abdomen for surgery. Betadine solution is used to remove as many germs from the surface of the skin as possible before incision. You will be covered with drapes to keep the area clean so you may have trouble seeing what is going on. A catheter is placed in your bladder so that it is not in the way during the procedure.
Incisions are made either vertically or horizontally low on the abdomen. The uterus is also incised to remove the baby. Once your child is delivered you may be able to hold them.
The surgeon will then begin cleaning you up. They will deliver the placenta and start closing your incision. Each layer is closed individually. Your wound will be dressed and you can be moved to a recovery care area for a couple of hours. Afterwards, you can be moved to a permanent room.
Your medication will allow you to rest comfortably. Ask your doctor if you are okay to breast-feed your baby should you choose. A typical hospital stay after q cesarean is about three to four days. You will be asked to walk and void during that time to be sure there are no complications before going home.
A cesarean section is a surgical procedure and is treated as such. You will be given instructions on what to do before the surgery, as well as what will happen during and after.