A C-section (also known as a caesarean section) is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby. It involves an incision through the mothers’ abdomen and uterus. The procedure might be planned ahead of time or is sometimes planned when labour is underway. A C-section is commonly done in the following circumstances: your labour isn’t progressing, your baby isn’t getting enough oxygen, your baby is in an abnormal position, you are carry multiples, there is a problem with the umbilical cord, you have a health concern or you have a mechanical obstruction.
Before your C-section your tummy will be cleansed. A catheter will likely be passed into your bladder to collect urine. An intravenous line will be placed in your vein in your hand to give medication and fluids.
The majority of C-sections are done under local anaesthesia. This means your lower part of your body will be numb, however you will remain awake during the procedure. The anaesthesia is usually injected into the sac surrounding your spinal cord.
The doctor will then make a horizontal incision into the abdominal wall. The doctor will make incisions layer by layer through different tissues to access the abdominal cavity. A uterine incision is then made. The baby will be delivered through the incision and the umbilical cord will be clamped and cut. The placenta will also be removed from the uterus.
If your C-section is planned in advance your healthcare provider may recommend certain blood tests before the procedure. These tests will provide useful information about your red blood cells. This will be useful in the unlikely event that you need a blood transfusion during the procedure. If your C-section is planned before 39 weeks, your baby’s lung maturity might be tested before the procedure. This is done using amniocentesis. In this procedure a sample of fluid is taking from the fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus.
After the procedure, most mothers and babies stay in hospital for two or three days. This is mostly to control pain and monitor recovery. You will be able to start breast-feeding as soon as you feel up for it. When at home it is important to: take it easy, support your abdomen, drink plenty of fluids, take any medication prescribed and avoid sex.
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Doctify Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. In the event of an emergency, please call 999 for immediate assistance.