A C-section is carried out when a pregnant mother’s life is at risk, or if the baby isn’t going to be able to survive being born naturally.
A C-section or Caesarean section is a type of surgery used to deliver a baby. A C-section is carried out when a pregnant mother’s life is at risk, or if the baby isn’t going to be able to survive being born naturally.
Most people know that a C-section involves making an incision in the abdominal wall and uterus and pulling out the baby. But there’s more to it than you may think. This article will cover everything from how a C-section is done, to what you can expect afterwards, and how many people are actually having them nowadays.
Your doctor or midwife will be able to tell you whether or not a C-section is necessary.
If it is, you’ll be asked if you’d like the surgery to take place via a general anaesthetic. This means that you would get either a spinal anaesthetic (where medication is sent through your spinal cord) or an epidural, (where medication is pumped into your back).
You won’t feel anything but you will still be conscious. You will then be taken to the theatre and given gas and air to help you relax. Your baby may also need some gas and air so they can relax as well.
The operation itself is carried out by one of a team of medical staff.
A C-section will usually take around an hour to do and will involve cutting through the abdomen walls on both sides to reach the uterus and then cutting through the uterus itself.
The surgeon will then pull the baby out of the uterus and will take care of any after-birth complications that may have occurred.
Your doctor or midwife will also give you some forms for you to sign as part of pre-operative paperwork. This paperwork includes information about your baby and what they need afterwards if he or she was born via C-section.
This includes things like what you’d like written on the baby’s birth certificate, how to care for your incision and put some tape over it, and whether or not you are breastfeeding.
After the operation, you will be given pain relief medication and usually be taken to a recovery room. This is where your midwife will talk to you about getting back home as soon as possible. Your doctor or midwife may want to check your stitches and everything else that was done during the operation.
Over-the-counter painkillers and antibiotics will also be provided for any after-birth conditions such as a tear in the perineum (the area between the vagina and anus).
You may also experience some bleeding but this shouldn’t last long.
Post-operatively you can expect to be kept in hospital for a few days. Your cervix might need to be checked regularly, and you may need a second opinion about how you’re doing as your recovery continues and the wound starts to heal.
You will probably be able to go home after these few days but you will need help with things like putting on clean underwear, bathing or going for a walk.
After about four weeks, when your wounds have mostly healed, you will likely start having some mild backache and very mild bleeding at puberty. This is totally normal. You can also have some mild stomach pain if your stitches aren’t healing properly and this will usually get better with time.
The C-section operation is a major one and the recovery is long. But it’s well worth it to have the operation if you feel that your baby’s life is at risk.
It’s important to note that if you are having a C-section, there’s no need to worry about leaving any of your birthing appliances behind (such as your regular tampon). Your doctor or midwife will most likely take these with them when they do a sweep for instruments before donning surgical gloves.
There should be no problems at all with leaving behind your IUD or birth control pill.
It’s important that you let your doctor or midwife know in advance if you have any allergies, and whether or not you’d like any religious symbols on your body so that the surgical team are aware.
As there are so many different aspects to a C-section, it’s difficult to just cover them all in one article. But hopefully, this information has been helpful if you’re contemplating having an operation sometime soon.
If you do think that a C-section is for you, perhaps have a chat with your doctor or midwife about it before coming to any decisions.