Create: 08/12/2017 - 04:27
An elective caesarean is planned ahead of time usually for medical or obstetric reasons. This is usually booked up to 39 weeks. You will be given an appointment to attend a pre-op clinic before your operation. You will be given full information on how to prepare yourself prior to coming to hospital.
On admission you will be prepared for theater and you will usually meet the obstetrician and the initiatives that will be there during the operation. You can have one birth partner with you when you arrive in theatre. You will have an intravenous cannula sighted a spinal injection will be used that will make you numb from the top of your bump and allow you to stay awake throughout the operation.
Once you are numb your Midwife will insert a catheter into your bladder and listen to your baby's heart rate. A spinal injection can sometimes lower your blood pressure and make you feel sick. Midwife need to stay and talk to you throughout and can give you medication to help you feel less unwell.
There are a lots of members of staff in theatres and this can feel daunting it is important to remember that everyone is there to form a different role and you will always have the familiar face. It's the Midwife looking after you. You will be asked to repeat your name and date of birth several times. Safety checks once the spinal injection is working well you will have a drape put on your tummy which stops you being able to see the operation.
The obstetricians will clean your tummy and start the operation. You will be able to feel that the operation is ongoing but you will not feel any pain. If it is your first cesarean then it is likely to take around five minutes to deliver the baby. If it is a subsequent cesarean then this may take longer as you will have scar tissue from the previous operation.
The doctors are able to show you the baby over the drape if you want before the baby is dried and assessed for any resuscitation necessary. If your baby does not require any further help then they will be returned to you, where you can have a cuddle once the midwife is checked your plesenta.
They will assess and weigh your baby in the theater so that you are able to see your birth partner will be able to take photos of this after the operation is completed. You will be transferred to recovery where you'll have your observations taken regularly. You will be given support to feed your baby and skin-to-skin will be initiated.
If not commenced before you will be transferred to the person a toward where the midwives and care assistants will continue to look after you. It is recommended that you stay in for the first night depending on the well-being of you and your baby. You may be able to be discharged the next day.
Pain relief will be given in the hospital and for use fixing with you. You may also need to have injections to help avoid getting blood clots you or your birth partner will be taught how to do this. There are many similarities between an elective and an emergency cesarean. The main difference is the speed in which it is done and the pain relief used for the operation.
An emergency caesarean section is usually performed at some point during your labor if it is thought to be the safest method of delivery for you and your baby. Often a spinal injection will be used however if you have an epidural for pain relief in labor and you require a severe anaesthesia may put some stronger medication into your epidural and use this for the operation.
Occasionally the cesarean need to be carried out very quickly for the safety of you or your baby. If this has decided to be the safest option then you will be administered a general anaesthetic for the operation. If you are asleep for the operation your birth partner cannot go with you.
However if all is well the baby will be brought back to your birth partner for them to care for the baby until you are awake. Having a general anaesthetic is rare but is sometimes required to the safe delivery of your baby. Postnatal care for you and your baby will be the same regardless of whether you have elective or emergency cesarean.