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Cesarean Section: What to Expect


Cesarean Section: What to Expect

If you’re like 30% of women in the U.S., you will be having a cesarean. In cases where labor and delivery is stalled or the baby’s heartbeat becomes erratic, cesareans are often given. Once you and your doctor opt for the Cesarean, they will prep the operating room for the procedure. You will be introduced to several new people as they wheel you in. You could have anywhere from 5-10 people working in the room at once. Your spouse or partner will be asked to put on some scrubs and meet you in there. They will keep your body wrapped in warm blankets, and if you have not yet had an epidural, they will give you a spinal block to continue the anesthesia to your lower body. You will most likely be awake during the delivery procedure.

When you are placed on the operating table, a cloth will be draped between your head and your body so that you cannot see the procedure. The Anesthesiologist and your spouse will sit up towards your head with you. The Anesthesiologist will ask you some questions about how you are doing throughout the delivery procedure. He will not leave your side until you are taken to recovery. With the anesthesia, you may experience some nausea and a heartburn-like feeling. If you ask, they will usually give you something in your IV to help with the nausea.

You will not feel the incision, which occurs on your pubic hairline. You will, however, soon begin to feel some tugging and pulling as they attempt to pull your baby out. Once the baby is delivered, they will announce the sex and suction your baby’s nose and throat. They will clamp and cut the umbilical cord, and you will probably hear a little baby cry, the best sound you’ve ever heard. The doctors will show you your baby briefly before he goes off with Dad to be evaluated, warmed, and bathed.

During this time, the placenta will be removed, and you will be sewn up and sent to recovery. You will stay in recovery for about 30-60 minutes, in which they will push on your stomach several times to contract your uterus back to its smaller size. While this is somewhat painful, it is necessary so you do not hemorrhage. You will then be wheeled to your room and united with your new baby. Congratulations on your labor, delivery, and baby!

Find out what happens in the hospital after labor and delivery.

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