The thought of undergoing surgery could be daunting. Even if you have made up your mind to have a vaginal birth, it is in your and your baby’s best interest to be prepared for a C-section.
A C-section can also be the only way to ensure the safety of mom and baby in the following cases.
- When a baby is quite large, while the mother’s pelvis is small or deformed
- When the baby is not in a head-down position and efforts to reposition the baby fail.
- If the mother had had a C-section before or faced complications during previous childbirth.
- If the delivery is delayed or labour ceases
- When the oxygen supply to the unborn child is compromised
- When the placenta completely or partially covers the cervix
While you may never know what to expect when you’re expecting, what you can do is be prepared. So, allow us to walk you through the entire process.
Before you are Admitted
You may be asked to bathe with an antiseptic soap a night before (and on the day of) the procedure. You may also be prescribed antacids and anti-sickness medicines.
Tip: Wax or shave off any pubic hair at home if you feel uncomfortable having it done at the hospital. It’s standard procedure to reduce the chances of infection.
After you are Admitted
Your anaesthesiologist will enquire about your health, ask you a few questions and talk about how he/she will make it a pain-free experience for you. The anaesthesiologist will then ask you to lie down and attach a catheter to administer the anaesthesia and epidural. A spinal block is then inserted into the spinal fluid to relieve pain for up to 2 hours. (The whole procedure takes around 30 minutes).
Tip: Stay calm! Your legs may feel heavy, and you may get the sensation of pins and needles in your back, which is quite normal.
The surgeon will begin by making an incision in your lower abdomen. Don’t worry; you won’t feel a thing through the entire process. An incision will be made on the uterus, exposing the baby’s head. The surgical staff will align the baby by pushing the uterus and will then lift your baby out of the pelvis. The fluid in the baby’s nose and mouth will be cleared, and the umbilical cord will be snapped. Your baby will then be taken away for a few minutes to be cleaned and checked for weight, appearance, pulse rate, reflexes, muscle tone, and breathing rate.
Tip: You may feel nauseous or dizzy as your BP may drop due to the epidural. If you feel anything unusual, inform your doctor.
Cord Blood Collection
Immediately after the delivery is complete and the placenta is slowly separating or is separated, your doctor may collect valuable stem cells which were left behind in the placenta and umbilical cord into a sterile bag, by inserting a needle into the cord. This umbilical Cord and Cord Blood may prove invaluable in the future, for the cure of a plethora of life-threatening illnesses. Find out why Cordlife should be your only choice for preserving your baby’s precious stem cells.
Tying it up
The surgeon will remove the placenta from your uterus and suture the incisions. If your baby is healthy after the assessment, you may hold him/her in your arms for the very first time.
Tip: Cherish this moment.
Rest it out
You will be moved to a recovery room where your vitals will be monitored. While the anesthesia effect wears out in 3 hours or so, painkillers will be administered. You will be advised to walk within 6 hours of the surgery to prevent blood clots. If you recover well, you can even go back home with your baby in 3 days.
Postpartum, you may experience heavy bleeding from your vagina. You may also experience pain and discomfort. It is normal. In the case of staples, you will also be asked to visit the hospital within 7 days of the surgery for stitch removal.
Tip: Follow the post-operative advice given by your doctor and get plenty of rest.
We hope this information has been helpful in preparing you for a C-section, if and when it’s required.