What to expect during a scheduled cesarean section:

The day before:

Eat a healthy dinner the night before, but please remember nothing to eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery, including mints or gum.

The day of:

Please arrive two hours prior to the scheduled surgical time. A support person is welcome to be present with throughout the process, from pre- to post-op.

  • During the pre-operative period Birthing Center nurses will confirm the patient's health history, including any medications, allergies, or any previous illness or medical history. They will start an IV which will provide hydrating fluids, and antibiotics.

  • The obstetrician and anesthesiologist will consult with the patient and answer any remaining questions or concerns regarding the delivery and recovery.

  • The type of anesthesia used varies from person to person; however, it typically includes a spinal which allows mom to be awake for the delivery of her baby.

  • A registered nurse accompany the patient to the operating room. Expectant mothers can expect to be in the operating room for approximately one hour. The surgical team includes registered nurses, obstetricians, an Anesthesiologist and a respiratory therapist.

During the procedure:

After the spinal is placed, a urinary catheter will be placed. The abdominal area will be prepped using an antimicrobial agent and a drape will be placed over the surgical area.  A curtain will visually separate mom and her birth partner from the procedure; however, they will be verbally engaged in the procedure to whatever degree they are comfortable. 

Where does the baby go?

  • After the baby is delivered, the obstetrician will allow the new mom a moment to see her newborn before handing him or her to the neonatal practitioner.

  • The birth partner and baby will be escorted to a warm transitional room adjacent to the operating room where the baby will be dried and assigned an APGAR (activity [muscle tone], pulse, grimace [reflexes], appearance [skin color], respiration) score. This process takes approximately five minutes. 

  • The nurse will then return to the OR with the baby warmed and wrapped to offer the opportunity for skin to skin contact (if desired), a few moments of snuggle time and a photo opportunity.

After surgery:

  • Immediate surgical recovery will take place in the Birthing Center suite unless you have been placed under general anesthesia. 

  • If  general anesthesia was required, patients will then be recovered in the PACU adjacent to the OR or be taken to the main PACU. This stage typically lasts approximately one to three hours. 

  • During recovery a nurse will monitor the patient's vital signs, incision site and manage pain, if any.  Family members are allowed to visit after arrival back to the Birthing Center suite.