What to Expect During a Scheduled C-section
The Day Before Your C-Section
Eat a healthy dinner the night before, but please remember, do not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to surgery, including mints or gum.
The Day of Your C-Section
Please arrive two hours prior to the scheduled surgical time. A support person is welcome to be present with you throughout the process, from pre- to post-op.
- During the pre-operative period, Birthing Center nurses will confirm your health history, including any medications, allergies or previous illnesses, as well as other medical history. They will start an IV, which will provide hydrating fluids and antibiotics.
- The obstetrician and anesthesiologist will consult with you 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 you to be awake for the delivery of your baby.
- A registered nurse accompanies you to the operating room. Expectant mothers may 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 you and you birth partner from the procedure; however, you will be verbally engaged in the procedure to whatever degree you are comfortable.
- After the baby is delivered, the obstetrician will allow you a moment to see your 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 Your C-section
- Immediate surgical recovery happens in the Birthing Center suite, unless you have been placed under general anesthesia.
- If general anesthesia was required, you will then recover 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 your vital signs and incision site and manage any pain. Family members are allowed to visit after you arrive back at the Birthing Center suite.