What to expect when having a C-section

No matter how your baby comes into the world, whether it be via a C-section or natural birth, it's a special moment and also a scary time when you're not sure what to expect.

Before the C-section

Before the operation begins, a catheter will be inserted to aid urination after the operation. A drip will also be inserted for fluids and medication to be administered. A nurse will attach leads to monitor your heart beat and blood pressure. Your stomach will also be with anti-bacterial wash in preparation for the C-section.

A regional anesthetic block will be given to restrict pain while you stay awake. The block will keep working for a few hours after the C-section so you won't be in pain straight away.

During the C-section

This part may scare expectant parents, because there's a very serious operation happening on the other side of that screen. The entire procedure only takes about 30 minutes in total, but a mere 5 minutes after the initial incision, your baby should be born.

Your doctor will make an incision below your navel, enter through the abdominal wall and open the lower section of your uterus. Once your uterus is open your doctor will reach in and remove your baby. The umbilical cord will then be cut and your baby will be in the safe hands of the paediatrician. The afterbirth will then be removed.

Next up, your doctor will begin to close up and repair your uterus and the cut on your stomach.

If you want to see EXACTLY what will happen, take a look at this video.

WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC FOOTAGE - This video may upset sensitive viewers.

After the C-section

Now that your baby is here, you can begin the journey of healing. You'll be taken to the recovery room and your baby will either join you in your room or be moved to the nursery or a neonatal intensive care unit. The only time your baby will go to the NICU is if your C-section was an emergency procedure or if there were complications.

Depending on your body and the medical occurrences around your C-section, each person heals at a different rate. No matter what, remember that a C-section is no minor surgery. Your body will need time to heal and as much as your new baby needs love and attention, you need to take care of yourself too.

Depending on whether or not your C-section was an emergency operation, your stay in the hospital can be anything from 3 to 10 days.

Always remember that if you're worried about absolutely anything, ask your doctor immediately. There's no shaming in asking.

More about C-sections

Advice for having a C-section
Tia's birth story: 'The 15 minute C-section'
How to pack a hospital bag (for real)

Do you have a birth story or video to share? Email chatback@parent24.com.
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