What to expect In a C-Section?
When a baby is delivered surgically through an incision made in the mother’s uterus, the procedure is called a Cesarean section, or C-section. While most doctors prefer that the baby is delivered through regular labour, certain medical conditions necessitate the need for medical intervention in delivering the baby.These could include some of the following instances:
- Your baby displays signs of fetal distress
- Your labour is going on for too long and both the baby and you are tired
- The baby passes stool, called meconium, in the uterus
- The umbilical cord slips through your cervix, cutting off the baby’s oxygen supply
Sometimes your doctor might advise a C-section well in advance, also called a planned C-section. Some of the reasons for this include the following conditions:
- Your baby is in breech position
- Your placenta is very low and covers the cervix
- You are carrying more than one baby
- Your baby is large and a vaginal delivery is difficult
- You have some complications like a large fibroid in the uterus
Preparing for a C-Section Your doctor will first explain to you why a C-section is needed to deliver the baby and you have to fill up some consent and indemnity forms. While many hospitals permit the spouse to be present during the process, please check about this with your doctor and your spouse. While preparing you for the surgery, a nurse will give you an antacid to avoid any nausea once you recover from the anesthesia. The doctor might consider giving you an enema to empty your stools and loose the intestines, and inserting a catheter into your urethra to remove any urine, but this is not a must in all cases. An intravenous (IV) drip will be injected for administration of medication during the surgery and for the post-operation recovery.Once you are prepped for the surgery in the operation room, an anesthetist will give you general anesthesia, which will make you unconscious or local anesthesia, which numbs the lower part of your body – after assessing your condition. An antibiotic will be administered through the IV to prevent any infection during and after the surgery.Once you are sedated, the doctor will make a small, horizontal cut in the skin above your pubic bone and work the way to the uterus. Another cut is made in the lower section of uterus, which will help the doctor pull the baby out. Next, the umbilical cord is cut and stapled and a pediatrician will take over to run the APGAR tests on the newborn.During this time, your doctor will stitch up incisions and clean you up. Unlike earlier days, these days doctors use dissolvable stitches which are absorbed by the body and do not need to be cut and removed later. Then, you will be taken to your room where the doctor will monitor your condition for some time. Once you have gained complete consciousness you can hold and feed your baby.For the initial couple of days the catheter and IV will remain and you will be bed bound. Once your doctor feels that your internal wounds are beginning to heal, you will be permitted to walk around. You might be in the hospital for around 5 days before the doctor gives you an all-clear signal to go home.Before you are discharged from the hospital, your doctor will discuss various medications you need to take for your pain, some antibiotics to ward infections and medicines that will help you heal better. You will also be given a diet chart to follow and a schedule for your postnatal visits.Once home, if you experience any problems while passing stools, urine or moving around, excessive bleeding, weakness, etc., do not hesitate to call your doctor. It always helps to keep your doctor in the know about any physical issues you face, and let he or she be the judge of when you need medical support.
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