What Is a Caesarean Section?
A caesarean section is a surgical procedure in which a surgeon delivers a baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and womb. A caesarean section provides lower risk than a natural, vaginal delivery, especially if complicating factors exist. If you choose to use this method of delivery, your healthcare provider will generally schedule the operation one week before your due date.
Who Requires a Caesarean Section?
Generally, your healthcare provider will recommend a caesarean section when conditions exist that increase the risk of a natural delivery, such as the mother having high blood pressure or a small pelvis while carrying twins or triplets. A breech birth (the baby is facing the wrong way) or fetal distress is also justification for the procedure. A caesarean section is typically elective surgery, so you need to discuss the risk factors with your healthcare provider in advance, to allow you to make an informed decision.
What to Expect with a Caesarean Section.
Using a general anesthetic or an epidural (an injection in your spine that numbs you from the waist down), your surgeon will make an incision in the lower abdomen (usually above the bikini line) to gain access to the womb. The surgeon will open your womb, lift out the baby and placenta (afterbirth) and then stitch the incisions. Postoperative stay is generally one week, during which time your healthcare provider will supply necessary painkillers and an IV drip to replenish salt, sugar, water, and blood. You should be walking within two days of the caesarean section, breastfeeding in four days, and resuming all regular activities within six weeks.