What Happens Before and After a Ceasarean?
If your caesarean has been planned, your doctor will book a date for you to go into hospital for the operation. This date for the operation will be before your baby is due.
- Before you go to hospital, you will be told how long you need to fast for (not eat or drink).
- When you get to hospital, a midwife may clip the top of your pubic hair where the incision will be made.
- You will be asked to have a shower and get dressed into a gown and hat for the operation.
- A urinary catheter (small tube) will be put into your bladder. This will be joined to a plastic bag that will hang on your bed. This is to keep your bladder empty and out of the way so the surgery on your uterus can be performed safely. This is usually taken out within 24 hours after your operation.
- When you are in the operating room, a doctor will put a drip in your hand.
- If you have decided to have an epidural or spinal block, or a general anaesthetic this will be done after you have been transferred into the operating room.
- The midwife will listen to your baby’s heart on arrival in the theatre and then again after the anaesthetic is put in.
It is usually OK for you to have one person with you during the Caesarean if you are going to be awake. This could be your partner, mother, another relative or friend. You may be able to take some still photos in the operating theatre, so remember to ask the theatre staff if it is OK when you arrive.
What if you have had a Caesarean before?
If you had a Caesarean last time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will need a Caesarean for this baby. It depends on the reason you had to have the Caesarean last time. There is information about this in the topic ‘Next birth after Caesarean section’.
- If it was because you or your baby got very sick, or your baby was lying the wrong way, you may not need to have another Caesarean if everything goes well this time.
- Talk with your doctor why you needed a Caesarean last time. Then you can talk about whether you can try to have your baby naturally this time. This is called a VBAC – a vaginal birth after Caesarean.