C-Section (Caesarean Section)

Preparing for Surgery

You would have discussed with Dr Alexander the date and time of the procedure.

Dr Alexander will discuss with you any special preparations if needed depending on the course of your pregnancy.

You will also be reminded to refrain from eating or drinking for eight before your surgery.

Checking into the Hospital

Present to the Mater Mothers Hospital 5th floor reception desk the morning of your surgery, usually two hours before the operation time.

Once you’ve arrived at the hospital, you’ll

  • Check in, admitted and be shown to your room,

  • Change into a hospital gown

Once in your ready you will be

  • Assessed by the midwife including physical assessment (checking vital signs and reviewing your medical history),

  • The hairline 3 cm above pubic bone might be shaved down.

The C-Section Procedure

When the time comes, a nurse will bring you and your partner to the operating complex.

You will meet your

  • Midwife

  • Paediatrician, and

  • Anaesthetist

The Anaesthetist will discuss your options for anaesthesia.

After an anaesthetic is administered, you will

  • Lie down on an operating table and

  • a catheter will be inserted to drain urine during your C-section and until you can attend to your own bathroom needs.

Dr Alexander or attending nurse will then set up a curtain above your chest to separate you from your surgical team (giving you both some privacy during your operation).

Your arms may be secured to keep you from accidentally reaching into the sterile surgical area.

If you have regional anaesthesia (epidural or spinal), the method generally preferred by doctors and hospitals, you’ll be awake during the operation.

You won’t feel pain, but if you’ve had an epidural, you will probably feel pressure and pulling throughout the procedure.

Your Partner During C-Section

Your partner is allowed to sit at your side during your operation; he will be given hospital scrubs to wear during your surgery. You should be able to talk to your partner and Dr Alexander during the procedure

During the operation, your partner will be prohibited from videotaping, however still photos are allowed.

Moments after your C-Section Delivery

Once your baby is born, the paediatrician in the same operating room will examine him or her and that takes 5-10 minutes.

The baby then is brought to your arms until the procedure is finished. You will then be moved to a post-op recovery room where you’ll be closely monitored, usually for the next one hours.

A lot of what you’ll experience is based on the type of anaesthesia. Women who’ve had general anaesthesia will feel more groggy and sleepy.

While those who had a spinal or epidural, may be experiencing “the shakes.” This uncontrollable shivering is harmless and is caused by a combination of the birth process and the medications you received in your spinal or epidural.

If you received morphine through your spinal or epidural towards the end of surgery, you may also have an all-over itchy feeling—a common side effect. There are medicines that will help control the itching, should it become unbearable.

If all is going well, you’ll be moved to your hospital room.

Your First Day After Caesarean Section

Nurses will still closely monitor you. Throughout your first day after delivery, you can expect checks of your vital signs, your incision, and your vaginal discharge.

Your nurse will check the amount of urine you’re passing and will use a stethoscope to listen for bowel sounds. Your nurse will also assess your pain and help with pain management.

You can have water after 4 hours, and if you feel well and nauseous will be allowed to have free fluids after 6 hours, and diet as tolerated the day after.

The bladder catheter will stay for at least 12 hours, that is usually removed the second morning after the procedure and you will have what we call Trial Of Void.

The nurse will measure the volume of urine that is left in the bladder after you urinate. That practice was put in place to insure the proper functioning of the bladder after spinal or epidural anaesthesia.

Breastfeeding After a Caesarean Section

If you had a Caesarean due to a complicated pregnancy or delivery, or if you or your newborn is ill, it may take longer to begin nursing,

If you and baby are both feeling well, you may have started nursing in the recovery room. Expect to need help with breastfeeding, especially at first.

Your hospital’s lactation nurse can help you. Always remember that there are many techniques and many opinions. Do not get confused, you might need to try all and settle on one that suits best your baby and yourself.

Your Second Day After Caesarean Section On Your Feet

You’ll probably be free of the catheter on your second day after delivery. And if you are feeling well enough, you’ll begin eating and drinking again.

Around this time, your nurse may also help you take those first post-op steps and will help you have a shower, you will also be visited by a physiotherapist who will teach you a few bracing techniques, and exercises.

Dr Alexander will come to check on you the second day, you will also be able to to discuss any concerns you may have. The paediatrician will also come to check on the baby.

Your Recovery After C-Section

Pain control usually, oral medicine, is ordered for you by Dr Alexander and the Anaesthetist. Some are given regularly and some as required.

Take your pain relief, and keep on top of it. Use your hospital stay to recover,

Having a pillow on hand can help tremendously during these days after surgery. Press it gently against your belly to help soften pain when walking or sneezing, and tuck it behind your back to help you feel more comfortable when sitting.

Risks With Caesarean Section Delivery

Though planned Caesareans aren’t foolproof, it can be reassuring to know that, for the most part, you have the ability to prepare for one of the most exciting events in your life.

Armed with knowledge, many mothers find that delivering via C-section is less stressful than they expected. With a good birth plan and open communication between Dr Alexander and your birthing team, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the birth of your child.

Your New Baby after Caesarean Section

Your stay post procedure is also a time to get to know your baby and gain confidence in preparation to discharge home.

Going Home After C-Section

You will be going home from the hospital on Day 5 if all is good. The first week or two you are home don’t push yourself.

You can also ease your recovery by continuing to be gently active and remembering not to lift anything heavier than your newborn.

Try to have sleep whenever you can, you and your partner should take “shifts”, when you feel tired frustrated and “nothing working” take a break and have couple of hours sleep. With each day that goes by in the first two weeks, you typically feel a little better.”