What can I expect before the cesarean section?

If the cesarean delivery is not an emergency, the following procedures will take place:

  • You will be asked if you consent to the procedure, and in some hospitals, you might be asked to sign a consent form.
  • The anesthesiologist will discuss the type of anesthesia to be used.
  • Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be taken.
  • The hair in the area around the incision will be clipped.
  • A catheter will be inserted to keep your bladder empty.
  • You will have heart and blood pressure monitors applied.

What is the procedure for a cesarean section?

At the start of the procedure, the anesthesia will be administered, and a screen or sterile drape will be used to protect the sterile environment of the incision site. Your abdomen will then be cleaned with an antiseptic, and you might have an oxygen mask placed over your mouth and nose to increase oxygen to the baby.

The doctor will then make an incision through your skin and into the wall of the abdomen. The doctor might use either a vertical or transverse incision. (A horizontal incision is also called a bikini incision, because it is placed beneath the belly button.) Next, a 3- to 4-inch incision is then made in the wall of the uterus, and the doctor removes the baby through the incisions. The umbilical cord is then cut, the placenta is removed and the incisions are closed.

How long does the cesarean section procedure take?

The typical C-section takes about 45 minutes. After the baby is delivered, your healthcare provider will stitch up the uterus and close the incision in your abdomen.

There are different types of emergency situations that can arise during a delivery. In some cases, the cesarean delivery will happen very quickly, with the baby being delivered in as little as 15 to 20 minutes. This is an emergency C-section. Afterwards, there will be additional time when the provider will stitch up the uterus and abdomen.

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