Cesarean section

When a woman gives birth by caesarean section, the baby is born through  the mothers abdomen.

The procedure takes about 30-45 minutes. After the birth of the baby the wound is stitched up.

A cesarean section is done for several reasons. For example, a common reason is a breech baby. When the decision is made in advance, we call this a planned or primary cesarean. In this case, you can always ask for a gentle c- section. This is offered in more and more hospitals. Mother and child are not separated then.

Sometimes a complication occurs during labor  requiring a cesarean section.  In that case we speak of an emergency caesarean or secondary cesarean section.

Not every complication demands immediate intervention. If a baby is in serious trouble a c-section should be performed fast. but with insufficient progress of labor a fifteen minute delay will not make a difference to the outcome. 

Most often you will be given either an epidural block, or a spinal block. An epidural block numbs the lower half of the body. An injection is made into a space in your spine in your lower back. A small tube may be inserted into this space so that more of the drug can be given through the tube later, if needed. A spinal block also numbs the lower half of your body. You receive it the same way as an epidural block, but the drug is injected directly into the spinal fluid. You and your partner will be involved in the birth of your baby.

After a caesarean, the blood pressure, pulse rate, blood loss and the amount of urine need to be checked regularly. Through the IV fluids are administered.

With an epidural you will have no control over your legs the first hours after the operation. Gradually, the feeling and strength in your legs will return. The bladder catheter  sometimes causes an unpleasant feeling. Usually, the nurse removes the catheter, the day after the operation

After a cesarean recovery usually takes longer than after a vaginal birth. A caesarean section is major abdominal surgery with all the risks attached. The most common problems after a cesarean are : anemia, a bladder infection or damage to the bladder, bleeding in the abdomen, wound infection, thrombosis and intestinal damage.

After a Caesarean the mother has a scar in the uterus. There is a small chance that this scar will tear at the next birth.  Also there is a small chance that during a subsequent pregnancy the placenta will grow into the scar of the first caesarean section.

Caesarean section is a major abdominal surgery. You should recover well from it. It takes about 6 weeks before you return to performing your normal duties or can drive your car.