Planned Caesarean - Attending the pre-admission visit with the anaesthetist.
If your baby is to be born by planned caesarean section, you will be given an appointment to come in to the hospital for a consultation with an anaesthetist. This visit is usually a week or two before your operation, the anaesthetist will discuss your anaesthetic choices.
You will also be able to ask questions about the operation and your care in hospital and you will be given instructions about when to stop eating and drinking in preparation for the operation.
For a planned caesarean, you will be admitted to the hospital on the day of your operation, to the Maternity Unit where you will be admitted and prepared to go to the Operating Theatre.
Anaesthetic for a planned Caesarean
In the operating room, before your surgery, you will have an intravenous drip put into your arm if you don’t already have one.
Epidural or Spinal Anaesthetic
This is local anaesthetic is inserted into your lower back to numb the pain of surgery so you can be awake. This is the most common anaesthetic and usually the safest.
With this option, one person (your partner or support person) is allowed to go into the operating theatre with you.
General anaesthetic is where you are put into a deep sleep for the duration of the procedure.
This is less common for a caesarean but is sometimes the better option. For safety reasons,
this option does not allow a partner or support person to be in the operating room with you. In this case your baby will be taken to your partner and your midwife will stay with them until you are awake to see your baby.
When Baby is born following an Epidural or Spinal anaesthetic
The birth of your baby
Once everything is ready, the obstetrician will start the operation. If you are awake, you may feel some mild pressure as your baby is lifted out of your uterus.
Your baby will be dried off and usually brought to you. Occasionally some babies are a bit sleepy or need a bit of help getting used to breathing in air.
This may delay contact with you for a few minutes.
With a planned caesarean, we are mostly able to keep you and your baby together during the remainder of the operation and when you go to the theatre recovery room after the surgery. This allows your baby to have skin to skin contact with you and hopefully to have the first breast feed soon after birth [if you have chosen to breastfeed]
Your Midwife will remain with you and your baby in the Operating theatre and recovery room to assist you with your baby and to breastfeed.
Following your operation you will spend a short time in the recovery room before returning to your room in Maternity.
What if you need an emergency Caesarean section ?
In most cases if you need an unplanned/emergency caesarean section it will be still done under Epidural or Spinal anaesthetic and your partner will be present in the operating theatre.
Extra Doctors may be present depending on the reason you need the emergency caesarean. Doctors and Midwives will keep you and your baby together as much as possible however if you or your baby need additional care this may not be possible, your partner will be encouraged to remain with your baby if this is the case.