On the day of your surgery please come to maternity reception at the time you have been given. You will be taken to the Enhanced Recovery room which is on delivery suite. Bring your maternity notes notes with you. Please have a shower and remove all make-up and jewellery.
On admission you will be shown to your bedside and a check made on you and your baby. The obstetrician who will perform the operation and the anaesthetist will visit you. There will be lots of opportunity to ask questions. You will have been told that your operation is planned for the morning or the afternoon. this time is provisional and may sometimes need to be changed due to the clinical needs of others. Your midwife will keep you informed.
You are able to drink clear fluids up until the time of the operation
The birth of your baby
The midwife will take you to the operating theatre and your birthing partner will be taken to the changing room and asked to change into theatre clothes. Your birthing partner will then to be invited into theatre to support you.
The correct position for you on the operating bed varies, but it is usual to tilt the bed so your left side is downwards.This keeps the weight of your baby off the middle of your back, until the baby is born. You will be offered a dose of antibiotics through a drip which is usually given before the operation starts.
The baby is born near the beginning of the operation and you will be in theatre for around 50 minutes
Most (96 in every 100) caesarean sections are carried out using a spinal anaesthetic as this is usually the safest option for you and your baby. You will be awake and aware of what is happening. You and your partner can see and hold your baby immediately after the birth.
After a spinal anaesthetic, one in every 100 women have a headache but in only about half of these women it is due to the spinal anaesthetic. Your midwife will be able to help you with this and if it persists will arrange a review with one of the anaesthetists.
Very rarely, the shape of your spine would make a spinal anaesthetic difficult or occasionally a spinal may not provide enough pain relief. In this case, a general anaesthetic is used.
Side effects of a caesarean section
A small number of women will have problems during or after a caesarean section. The most common problems are:
one in every 100 women will have bleeding from the womb and need to return to theatre to stop this. A small number will need a blood transfusion.
one in every 100 women will have a wound infection. For this reason all women are offered antibiotics at the time to reduce this risk.
one in every 100 babies sustain a small cut as the operation is being carried out. Every effort is made to avoid this and it is rarely serious.
Having a caesarean section increases the chances of developing blood clot in the legs or chest. To minimise the risk you will be given a course of injections of heparin (a drug to thin your blood) after the operation.