A C-section, or Cesarean birth, is surgery to deliver a baby through incisions in the mother’s abdomen and womb.
At Dignity Health, we offer specialized care to meet your needs during pregnancy, childbirth, and delivery. If you would like to learn more about cesarean section in Arizona, schedule a tour at one of our birthing centers, or register for birthing classes near you by calling (877) 728-5414.
Reasons for C-Section
Under certain conditions, a doctor may consider a C-section as a safer alternative to vaginal delivery for the mother, the baby, or both. Reasons a C-section may include:
- Health problems in the mother, such as an active herpes infection or eclampsia
- Health problems in the baby, including certain birth defects
- Fetal distress
- Previous C-section
- Multiple babies
- A very large baby
- Problem with the placenta, such as placenta previa
- Unusual positioning of the baby
- Failure of labor to progress
C-Section at Dignity Health: What to Expect
During a C-section, a surgical team preps your abdomen with antiseptic solution. Then, the surgeon makes an incision in your abdomen and extends it into your womb. The baby is brought out through the incisions and the doctor closes both incisions. A C-section typically takes about an hour. The baby is born within the first few minutes. The rest of the time is used to repair the incisions.
Depending on the circumstances, details of the procedure vary. Whenever possible, doctors use epidural or spinal anesthesia to numb a woman from the waist down, so she can be awake and alert during the procedure. Sometimes, though, general anesthesia — which puts people to sleep — is used. Your partner may or may not be able to be with you during the procedure and you may or may not be able to hold and feed your baby immediately after birth.
Risks of a C-section include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Surgical injury to you or your baby
- Blood clots
- Blood loss
- Difficulty breathing for the baby
Talk with your doctor about how to minimize C-section risks.
Your C-Section Recovery
Recovery after a C-section takes longer than recovery after a vaginal birth. After a C-section, most moms stay in the hospital for two or three days. You will receive pain medication as needed. Nurses will check your surgical incision to make sure it’s healing well and will show you how to support your incision with a pillow when you move. Because a C-section is abdominal surgery, hospital staff will make sure you are tolerating food, urinating, and able to pass a bowel movement before you can leave the hospital.
Once you are home, rest when you can and gradually increase activity. Call your health care provider if you develop a fever, redness at the incision, foul drainage, or other complication.
Around six weeks after birth, you should see your care provider for a postpartum checkup. Most women wait until that time before resuming sexual activity.
Dignity Health provides specialized birthing options to meet your labor and delivery needs, including cesarean section in Arizona.