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The basics of a cesarean birth are the same as most surgeries. After administering an anesthetic, our surgical team preps your abdomen with antiseptic solution. Then the doctor makes an incision in the abdomen and extends it into the womb. The baby is brought out through the incisions, and the doctor closes both incisions.
Whenever possible, our doctors use spinal or epidural anesthesia to numb you from the waist down, so you can be awake and alert during the procedure. Sometimes, general anesthesia is necessary due to certain health conditions, which makes you unconscious for the procedure.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your cesarean birth, 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. We will always strive to keep families together whenever possible.
A cesarean birth 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.
After a cesarean birth, most moms stay in the hospital for three or four days. Our attentive 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. You will receive pain medication as needed. Because a cesarean birth is abdominal surgery, we will make sure you are tolerating food, urinating, and able to pass a bowel movement before you leave the hospital.
Recovery after a cesarean birth usually takes longer than recovery after a vaginal birth. Rest when you can, and gradually increase activity. Let your doctor know if you develop a fever, redness at the incision, foul smelling drainage, or other complications and abnormal discomfort.