A C-section, or cesarean section, is surgery to deliver a baby through incisions in your abdomen and womb. Your doctor may consider a C-section a safer alternative to vaginal birth for you, your baby, or both.
Dignity Health North State offers comprehensive labor and delivery services, including C-sections, in Northern California. If you would like to learn more about the possibility of needing a C-section, Find a Doctor at one of our maternity and family birth centers.
Why Cesarean Section is Necessary
A C-section may be a planned or an emergency procedure. An emergency C-section is one which is not expected and performed due to a problem. A cesarean section may be necessary due to:
- Fetal distress
- Health problems in the mother, such as an active herpes infection or eclampsia
- Health problems in the baby, including certain birth defects
- Problem with the placenta, such as placenta previa
- Multiple babies
- Unusual positioning of the baby
- Previous C-section
- Failure of labor to progress
- A very large baby
What Happens During a C-Section at Dignity Health North State
Your surgical team will first prep your abdomen with antiseptic. A surgeon makes an incision in your abdomen that extends into your womb. The baby is brought out and the doctor closes both incisions. A C-section typically takes about an hour, with the baby born within the first few minutes.
An emergency C-section may be much more hurried than a planned C-section. Whenever possible, doctors use epidural or spinal anesthesia to numb you from the waist down, so you can be awake and alert during the procedure. Sometimes, general anesthesia — the same kind used to put people to sleep during other surgeries — is necessary. 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 right after birth. If this is very important to you, try to let your practitioner know your wishes well before you go into labor.
A C-section is major abdominal surgery. Doctors at Dignity Health North State will care for your physical, mental, and spiritual health during and after a C-section in Northern California. Most moms stay in the hospital for two to three days.
As you recover from a C-section, rest when you can and gradually increase your activity. Call your health care provider if you develop a fever, redness at the incision, foul drainage, or anything other unusual symptom. You’ll see your health care provider for a postpartum checkup about six weeks after birth.
Dignity Health North State offers comprehensive care for maternity and birth, including C-sections, in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.