A cesarean birth is surgery to deliver a baby through incisions in the mother’s abdomen and womb.
At Dignity Health, a cesarean birth is considered when your doctor feels it is the safest delivery option for the mother, the baby, or both. Reasons for a cesarean birth may include:
- Problem with the placenta, such as placenta previa
- Health problems in the mother, such as an active herpes infection or eclampsia
- Health problems in the baby, including certain birth defects
- Multiple babies
- Unusual positioning of the baby
- Previous cesarean birth
- Failure of labor to progress
- A very large baby
- Fetal distress
Your experienced Dignity Health doctors and nurses are happy to help you learn more about cesarean birth. We want you to have the healthiest delivery possible, which is why we personalized your care and use most advanced technologies. Call your Dignity Health OB to schedule an appointment.
What You Can Expect from a Cesarean Birth
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.
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.
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.
Whenever possible, our 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 is used, which makes you unconscious for the procedure.
Have a Healthy Cesarean Birth Recovery
After a certain birth, most moms stay in the hospital for two or three 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 certain 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 certain birth usually takes longer than recovery after a vaginal birth. Rest when you can and gradually increase activity. Let your doctor at Dignity Health know if you develop a fever, redness at the incision, foul smelling drainage, or other complications and abnormal discomfort.
The Dignity Health Family Birth Center team provides comprehensive certain birth delivery and recovery care at Northridge Hospital Medical Center.