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A C-section, also called Cesarean birth, is a surgical procedure in which a doctor makes incisions in a woman’s abdomen and womb to deliver her baby.
At Dignity Health Southern California hospitals, our caring doctors offer comprehensive labor and delivery services to ensure the health of your baby. Visit one of our comfortable, modern locations to learn about C-section in Southern California:
To request an appointment, use our online Find a Doctor tool.
Your doctor may consider a C-section as a safer alternative for you, your baby, or both of you.
Common reasons for having a C-section include:
First, your abdomen is prepped with antiseptic solution. The surgeon then makes an incision in your abdomen and womb. Your baby is brought out through the opening and the incision is closed up.
Depending on the circumstances and your personal preferences, you may receive an epidural (spinal anesthesia) to numb you from the waist down. You’ll be awake and alert but won’t feel any pain. General anesthesia is also an option.
The procedure generally lasts one hour. Your doctor delivers your baby during the first minutes of a C-section and uses the remaining time to close the incision.
You’ll likely stay in the hospital for two or three days after your surgery. A nurse will monitor your incision to make sure it heals properly and will show you how to support yourself safely with a pillow. You’ll be given pain medication as you need it. Your care team will also make sure you’re tolerating food and going to the bathroom normally before you leave.
The recovery time after a C-section is longer than vaginal birth. Talk with your doctor about rest and when it’s safe to increase your activity level. If you develop redness around your incision, a fever, or foul drainage, call your doctor right away.
You’ll have a postpartum evaluation with your doctor about six weeks after you give birth. It’s recommended that you wait until your check up to resume sexual intercourse.
Dignity Health offers comprehensive pregnancy services, including C-section, in Southern California.