Elective Caesarean Section
A Caesarean Section is a procedure to deliver your baby by a surgical operation which may be recommended by your obstetrician for various reasons.
In the case of an elective section, you will receive information in the antenatal period regarding preparation for the day of your caesarean section. You will be contacted by theatre staff the night before your operation regarding your admission the following day and details on fasting, medications and any other queries answered.
On the morning of your surgery you will go to CUMH reception and a bed will be allocated to you.
On the ward, you will be given a theatre gown, hat and anti-embolic stockings (specific stockings to wear which reduce the risk of developing a clot after your operation). You will then be escorted to the theatre reception with a ward staff member and your birthing partner.
You will be asked to bring a babygro, vest, hat and nappy for your newborn.
You will be welcomed and orientated to the theatre department by a theatre staff member. The necessary checks and paperwork will be carried out before going into the theatre. An anaesthetic doctor will discuss your medical history and decide on appropriate anaesthesia. Almost all C sections are carried out under regional anaesthesia ie. Spinal or Epidural. This means you will be awake and see your baby as soon as he/she is born. This also means your birthing partner stays with you. Your partner will remain in the theatre reception while you are having your anaesthetic. While waiting; they will be given a gown, covers for over their shoes and a hat to wear before going into the theatre.
The operation usually takes about an hour. You will have a Cannula (needle) placed in your arm to administer IV fluids and antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. A urinary catheter (tube) will be inserted into your bladder and removed after twelve hours. Once the anaesthesia is administered, sterile protective drapes are applied which can be lowered if desired for you to witness the birth of your baby.
While still in theatre the baby is weighed, and dressed, ID bands and security tags are applied, vitamin K is administered (with your permission) and a full head-to-toe check will be performed by the midwife. Your baby remains in the theatre with you throughout the procedure. On some occasions, your baby may need to be transferred to the neonatal unit for further observation.
Following the operation, you and your baby will be transferred to the recovery room which is beside the theatre for observation. You will remain here for at least an hour before transfer back to the postnatal ward. If feasible skin to skin care, breast or bottle feeding will be initiated. If you have pain, we will ensure that it is well managed and that you are comfortable before transfer to the ward. In recovery you will be allowed to have sips of water; however, you will remain fasting from food for at least six hours. The use of mobile phones and cameras is limited in the theatre department.
We endeavour to make this a positive birthing experience and where possible will follow your birth plan to the best of our ability. We look forward to welcoming you to the theatre in CUMH.