Sometimes a cesarean birth (C-section) is the safest way to deliver your baby. A cesarean birth is a procedure in which the doctor surgically delivers your baby. While a C-section birth may be frightening at first, it can be just as joyous and rewarding for you and your birth partner as a vaginal birth.
A C-section birth may be needed for a number of reasons – your baby is in distress or in the wrong position, your pelvis is too small, your baby is too large, your labor isn’t progressing, or you had a previous delivery by C-section.
C-section births take place in an obstetrical operating room where you will be attended by:
To prepare you for a C-section birth, your nurse will start an intravenous therapy (IV), clean and shave your lower abdomen. Usually, you will be given spinal or epidural anesthesia. Then a catheter, or thin tube, will be inserted into your bladder. The anesthesia allows you to be awake during the birth and to share the birth experience. In most cases, your support person will be allowed to be with you during the surgical procedure. There are some circumstances which medically require general anesthesia. You can discuss options with your provider.
Following the C-section birth, there will be a one- to two-hour recovery period in the recovery room. During that time, you will be watched closely and made as comfortable as possible. Generally, your baby will be with you during your recovery time to maximize bonding and initiate breastfeeding if desired. You will have a nurse with you throughout your c-section recovery.
If you are having a scheduled C-section , your care provider will share specific surgery instructions with you prior to your scheduled surgery date, and you will receive a call the evening before from Labor and Delivery with additional information.
All About Baby is our prenatal and family education program, designed to guide you and your family through this exciting time. Most women find it helpful to attend their prenatal classes between 30 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. We recommend the Prepared Childbirth Education Class be completed by 36 weeks of pregnancy.
We encourage you, as well as your family and friends, to attend these classes. The information you gather beforehand can only help you and your family prepare.
All of our baby classes are open to both Carle and non-Carle patients. A small fee is charged for some classes to cover expenses, but for most classes there are no fees. We do ask, however, that you register in advance for any of the classes offered.
View upcoming All About Baby classes
With doctors practicing in 80 specialties at locations throughout the region, it’s easy to find the right healthcare team at Carle. Our mission is to serve people through high quality care, medical research and education.