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Having A Caesarean – everything you need to know

Having A Caesarean – everything you need to know

Having A Caesarean - everything you need to know

Around 25% of mums have a c-section birth – not because were too posh to push, but because sometimes its the safest option

C-sections are undoubtedly a necessary option for every woman going into labour. With any luck, youll have a vaginal birth. But with one in four babies delivered by caesarean, it really is worth being prepared for the process should you need one

For most women, a vaginal birth is the ideal way to bring your baby into the world but, for some, medical reasons mean a c-section is the better option. These include placenta praevia, where a low-lying placenta blocks the neck of the womb and your babys exit route, or a breech presentation, where shes lying feet or bottom first.

  • Category 4 The fully elective procedure.
  • Category 3 The semi-elective procedure takes place when labour isnt progressing, and theres time for discussion.
  • Category 2 An emergency c-section because your babys distressed but the threat to life is not imminent. The aim is to deliver the baby within 40 minutes.
  • Category 1 An emergency procedure where theres an immediate threat to life. The team aim to deliver the baby within 30 minutes of making the decision .

New guidelines mean pregnant women can now request a c-section on the NHS for a reason that isnt necessarily medical, such as a fear of birth. Counselling should be offered, as well as medical advice on the pros and cons of a caesarean versus vaginal birth. But, if you do still want a c-section, thats your right.

Giving birth doesnt always go to plan and, occasionally, an emergency c-section may be your only option

Giving birth doesnt always go to plan and, occasionally, an emergency c-section may be your only option. Knowing what to expect will help you through it.

Youll be given an epidural or spinal block, which allows you to stay awake during the procedure. A fabric screen is placed over your abdomen, so you and your partner cant see the incision thats being made just above your pubic hairline.

You can be accompanied by one person. Theyll be asked to sit close to your head if the operation is difficult or there are a lot of staff present. If you have a general anaesthetic, they wont be allowed to accompany you.

Generally an anaesthetist and their assistant (known as an OPD); a surgeon and their assistant – both doctors; a nurse; probably your midwife and a runner (usually a healthcare assistant), who makes sure the surgeon has all the equipment needed. The neonatal team may well be present if the babys likely to need help after delivery.

Many hospitals believe in lsquo;enhanced recovery which means, providing there are no problems, you can go home the day after surgery. This reduces the risk of blood clots because you will be moving about more, and many women are keen to recuperate at home. Otherwise, a three- to four-day stay is usual.

It typically takes six weeks for your tissue to heal. During this time, you will be able to look after yourself and your baby, but you will need to take it easy.

Its common sense to avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting and tasks that are painful – for example, some mums who have had a c-section find vacuuming impossible for a few weeks post surgery.

Many mums choose not to drive in this six-week period. Its important to check that your motoring insurance isnt affected if you do otherwise.

You will need to clean and dry the wound daily, wear loose clothing for comfort, and you may need painkillers to cope with discomfort.

Most popular articles in The day you give birth

Having A Caesarean - everything you need to know

Bringing your new baby home from hospital is a real rite of passage. That, and theres nothing quite like being back in your own bed after the physical and emotional roller coaster of birth. But how long will you have to wait?

Having A Caesarean - everything you need to know

Around 25% of mums have a c-section birth – not because were too posh to push, but because sometimes its the safest option

Having A Caesarean - everything you need to know

Take the time to look after yourself and youll breeze through that post-op period. A caesarean section (or c-section) is a common operation.

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