Preparing for Your Cesarean Birth


While most women stay in the hospital for one to two days after a vaginal delivery, those who deliver by C-section usually stay for three to five days, and occasionally longer. Be sure to pack a bag with enough comfortable clothes for your hospital stay.

Gaining a basic understanding of the procedures that will occur before, during, and after surgery can help you alleviate any undue stress surrounding your baby’s birth. Here is a step-by-step outline of what to expect from and how to prepare for your own Cesarean birth experience.

Though hospital procedures may vary, there are general steps that most will follow when it comes to preoperative procedures. Before your operation day, you’ll probably have lab work, including blood and urine tests, to check for diabetes and other medical issues. 

You’ll meet with an anesthetist to discuss your options for anesthesia. You’ll also be reminded to refrain from eating or drinking for eight to 12 hours before your surgery.

The anesthesia doctor will give you a numbing medication in your back (spinal epidural) so you do not feel pain during your surgery. Then the doctor will clean your abdomen, insert a tube (catheter) in your bladder to drain the urine, and cover you with sterile sheets.