What is Involved in a Caesarean Section?

Roughly a quarter of all babies are born by Caesarean section.  It’s a surgical operation, it takes maybe three-quarters of an hour to complete, and sometimes the babies come out very quickly, and surprise your partner. Caesarean sections aren’t the easy option, they are normally only performed in an emergency if you or your baby are experiencing complications in the labour.
 
A planned Caesarean section may be necessary, especially if your baby is breach or if the placenta is covering the baby’s exit: The neck of the womb.  Occasionally an emergency Caesarean section will be required, especially if your labour is prolonged or your baby is distressed.  All the midwives will support you and your obstetrician will discuss with you the need before making that decision.
 
A Caesarean section will always take place in a theatre, even in an emergency situation.  Generally it will be OK for you to be wide awake while your baby is being born.  This is done with something similar to an epidural; a local anaesthetic in the base of your spine. 
 
The obstetrician will make a small cut in the lower part of your tummy, just above the pubic bone, and they will make a further incision into the womb.  There will be a screen placed up in front of you so you won’t be exposed to the gory bits.
 
But as soon as your baby is born they will give you your baby to hold, as long as the baby’s in a good condition, and you’ll be able to keep your baby warm, helping the baby adapt to outside life.