What to Expect from a Scheduled C-Section

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Do you have a schedule C-section? What to expect varies by person, but there are a few commonalities that most women experience.

A lot of worries may spring to mind when you think about your scheduled C-section and wonder what to expect. Some of your expectations will prove spot on, such as the need to look away from all the pointy surgical objects, while others may not play out exactly like you think you will. If you have a scheduled C-section, here’s what to expect.

Settle into the Procedure

In most cases, the doctor won’t put you under the knife immediately. You’ll likely arrive at least an hour or two before the procedure, kind of like getting your bags checked at the airport. The staff will ask you many questions, ask you to sign consent forms, draw your blood and wipe your body down with an antiseptic.

You’ll drink a weird-tasting liquid to neutralize your stomach. You’ll receive instructions before your admittance not to eat or drink at least eight hours before the procedure since it may lead to complications.

You’ll get a meet-and-greet with your anesthesiologist and doctor so you have a chance to ask any questions and settle your worries. Once inside, you receive your spinal block if selected as your form of pain management.

The spinal gets placed in the operating room while you sit in a “C” position on the operating table, and the injection should take between 10 and 15 minutes, as it acts more quickly than epidurals. You lie down on the operating table. A Foley catheter will be inserted to drain your bladder during the procedure and for a short time afterward.

The anesthesiologist checks to make sure your spinal works by poking your belly. Then, they wipe your body with the antiseptic to prevent infection. From that point on, your partner can be invited into the operating room to support you and witness the birth of your beautiful child.

Tip: A few weeks or days pre-op, ask to bring in a playlist. Anything that makes you feel comfortable will distract you from weird skin and tool sounds as well as regular doctor small talk.

“You’ll Feel a Little Pressure”

Part of the wrinkles you initially develop as a new mom comes from the experience of hearing your doctor say the following, “Next you’ll feel a little pressure.” In this case, “pressure” does tend to mean some serious pressure.

That feeling means they make sure your baby emerges safe and sound with a team effort — pushing on your part and pulling on their end. The pros outweigh the cons — your baby is coming, and it’s quick. In general, C-sections typically last 45 to 60 minutes.

You May Forget Surgery’s Happening

Aside from the pressure, your attention may drift from the fact that you’re undergoing surgery during your scheduled c-section. The operating room fills with you with a mix of dread and excitement at first glance, but that energy will likely switch over to pure joy quickly. Your kiddo is coming!

Many nurses are also great about chatting with you about your baby once they’re out and about, and you can ask your partner questions about what they see. You also get to hold your baby sooner than you may think.

All of that will distract you from what the doctor does while finishing up the procedure. You may feel trembling and nausea, and you’ll get to eat real food soon. Before you know it, you end up in the post-op recovery room as an ecstatic new mom ready to start bonding with your baby.

Remember to take it easy and get a lot of a rest in your recovery period. Being a new mom is one of the most exhilarating events, but also the most tiring. Take care of yourself and enjoy your time with you new child.

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