Surgical delivery is also called caesarean section. During a caesarean section, the doctor makes an incision in the mother’s belly to take out the baby.
The most frequent reasons for a caesarean section are:
- The mother’s pelvis is too small for the baby to pass through.
- The placenta is in front of the entrance of the uterus (cervix), or the placenta is coming loose.
- Part of the umbilical cord has come out through the cervix.
- The head of the baby is not facing downwards.
- More than one baby needs to be born.
- The mother or child has an illness that makes natural delivery impossible.
You are admitted to the hospital in the morning. You must have been fasting (no food or drink) for at least 6 hours. You prepare for the caesarean section. For instance: you put on a surgical gown, take off jewellery and remove your make-up.
The doctor will give you an epidural anaesthetic. This is an injection in the lower back. The injection can be given while you are sitting or lying down. It will make you lose the ability to feel some pain.
Your partner or another person of your choice can stay with you. The doctor makes an incision in your belly, just above the pubic hair. You do not feel any pain, but you can feel that you are being operated on.
The doctor takes out your baby. The entire operation takes up to 1 hour.
Then the umbilical cord is cut.
Emergency Caesarean section
If you have an emergency caesarean section:
- The healthcare provider will get your consent or that of your partner if you can't consent.
- You usually receive a general anaesthetic instead of an epidural (local) anaesthetic.
- Your partner may not be able to stay with you after the anaesthetic has been administered.