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Old 09-11-2012  
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Default Steps to the Cesarean Section Procedure

If this is your first cesarean section procedure you’re probably very nervous and want to understand exactly what will happen when the time comes. C-sections are generally safe, although it is still a major surgery and there are specific steps to the cesarean section procedure. Here’s everything you can expect, before and during.

Cesarean Section Procedure: Preparation
The first step of the procedure is the preparation. You’ll get an IV during labor and anesthesia, which may be a spinal block or epideral. This will make the lower half of your body completely numb, but you’ll be awake to experience the birth of your baby. If necessary, your abdomen will also be shaved and an antiseptic solution will be applied. A nurse will insert a catheter and place drapes over your stomach. A screen will also be put up so the area remains sterile and you won’t see the incision in your stomach. If you want, ask for a mirror to watch as your stomach is cut and your baby is delivered.

Cesarean Section Procedure: Emergency C-Section
If you are having an emergency cesarean section, there will probably be no time for numbing anesthesia to work. Instead, you’ll be given a general anesthesia and you will be unconscious during the procedure. When you wake up, you’ll feel very tired, disoriented and maybe sick to your stomach. You may also have a sore throat, because an endotracheal tube will be inserted during the procedure so you don’t aspirate stomach contents during the surgery.

Cesarean Section Procedure: The Incision
The doctor will make a horizontal incision or bikini cut just above the pubic hair line. This scar will eventually be unnoticeable in underwear or a swimming suit. Next, an incision will be made in the lower portion of your uterus. This second incision may be vertical or horizontal and depends on the position of the baby. Transverse or horizontal cuts are must common because they cause less bleeding. They also make it possible for you to safely have a vaginal birth in the future.

Cesarean Section Procedure: Delivery
After the incision in your uterus, the doctor or nurse will suction out the amniotic fluid and your baby will be delivered. You’ll probably feel a little tugging during this part. Your baby’s respiratory tract will be suctioned to clear out the lungs, which is normally done naturally during a vaginal birth.

Cesarean Section Procedure: Meeting Your Baby
Once the cord is cut, the placenta will be removed and the doctor will stitch up the incisions. This can take about half an hour. You’ll get the chance to meet your baby on the operating table.

Cesarean Section Procedure: Recovery
A cesarean section birth requires a long and often painful recovery. Right after your C-section you’ll experience the uterine contractions typical after a vaginal delivery, as well as lochia (postpartum bleeding), discomfort and fatigue. You’ll spend up to 4 days in the hospital and it will take up to 6 weeks until you feel normal again. Your incision site will be sore and tender for the first week, then it will be very itchy.
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