Q: What exactly is a cesarean birth?
A: It is the birth of a baby through a surgical incision (cut) made in the abdomen and uterus.
With a national cesarean birthrate approaching 35% all pregnant patients would benefit by familiarizing themselves with the procedure. Scheduled cesarean births are typically done Monday through Friday at various times throughout the day. Usually scheduled at 39 weeks gestation, your doctor will discuss the procedure and its benefits and shortfalls with you. You will be scheduled for Pre-admission testing a day or two before your procedure. The nursing staff there will review with you the procedure, consent forms, other hospital forms, advise you of the necessary prep needed and obtain the necessary laboratory work. This all streamlines your hospital admission process. You will need to strictly avoid anything by mouth for at least eight hours prior to the procedure. You will be asked to report to the Labor and Delivery Unit about one and a half hours before your scheduled surgery time. You may have family members present before your delivery, but only one support person is allowed in surgery. Photographs are encouraged but videos are not permitted. You will meet your anesthesiologist prior to your delivery.
All of your questions will be addressed at that time. The surgery usually takes under an hour. After getting settled in the recovery room your family will visit with you for this hour prior to your transfer to the Mother-Baby Unit. Most patients stay three nights in the hospital after cesarean delivery.
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