C-Section Birth: What to Expect

C-Section Birth

It’s important to remember that labor and delivery are natural, somewhat unpredictable things. It’s impossible to plan everything when it comes to delivering your baby, so it’s good to be prepared for any surprises should they come!

Scheduling your c-section should be no stress at all. Your doctor will probably set up the appointment themselves, and tell you when to show up. They’ll most likely ask that you arrive two hours before your procedure is scheduled to begin.

The procedure itself will be relatively quick—anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. If you had to get an emergency c-section, you most likely will have already had an epidural. If you’re having a planned c-section you may get a spinal block (another kind of anaesthetic injection) instead. Your anesthesiologist will ask you questions about your medical history and go from there.

Shortly before the surgery your pubic hair will be shaved (not all of it, just the top) for the procedure. You’ll get an IV for fluids and pain medications, as well as a catheter since you’ll be too numb to walk to the bathroom.

During the surgery itself, there will be a curtain blocking your lower half. You may feel pressure, pushing or tugging as your doctor guides the baby out, but the entire process should be pain-free. You’ll most likely hear your baby’s first cries right away!

The baby’s cord will be cut, and you’ll see him or her briefly before they’re taken to a warmer in the room. There he or she will be assessed and stabilized to make sure they’re transitioning well. Your doctor will sew you up, and you’ll need to be able to sit up before you can hold your new baby.


The recovery room will be your home for up to four days after your procedure. Most hospitals have bunk-in policies, which means you’ll be with your baby the entire time unless you need to shower or anything else, in which case your baby will spend a little time in the nursery.

You’ll be incredibly sore—you’re biggest concern will be the pain from where you had your incision, but you’ll be given pain medication and lots of time to rest. Avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby or doing anything strenuous for four to six weeks after your surgery. Your OB will see you every day, and your postpartum nurse will be there if you feel overwhelmed at all or have any questions.

And of course, if you have questions about your c-section journey before then, contact Regional Medical Center.