Has your gynecologist scheduled a C-section for the delivery of your baby(ren)? In this article, find out everything you need to know about this surgical procedure. How long is the hospital stay for a C-section? How to prepare for a cesarean section? How does the operation take place? What are the different postoperative follow-ups? We tell you everything!
What is the length of hospitalization for a C-section?
The duration of hospitalization for a Caesarean section lasts on average between 4 and 6 days. It depends mainly on the state of health of the mother, as well as the baby or babies. This period is defined by the pediatrician, who ensures that the newborn(s) are in good shape, and the gynecologist, who indicates your ability to move without risk to your scar.
Before you leave the maternity ward, the nursing staff will give you some advice. These are mainly recommendations concerning daily gestures such as taking a shower or the positions to adopt to get up and lie down without pain. But also, recommendations concerning breastfeeding and the care of the newborn.
How to prepare for a cesarean section?
As soon as you arrive at the maternity ward, the midwife will welcome you and complete your file, then install you in your room. She will also inform you about the procedure and warn you that you will be transferred to the operating room 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the operation.
While waiting for your transfer, you will receive visits from the anesthesiologist and the gynecologist. But also, the mother has some precautions to take: she must remain fasting during the 12 hours before the arrival at the maternity hospital, remove false nails, piercing, contact lenses or prosthesis. Finally, the nursing staff will tell you to take a shower with antiseptic soap as soon as you arrive at the maternity ward to limit all infectious risks.
What happens during a cesarean section?
A cesarean section is a surgical procedure that takes place in an operating room. Whether scheduled or performed in an emergency, the operation involves the presence of a gynecological surgeon, an anesthesiologist and a team of nurses. And to welcome the arrival of the baby or babies, a pediatrician, a midwife and an operating assistant are also present.
During the operation, the father is invited to wait in a room adjacent to the operating room. He is the first to welcome his child or children! The mother, after having received a spinal anesthesia, is directly taken in charge by the surgical team. The surgeon disinfects the horizontal area above the pubis to be incised and places an operating field.
The cesarean section lasts between 10 and 15 minutes. The opening then takes place in a meticulous and progressive way, until the uterine muscles are reached. Once the water bag is opened, the surgeon takes out the baby or babies in a few seconds. The placenta is finally extracted and the stitches are placed.
What happens in the days following a C-section?
When the mother leaves the operating room, there are two possibilities. Either the postoperative monitoring, which lasts 2 hours, is done in the birth room, or it is done in a recovery room. In the first case, the midwife takes advantage of this time to perform skin-to-skin contact with the newborn and the first breastfeeding. The second case is set up when the health condition of the mother requires a particular monitoring. In this case, the baby is entrusted to his father or monitored in an incubator if necessary.
When you return to your room, the paramedical team will monitor the evolution of the surgical wound and provide you with the appropriate care. After 4 to 5 days, you are allowed to go home! From that moment on, a midwife will come to your home to take care of several elements such as: the good resumption of the transit, the improvement of the cicatrization and the diuresis. This health professional will also accompany you in the first care of your baby and will make sure that he or she is properly fed, whether by breast or bottle.
Whether scheduled or not, a cesarean section requires preparation as soon as you arrive at the maternity hospital. All of the medical staff who welcome you will explicitly inform you of the operation’s progress. But also, immediately after the cesarean and during the entire postoperative phase, you will receive support and advice from a midwife at home. Therefore, rest assured that a cesarean section is always carried out under very close supervision, both for the mother and for the baby(ren)!