Cesarean Birth: What you need to know

Your baby’s birth is a very special event. We have enclosed the following information to help you and your partner understand what to expect before your Cesarean birth.

Nothing solid to eat after midnight. You may have clear liquids (water, juice, broth) up to four hours prior to your planned Cesarean birth.

Arrive at the hospital two hours prior to the time of your scheduled Cesarean birth.

We recommend that except for your camera, you leave all your belongings in your car. If you are planning cord blood banking, remember to bring your kit. Your family may bring the rest of your belongings to you when you are transferred to your postpartum room.

Significant Other
Your significant other may accompany you to the operating room (OR). He/she may come in once you are comfortable, adequate anesthesia has been administered and your baby’s delivery is ready to begin. Having more than one support person in the OR needs to be discussed with and approved by your anesthesiologist.

While in the OR, family/visitors may wait in the west wing waiting area. Visitation in the recovery room is possible once your condition is stable. Privacy and respect for other recovery room patients will be considered.

Intravenous “IV”
Your IV will be started upon arrival to your pre-op room. Your nurse will use buffered lidocaine to numb the area prior to the insertion of the IV. This will make placement of the IV less painful.

Fetal Monitoring
You will be placed on a fetal monitor for a short period of time. This will allow us to listen to your baby’s heart and assess if you are having contractions.

Abdominal Prep
Your lower abdomen will be prepped with clippers to remove pubic hair. Instead of razor shaving, hair removal with clippers, used on the morning of surgery, results in reduced surgical site infections.

An oral antacid may be ordered and given pre-operatively to prevent nausea and reflux while in the OR.

Foley Catheter
A foley catheter is placed to empty your bladder of urine. Placement is done in the OR after your spinal anesthesia is working.

Length of Cesarean Birth
You will be in the OR for approximately one and one half hours.

Immediately After the Birth
Your baby is evaluated and cared for at a warming unit in the OR. As soon as it is determined that your baby is transitioning well, he or she will be brought to you and your partner for bonding. Your baby will be placed skin to skin upon entering the recovery room and the nurses will help you begin nursing/ bottle feeding within the first half hour.

Newton-Wellesley Hospital supports the use of safe Skin-to-Skin after delivery. Skin-to-Skin positioning involves placing the infant “on their tummy” on the parent’s chest.

  • During safe Skin-to-Skin, the parent and infant are active participants. This position is not recommended for a sleeping infant or a sleeping parent.
  • Our maternity staff at Newton-Wellesley Hospital will be helping parents learn about proper infant positioning during safe Skin-to-Skin to make sure that the infant’s nose and mouth are not blocked and the infant is breathing comfortably.
  • We will be providing close observation when Skin-to-Skin positioning is used in the first few hours of life.

From the OR you will go to the recovery room for one and one half to two hours. Here your vital signs and pain level will be monitored closely. When your care team determines you are stable, you will transfer to your postpartum room.