The Cesarean Section FAQ

What are the indications that one needs a Cesarean?

Following are the commonest indications for a cesarian operation:

  • Prolapsed cord (where the cord comes down before the baby)  
  • Placenta abruptio (where the placenta separates before the birth)  
  • Placenta previa (where the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix)  
  • Fetal malpresentation (transverse lie, breech )  
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), meaning that the head is too large to fit through the pelvis  
  • Maternal medical conditions  
  • foetal distress,  
  • Repeat cesarean

What type of pain relief is offered before and after a cesarean?

  • A regional anesthetic (epidural or spinal)
  • A general anaesthetic
  • A pre- operative sedative is usually avoided because it can reach the baby and make it difficult for the baby to breath.
  • Post operatively pain can be reduced by medication.

What is the procedure for a cesarean?

The basic steps followed are:

  • A catheter inserted to collect urine  
  • An intravenous line inserted  
  • An antacid for your stomach acids  
  • Monitoring leads (heart monitor, blood pressure)  
  • Anesthesia  
  • Anti-bacterial wash of the abdomen, and partial shaving of the pubic hair  
  • Skin Incision (vertical or midline(most common))  
  • Uterine Incision  
  • Breaking the Bag of Waters  
  • Disengage the baby from the pelvis  
  • BIRTH!!!! (Accomplished by hand, forceps, or vacuum extractor)  
  • Cord Clamping and cutting  
  • Newborn Evaluation  
  • Placenta removed and the uterus repaired  
  • Skin Sutured (Usually the top layers will be stapled and removed within 2 weeks.)  
  • You will be moved to the Recovery Room (If the baby is able s/he can go with you.)

Can I breast feed if I had a cesarean?
Certainly you can. It may take some more effort on your part, but do not hesitate to ask for help. Start breast feeding as soon as possible

If I had one cesarean (or more!), will I have to have another cesarean?
Recent studies have shown that there was an over 80% success rate for Vaginal Birth After Caesarian.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD