THIS is exactly what happens during a C-section

If you’ve had a vaginal birth and are curious about your friend who underwent a knife to deliver her baby went through, or if you are pregnant and want to be mentally prepared for any outcome and would like to be aware of what happens during a C-section, you’ve come to the right place.

First off, let’s clear one thing: A C-sec isn’t the “easier” way of giving birth. Right then, let’s get to it.

You will undergo internal examinations

Sure, even “natural delivery” mums have to bear the brunt of internal examinations, but chances are that you’ll undergo a C-section if, say, the doctor finds that the baby isn’t in the right position to be delivered (breech baby, for instance). Even before this, a nurse will proceed to shave you so that the way is clear for the doctor to proceed during the operation, in case it happens.

Local anaesthesia and catheter

If and when the doctor decides that you have to undergo a C-section for any reason, you will be given a local anaesthesia, or general in case of emergencies. If you had been administered an epidural during labour, chances are the doctor will simply increase the dosage enough to numb you waist down. Pretty soon, you will feel absolutely nothing below your waist. You will also be hooked up to a catheter, which although not painful, can cause slight discomfort.

Welcome to the operation theatre

Once you’re rolled into the operation theatre (prepare to feel a blast of cold air because the temperature inside the OT is very, very low) a doctor or nurse will clean your stomach using iodine. They will also place a curtain starting from your midriff so there’s a good chance you may not be able to see anything that follows. This varies from hospital to hospital, so if you want to see your child being delivered, you can request your doctor to see if it can be arranged. Most hospitals will allow your partner to come and sit next to you such that they have a clear view of you as well as the baby as soon as it’s delivered. They, of course, have to be dressed accordingly.

The knife

You won’t even realise that the first incision has been made. (Thank god!) The cut is exactly at the bikini line (it’s called a bikini cut), and not at your waist. After cutting through the first layer, the surgeon cuts through fat and connective tissue, and moves apart the two muscles of the abdominal wall to reach the uterus. He or she then makes a cut into the uterus and pushes the uterus down to get the baby out. In most cases, doctors warn the mother that she might feel a little bit of pressure, which feels a lot like tugging, but doesn’t hurt one bit. The entire operation takes less than half an hour.

Baby’s day out

Once your baby’s out, you and your partner may be allowed to cut the umbilical cord, following which someone from the hospital staff will examine the baby then and there, and when all is normal, take him to the observational facility in the hospital. Meanwhile, the surgeon removes the placenta, stitch the uterus back up, and close up the other layers with stitches.

Back to recovery

As soon as the operation is over, the hospital staff might cover you up in blankets to give you some relief from the freezing temperature inside the OT. You’ll be wheeled back to your room where you will be hooked up to antibiotics immediately. Since you’ll be bleeding for at least 4-6 weeks post delivery, you will be required to wear sanitary pads. The anaesthesia from the surgery will start wearing off in 3-4 hours, but you will be hooked up to painkillers round the clock. A couple of hours after you’ve been taken to your room, the staff nurse should bring you your baby and you can try to breastfeed. But take care not to sit up straight otherwise you might damage the stitches.

Dealing with the pain

Post-surgery pain in a C-section can be a wet towel. But your physiotherapist should give you some exercises the very next day on how to move your body around. The quicker you get on your feet, the faster your body will recover from the pain. Try to walk around multiple times a day. You will be called back to the hospital after 2 weeks or so to change your stitches and give you a general check-up.