A Caesarean section is delivery of your baby through a cut in your abdomen. The cut is usually made just below your bikini line.
C-section is normally done using a regional anaesthetic, and this could be spinal or epidural. This means you will be awake during the operation as it only numbs the lower part of the body. The advantage of this is that c-section delivery is safer for you and the baby and your partner or birth companion can be in theatre with you. We encourage you to bring a birth companion to the theatre. You will feel touch and pressure during the operation but not pain. Please alert the anaesthetist if you feel pain and this will be promptly attended to.
The operation will last about 1 hour. The paediatrician will then examine your baby and hand over the baby to you and your partner.
After the caesarean operation, you will be carefully monitored in the recovery area, and this will be continued in the ward until you recover from the anaesthetic. Pain relief will be offered, and Dr Essel will discuss various options prior to surgery. Available options include patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Breastfeeding is usually difficult after a caesarean section, and the midwife can assist with this.
The drip and bladder catheter will be removed after 24 hours if all is well, and you will be encouraged to get out of bed. You may have breakfast.
Some vaginal bleeding is expected; however, if the bleeding is excessive with clots inform the midwife or the gynaecologist.
YOU HAVE TO ENSURE YOU HAVE HELP WHEN YOU GET HOME.
Domestic chores, heavy lifting and driving should be avoided. Adequate rest is essential for your recovery.
Most patients stay in the hospital for three days, and occasionally longer if there are any complications. In general, full recovery is achieved in about six weeks.
Wound care will be discussed prior to discharge home. Your wound will usually have dissolvable sutures, that is they do not need to be removed.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should consult the practice immediately. Fever, severe wound pain, wound discharge and redness. The other symptoms of note include lower abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding or offensive discharge, cough or shortness of breath, painful or swollen calves.
You will come for a postnatal check-up after six weeks. Consult Dr Kwabena if you have any queries prior to this.