Pregnancy

Ask Sofia: What Do I Need to Know About My Planned C-Section?

While many cesarean sections or C-sections take place following challenges during labor, some surgeries are planned. For instance, if your baby is breech close to your due date, if you have a medical issue that could put you or the baby at risk, if you are expecting multiples, or if you’ve had a previous C-section and your doctor is concerned that labor might result in tearing of the scar, you may have a planned cesarean section. During the procedure, in which your doctor will make an incision in your belly and uterus, you will likely be awake and able to hold your newborn soon after delivery. Whether you are pleased or frustrated with the news, there are some advantages to a planned C-section. Likewise, there are some steps you can take to make everything go as smoothly as possible. Your C-section will likely be scheduled during daytime hours, which means you won’t be up all night laboring nor will you be rushed into the operating room – the experience will likely be much calmer than an emergency C-section. You will be able to arrange for help at home and your maternity leave.

Nevertheless, most C-sections aren’t scheduled until around 39 weeks of pregnancy, so there is a possibility of going into labor before that time – even when you’re planning ahead, it’s best to be prepared for anything. Make sure you discuss the procedure and recovery with your doctor ahead of time. While having a C-section does not necessarily entail a longer recovery period, you will likely stay in the hospital for about four days and will need to avoid heavy lifting for several weeks. You will also be given instructions for care while your incision heals. “Just as every baby is different, labor and delivery are also different for every woman, and we are here to support you through both vaginal delivery and C-section delivery, whether planned or unplanned,” said Dr. Donna Block. “We are also happy to discuss the best options for you and your baby every step of the way.”

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