A surgical delivery is also known as caesarean section, or c-section. During a caesarean section, the doctor will make a cut on the woman's stomach to get the baby out.

Reasons for a Caesarean section

Sometimes a caesarean section is planned. In this case, you already know that you will have a caesarean section. For example, because the baby is not positioned with its head down or is too big for the pelvis.

Problems can also arise during birth that pose a risk to you and the baby. Then a caesarean section is necessary.

Rarely, there is an emergency in which an immediate caesarean section is necessary. For example, if your life or the life of your baby is in acute danger.

Surgical delivery: doctor performing a caesarian section

Caesarean section: the operation

If your caesarean section is planned, you will go to the hospital in the morning. You are not allowed to eat or drink anything at least six hours before the operation. You will be prepared for the operation. For example, you will put on a hospital gown, remove your jewellery and your makeup.

The anaesthetist will give you an epidural anaesthesia that will numb you. This is a injection in the lower back. You can get the injection while sitting or lying down. Sometimes a small tube is inserted over the syringe. Then you can get repeated doses of the anaesthesia.

During the caesarean section, your partner or any other person of your choice can stay with you. The doctor will make an incision in your stomach, immediately above the pubic hair. You will not feel any pain, but you will be able to feel that you are being operated on.

The doctor takes the baby out. The umbilical cord is cut. The baby will be taken and examined by a paediatrician. Then the incision on your stomach will be closed again. The entire procedure lasts up to an hour.

If you have an emergency caesarean section,

  • you will be put under a general anaesthesia instead of a (local) epidural anaesthesia (PDA),
  • and your partner or another person cannot be there.
Doctor giving a pregnant woman an epidural anaesthetic
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