What happens during a caesarean?

Midwife Anne Richley explains the nuts and bolts of a c-section birth

1. A catheter will be fitted. Once you’re numb from the anaesthetic, a fine tube will be inserted through your urethra into the bladder.

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2. The top of your pubic hair will be shaved. If it’s a planned c-section, you can do this at home. If it’s an unplanned (or emergency) caesarean, your midwife will do it and the area cleaned with antiseptic.

3. A screen is set up. This will be placed over your chest so you can’t see the actual operation, although you can ask for the screen to be lowered as your baby’s lifted out.

4. Two cuts will be made. The first cut is through the skin and a second is made through the womb.

5. You’ll hear a gurgling sound as the doctor opens the amniotic sac and fluid is suctioned out.

6. You may feel some tugging. You won’t feel any pain, but some women say it’s like someone’s doing the washing up inside their tummy as the baby’s lifted out.

7. Your baby’s cord is cut. If there are no complications, you can now cuddle your baby.

8. The doctor will remove the placenta and sew you back up. Your baby can be born in minutes, but the whole procedure will take about an hour from when you first go to theatre.

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