C-Sections

No matter what, a safe delivery is always our goal. The team at Banner Health is experienced in all types of delivery methods, including c-sections. We respect the choices you make about your labor and delivery and are here to help make your experience as smooth as possible. 

What Is a C-Section?

A caesarian delivery, otherwise known as a caesarian section or c-section, is a surgical procedure commonly used during childbirth. It involves the doctor making incisions into the abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby rather than delivering vaginally.  A c-section is safe for both mother and baby but it is a major surgery so it should be a serious consideration.

Gentle C-Section

Gaining in popularity are gentle c-sections. A gentle c-section is still a surgical procedure but one in which the care team aims to make the experience in the operating room more like what you would find in the labor and delivery room. Talk to your doctor to learn more about what to expect with a gentle c-section.

Reasons for a C-Section

There are many reasons why a c-section might be the best option for delivery. Some c-sections are performed due to an emergency situation that presents itself in labor (or to avoid an emergency situation) while others are performed as an elective procedure. 

One of the most common reasons for a c-section is a stalled labor. A stalled labor may occur if your cervix doesn’t open wide enough after a certain period of time. This can lead to distress for the baby so to avoid complications, a c-section will be performed. Other reasons include:

Preparing For a C-Section

If your c-section is planned, your doctor may suggest you wash with an antiseptic soap the evening before or morning of your procedure. Do not shave within 24-hours of your c-section and avoid using any lotions or creams on your skin. You may also receive instructions from your doctor about not eating or drinking before your c-section. 

What to Expect During a C-Section

Many women will ask: how long does a c-section take? A normal c-section will take about an hour. The baby will be delivered within the first 15 minutes and then the incision will be closed.

The “golden hour” of bonding with your baby will start either during the c-section or soon after. Skin to skin contact and breastfeeding is encouraged during this time.  

Before Your C-Section

If you have not already been given one, an anesthetic will be administered. Your abdomen will also be cleaned and prepped.

During the Surgery

An incision will be made into your abdomen. This may be vertical or horizontal depending on the reason for your c-section. A second incision is then made into your uterus. The baby is then delivered through the incisions. The placenta will also be removed. 

Risks Associated with C-Section

While c-sections are generally safe, no surgery is without risk.

Common risks for mom include:

  • Infection at incision site
  • Hemorrhaging or excessive bleeding
  • The forming of scar tissue inside the pelvic region
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Extended recovery time

Common risks for baby include:

  • Breathing problems
  • Possible premature birth

What to Expect After a C-Section

Recovery from a c-section can often include discomfort and fatigue. It’s important to allow yourself time to heal and rest. 

Learn more about c-section aftercare.