Preparing for a Cesarean Section

Some babies are born by cesarean section (C-section). This is a surgery. Your healthcare provider will make a cut in your abdomen to deliver your baby. C-sections are done in an operating or delivery room.

Some C-sections are scheduled ahead of time. You may need to have a planned C-section if you have the following:

  • Previous C-section

  • Your baby is in a position that’s not best for delivery. Your baby may breech or shoulder- or face-first. Or your baby may be large.

  • Problems with the placenta. This may include placenta previa. In this condition, the placenta blocks the cervix.

  • Being pregnant with twins or other multiples

  • Certain infections in the mother. These can include herpes or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Other C-sections aren’t planned. The decision is made based on a problem that happens during labor.

You should be prepared for your C-section. Your partner should be, too. Make sure the childbirth classes you and your partner go to talk about C-sections. They should also include tips for managing stress.

Also, talk with your healthcare provider before you go into labor about your chance of a C-section. This way you and your partner can be prepared.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/12/2016

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