A Cesarean section (C-section) is a surgical procedure to deliver a baby in which an incision is made through the abdomen into the uterus and the baby is lifted out. If you have a scheduled C-section delivery, here's some information you'll need to know before, during and after the surgery.
Several Weeks Before Your Due Date
Be sure to send your pre-registration forms to the hospital before your due date or delivery date. If you do not have these forms, you may pick them up at your physician’s office, or call 973-971-6451 (for Morristown Medical Center), 908-522-2333 (for Overlook Medical Center) or 973-579-8705 (for Newton Medical Center and we’ll send them to you. Expecting mothers who are delivering at Chilton Medical Center may download pre-registration forms online.
You may also consider registering for “Epidurals, C-Sections and More,” a two-and-a-half hour mini-class offered by Overlook Medical Center.
The Night Before Your C-section
You will not be allowed to eat, drink or smoke after midnight. This includes candy, gum and water. Try to get a good night’s sleep. You may brush your teeth in the morning. Check with your doctor if you are taking any medication. Take a shower before coming to the hospital. Please leave valuables at home and keep your luggage in the car until you are transferred to the postpartum unit.
Admission to the hospital begins approximately two hours before your scheduled C-section time. Come directly to Labor and Delivery. Be sure to bring your insurance card and a driver’s license or some other form of identification. Your pre-registration forms will make the registration process much more efficient.
In preparation for your C-section, you will be asked to do the following:
- Change into a hospital gown and provide a urine sample.
- Have an intravenous line (IV) started in your arm or hand. Through this you will receive necessary fluids and medications as needed.
- Have blood drawn.
- You may be required to take a clear liquid antacid medicine.
- Have your surgical site prepared (shaved). Do not do this in advance.
- Be examined by your obstetrician and anesthesiology specialist, and asked to sign a consent form.
The nurse and/or doctor will answer any questions at this time.
One support person may accompany you to the operating room. You will be escorted into the room first, and your support person will be asked to change into his or her “scrub suit” and wait outside the room.
Your anesthesiology specialist will place the blood pressure, pulse and respiration monitors on you. He or she will then administer your anesthesia. A foley catheter will be inserted into your bladder. Your abdomen will be washed and sterile drapes will be placed over you. Your support person will be escorted in to sit next to you, and the C-section will begin.
A team consisting of a pediatrician or neonatology specialist and one or two pediatric nurses will arrive to take care of your baby as soon as he or she arrives. They will stabilize your baby and then bring him or her to you. Your support person will then accompany your baby to the nursery. You will be reunited in the recovery room.
Following the birth of your baby, you will be taken to the recovery room. Your blood pressure, pulse and respiration will be monitored closely. You may receive oxygen through a tube that fits loosely into your nostrils. You will be given time to become acquainted with your baby.
Your support person is welcome to visit you in the recovery room, but siblings of the baby are not allowed in the recovery room at any time.