What is a caesarean section?

Sometimes your pregnancy is not quite as expected, so that a natural delivery is no longer possible. Here are the following reasons:

Your pelvis are too narrow for your baby's head
Your baby is in such a position that it can not pass through your pelvis (cross)
The placenta is located in front of the cervix
The umbilical cord emerges from the uterus
There is still no sufficient access, but your child is in distress
Despite dilatation, the digestion does not progress
Your baby must be taken urgently
Extreme fear of a normal delivery

Do not choose consciously

In short, there may be a number of good reasons for having your baby born with a cesarean section, but you can not consciously choose this yourself. In the case of a breech presentation, you can often decide for yourself whether you want to try it through the natural route or rather opt for a caesarean section.
It can also occur that during the natural delivery it is still decided to proceed to a cesarean section, if it appears that your child is in danger and therefore should come to the world as soon as possible.

Scheduled caesarean section

If it is known in advance that your baby will be born with a cesarean section, an examination of your health will take place beforehand. Often a physical examination is done (listening to heart and lungs), a blood test is performed and the anesthetic (general anesthesia or spinal puncture) is discussed with you. In the past, caesarean sections were always done under general anesthesia. Nowadays, local anesthetic (spinal puncture) is also possible. You have to be sober on the day of the operation. You can not eat or drink anything at least four to six hours before the operation.

With partner

In almost all hospitals it is possible that your partner is present at the surgery. He usually only comes in when all preparations for the operation have been made. With an emergency caesarean section or general anesthetic, this rule may sometimes deviate.

How does the operation go?

Caesarean is an operation in which your baby enters the world via your abdominal wall and takes about 45 minutes. The gynecologist makes (almost always) a 'bikini cut' (horizontal cut of 10 to 15 cm) above the pubic bone, around the hairline. If the pubic hair later grows over the scar, it will become virtually invisible.
In exceptional cases a cut of the navel is sometimes made downwards.
Your baby is gently lifted out of your uterus. If you are acquainted, you can take a look at your child before he will be examined by a pediatrician.
Once your baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut. Unfortunately your partner can not do this, since everything has to remain sterile. After the placenta is born, the gynecologist attaches the uterus and the various other layers of the abdominal wall again.

Spinal puncture

After an epidural you do not have control over your legs for the first hours after the operation. That may well be a strange sensation. Gradually the feeling will come back again. The first few days you may feel a bit limp and dizzy when you get up, but fortunately that is getting less and less. Your intestines have also been stationary because of the spinal puncture, they will start working again after one or two days. You can get some painful cramps from this.
You can have pain after the operation or painful after-pain, for this you get painkillers.
The moment you are allowed to go home, can differ per hospital. Naturally, recovery and the health of your child play an important role in this.


The recovery of a Caesarean section often takes longer than a natural delivery. Try to rest as much as possible and accept help from others.

Video: C-section (Cesarean Delivery)

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