Elective Cesarean section

Elective Cesarean sections are performed for various reasons, such as breech presentation or a disproportion between the size of the baby and the mother’s pelvis. The mother and her support person come to the hospital on the morning of the day of the section. In the ward the mother is prepared for the section and the baby’s condition is checked in the morning. If the operation theatre is occupied you may have to wait for the operation for some time. You may move around in the ward freely while you are waiting.

The midwife takes the mother to the operating unit, where the personnel prepares her for the Cesarean section. This includes putting the mother on a IV drip and inserting a catheter into the urinary bladder. Elective Cesarean sections are practically always performed under spinal or epidural anesthesia. The surgical site is washed and covered with sterile cloths. In addition to the operating theatre personnel, a midwife from the ward and the father/support person are present at the section.

The baby is delivered about 10 minutes after the operation begins. The operating doctor or midwife shows the baby to the parents. The midwife receives the newborn and checks that everything is all right. A paediatrician is called to the place if needed. If the condition of the newborn allows, the midwife places the baby on the mother’s chest in skin to skin contact.

Meanwhile, the section continues. The placenta is removed and the womb is cleaned. Several layers of sutures are stitched. The operation wound is closed with ligature or hooks. After the operation, the mother is monitored in the recovery room for about two hours before she is taken to the maternity ward.

Later the midwife measures and weighs the newborn. All newborn babies receive a vitamin K injection. This increases the baby’s clotting factors and reduces the risk of internal bleeding. The baby’s temperature and vital functions are checked and the infant's condition is monitored. The father may also hold the baby in skin to skin contact. For this purpose the father may bring a shirt that can be opened at the front.

When the mother comes to the maternity ward the baby is helped to skin to skin contact with the mother and the first breast-feeding takes place. The mother's recovery is monitored in the ward. Special attention is paid to pain relief. Later on the same day the mother may stand up, when she feels like it. Showering is allowed on the following day.

After an elective Cesarean section the mother is discharged after two days (variation1-3 days).

When an elective Cesarean section is decided on, you will receive detailed instructions on how to prepare for it.