Planned C-Section – Everything You Need To Know

6 min read

Written by Suma rp

Suma rp

pregnant woman planning for a c-section

There are two ways of delivery – Vaginal birth and C-section. Though vaginal birth is the natural form of delivery, circumstances may lead to complications in giving birth. A planned C-section or a cesarean section plays a vital role in coping with the complications of pregnancy. You must undergo surgery and bring your baby into the world.

Your doctor might inform you well in advance if there are any complications that may lead you to a C-section. In this article, let us learn more about what planned C-sections are and what steps should be taken before planning a C-section. Let us get started. pregnancy pillow

In This Article

What is a Planned C-section?

Sometimes, certain circumstances may warrant C-section delivery rather than vaginal birth. In those situations, you may need to plan your C-section well ahead. In C-section delivery, doctors will make a small slit below the pelvic area. It is one of the riskiest operations that women have to undergo. With the advent of technology and the advancements in the medical field, C-sections are increasing.

Why Should You Have a Planned C-Section?

Doctor trying to check the position of baby

Doctors recommend planning a C-section during the 39th week of pregnancy for several reasons. 

1. Baby Position

Suppose your baby comes to a breach position before delivery. It is a situation where your baby’s legs are down, and the head is up. Your doctor will try applying little pressure in the tummy and turning the head. But, when this is not working out, you may need to plan your C-section.

[Read : Changing A Breech Baby’s Position]

2. Placental Position

The low-lying placenta, also known as Placenta Previa, is a condition where the placenta either partially or fully covers the opening of the cervix.

3. Gestational Hypertension

High blood pressure related to pregnancy otherwise called gestational hypertension can also lead to planned C-Sections.

4. Other

Doctors may suggest you a C-Section if

  • You have preeclampsia
  • You are carrying twins or multiples
  • Already had a C-Section
  • Other maternal health issues

[Read : I Am Carrying Twins. Is C-section Inevitable?]

How Should You Prepare For the Planned C-Section?

When you opt for a planned C-section, the doctors will elaborate on its risks and benefits. This helps in mentally preparing yourself for the procedure. Once ready, you must sign a consent form expressing your concern about opting for the C-section. Keep your hospital bag ready well ahead. Pack good clothes for yourself and the little one. Maintain a checklist of all the items in your hospital bag.

1. Restrict Solids 6 to 8 Hours Before The Surgery

The doctors might suggest being on a fast or restricting anything solid at least six to eight hours before the surgery. This reduces the likelihood of vomiting or complications in the lungs during surgery. Though it is quite taxing to be on a fast before childbirth, you need to undergo this.

2. Take a Good Shower

The night before or on the day of your planned C-section, doctors would ask you to take a clean bath to let go of all the bacteria in your skin. This reduces the risk of infection after the surgery.

3. Do Not Attempt to Shave Your Pubic Area

It is natural for you to feel helpful by shaving your pubic area. But, leave the job to the experts. Do not attempt to do it on your own. When you shave the pubic area, there is a high chance of you creating minor nicks on the skin. This might develop infection post-delivery. Your nurse will take care of the shaving before your surgery.

What Will Happen Before a Planned C-Section?

pregnant woman before a planned c-section

Before proceeding with the cesarean, the doctors must perform specific procedures to support you with the surgery.

1. Foley Catheter

Foley Catheter is a thin tube that is sterilized that can be used to drain your bladder. It also helps monitor how much urine your body produces to note the excess blood loss. If you are given regional anesthesia, this procedure will be performed later, so you don’t feel anything.

2. Leg Compression

The nurse will place a sequential compression device on your leg that massages the legs and promotes adequate blood flow. It also avoids unnecessary blood clots in the calves. The device might be tight and uncomfortable to wear. But do not remove it. Your doctor should keep it on until you move out of bed.

What Happens During a Planned C-Section?

doctors taking out the baby through c-section

Once inside the operation theatre, you will notice so many people inside, including the obstetrician, an assistant surgeon, an anesthetist, a team of operation theatre nurses, a midwife, and a pediatrician. Each of them has a vital role in keeping your baby safe.

Step 1 – Administering the Anesthesia

You will be given anesthesia before the surgery begins, so you don’t feel any pain. The most common form is Spinal Anesthetic for all planned C-sections. An epidural may be used for unplanned or emergency C-sections. With an epidural, you will still be awake and breathe normally. You may be given general anesthesia if you cannot have spinal or epidural anesthesia. In this situation, you will be asleep while you are giving birth.

Once you are prepared and your doctor finds fit, your surgery will begin. The surgery will take 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

[Read : What Is An Epidural?]

Step 2 – Preparing For the Procedure

Once your epidurals are successful, your caretakers will insert a plastic tube at the back of your hand for your fluid drip. A catheter will also be inserted in the urethra. A BP monitor keeps a check on your blood pressure throughout the surgery. A curtain will be placed near your chest, so you do not see the surgery.

Step 3 – Getting Your Baby Out – Actual Surgery

When your body becomes numb, the doctor begins the surgery by slitting down the tummy and the uterus for about 10 cm. That is the entrance through which your baby will be lifted out. You might feel a pulling sensation but not any pain. When the baby is out, the doctors will cut the umbilical cord, and your placenta will be removed.

The doctor will then stitch the incision and dress up the wounded area. You may be given injections or medicines through drips to contract your uterus and reduce the bleeding. You may also be given antibiotics to avoid infections.

Step 4 – Cleaning Your Baby

The doctors will clean your baby and put your little one on you for skin-to-skin contact. The first hour with your baby after the surgery is a crucial time that can aid in your baby’s well-being and your recovery. It is important to have an undisturbed first hour after your baby’s birth. 

Challenges New Moms Face Post C-Section Delivery

  • The following challenges that new moms face post C-section delivery.
  • As you go through surgery, you will feel pain or discomfort in the abdomen area.
  • Sometimes pain interrupts the ability to smoothly breastfeed. So it is important to take medicines by consulting the doctor.
  • New moms face baby blues as there are changes in hormonal levels. You may feel lonely at times. Seek support from your family and friends in your emotional crisis.
  • Breastfeeding after a C-section may take time. In that case, you can take a lactation consultant’s help to guide you through the process.
  • Vaginal discharge is another thing that moms go through after surgery. It is that extra tissue and blood that kept your baby healthy in the womb. Initially, you will see bright red color for a few days, then it will change color from pink to brown to yellow, and lastly clear before it stops.

A planned C-section requires a lot of thought and guts to face it. Further, just because you had a C-section once does not mean that you will have C-sections in the future. Many women have a safe vaginal birth after a C-section or VBAC. Eventually, your health and your baby’s health are all that matter. Be it a C-Section or a vaginal delivery, all you need is a positive environment and assuring doctors. Have a happy and safe pregnancy!


1. Is a Planned C-Section Better Than Normal Delivery?

Both the vaginal and C-section are preferred forms of delivery. The preferences go with the circumstances and the body’s readiness to face emergencies. It is just the fact that the recovery period in normal or vaginal birth is quick when compared with C-sections.

2. Is a Planned C-Section Safer For Baby?

A C-section is usually planned to bring out the little one into the world in a much safer method. So, a planned C-section is safe for your little one.

3. Why Do Doctors Avoid C-Sections?

C-sections carry much more risk than normal delivery. The recovery time for the mothers is much quicker in normal delivery. That is the reason why doctors prefer vaginal birth to C-Section delivery.

Read Also: 8 Benefits of Having an Undisturbed First Hour After Birth

Suma rp,M.Sc (Organic Chemistry) Rayalaseema University B.Sc (Biotechnology) Sri Krishna Devaraya University.

Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.

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