After a Caesarean Birth

You will be taken from the operating theatre to the recovery area on the delivery suite. The anaesthetic will slowly wear off over the next few hours and you will be closely monitored by your midwife in the recovery area during this time. Only one birth partner may stay with you in the recovery area as this is still part of the theatre suite. No visitors may come into recovery – please explain this to your relatives to avoid disappointment. There are no waiting facilities on CDS.

As soon as you feel able, you will be given assistance in starting to feed your baby and will have an opportunity to continue holding  your baby “skin to skin” if you wish.

You will be allowed sips of water to drink at first, sports drinks are often a good idea. You will be advised when you are well enough to eat and drink normally. This will normally be when you are back on the ward.

You will be transferred to the postnatal ward, once your condition is stable, where your care will be given by midwives (and student midwives) healthcare assistants, physiotherapists and doctors.

You will be encouraged to start moving around as soon as you feel able to. We will help you take care of your baby, so do not hesitate to ask for assistance.

You will normally be allowed home from 24 hours after your operation if there are no complications with you or your baby.

If you need to have injections of medicines to thin your blood (low molecular weight Heparin) to help prevent postoperative Deep Vein Thrombosis you will be shown how to administer them and given enough to take home to complete the 10 day course. You will also need to continue wearing your special anti-embolism stockings.

Stitches are removed if necessary on day five. If you are at home your community midwife will be able to remove your stitches.

When you go home your care will be transferred to your community midwife and your GP (general practitioner).

You will feel tired and it is important that you get plenty of rest. It is important that your partner, family and friends are aware of this. You many find wearing a seat belt in a car and other daily activities uncomfortable because you have had surgery on your tummy.

When can I expect to return to normal?

Women who have had a Caesarean birth should return to normal activities, including driving a vehicle when they have fully recovered from their operation. This can take up to six weeks. It is advisable to contact your car insurance company before driving for the first time.

Will I need a Caesarean birth for my next pregnancy?

After one Caesarean birth, if there are no indications for you to have a second Caesarean, you would be allowed to go into labour with the aim of having a vaginal birth. If this is your first Caesarean you will be given a letter briefly giving the reasons for your Caesarean and advising you that you should be able to have a vaginal birth (in hospital delivery suite) in your next pregnancy. A copy of this letter will also go to your community midwife and GP. If you have undergone three Caesarean births, then it is advisable not to attempt a vaginal delivery but this will be discussed with you.