What To Expect At Pre-Op For A C-Section

As a first time mom, I approached giving birth as an organic experience. When asked about my "birth plan," I would always reply that my plan was to have no plan. I think that somehow, deep down I knew I would end up having a C-section and shouldn't fuss over too many details aside from ending up with a healthy baby once is was all said and done. Even though my OB had breezed over the circumstances that could lead to a cesarean birth, I never knew exactly what to expect at pre-op for a C-section.

When the moment came for me to be moved from the delivery room to the operating room, I felt like I was on a wild and confusing ride. No one had really prepared me for the scene I was about to enter, so I just had to trust myself and the hospital staff as the events quickly progressed. As Parents magazine pointed out, before the C-section can begin, a short check list needs to be completed to prepare you for the surgery. The items on this list are standard for every Cesarean delivery and should be expected whether the operation was scheduled or an emergency.

First things first is paperwork. You will be asked to sign consent forms giving your permission to allow the doctor to perform a C-section on you. After the ink is dry on those papers, the staff can begin to prep you for the procedure. According to Mayo Clinic, five steps of preparation for a C-section are necessary during the pre-op time. These include: washing your abdomen, placing a catheter, starting an IV, taking an antacid, and providing anesthesia. With all these measures in place, your body is ready to undergo a safe C-section.


Although the medical side of a C-section is super important, it's wise to remember that an unexpected surgery — especially when it's the birth of your child — can be an emotional ride. As What To Expect's website pointed out, "with some mental and emotional preparation you can feel empowered if a C-section seems in the cards." Check in with yourself on how having a cesarean birth would make you feel; does it bring up feelings of fear or disappointment? Take some time before your delivery to make peace with these feelings that surround the possibility of having a C-section.

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Even if a C-section is not what you envisioned for a birth when you found out you were pregnant, Parenting magazine reminded that it's good for you to own your C-section. When everything is said and done, the most important part of the process has happened: you have your baby in the world with you.

Knowing what a C-section delivery involves can help you be prepared for whatever comes your way once you're in active labor. This way as things are happening at a rapid pace, you will already know what lies ahead for pre-op.