If you know in advance that your baby will be born by Caesarean section, you will be interviewed before the operation at the anaesthetics polyclinic ['Polikliniek Anesthesie']. During this interview you will be asked about your general health, contact persons, medication use, allergies and diet. You will also be informed about the procedures. On the day of the operation you should arrive at the department 2 hours in advance where you will be prepared for the Caesarean section.
However, a Caesarean section may also be carried out if the mother's and/or baby's condition makes it necessary and there are no other options. In this case many procedures must be carried out in a short time in order to prepare you for the operation.
A Caesarean section usually takes place under local anaesthetic (epidural). This type of anaesthetic only numbs the lower part of the body. This means that you stay awake and are able to experience the moment of the birth.
It is sometimes necessary to give you a general anaesthetic. An intravenous drip and bladder catheter are always inserted. Your partner may accompany you to the operation room.
If required, one of the assistants in the operation room can take pictures. A maternity ward nurse is present to 'receive' your baby. Immediately after the birth she will take the baby to the 'start-up table', where the paediatrician will examine the baby. If all is well with the baby, you and your partner can see and touch your baby for a little while before he/she is transferred to the ward in an incubator.
The paediatrician determines whether the baby goes to the maternity ward or the incubator room. You remain in the operating room in order that your operation wound can be closed. This will take about 30 minutes. Usually your partner will follow the baby to the department. After a caesarean section during the day you go to a recovery room. After a Caesarean section in the evening or night you return directly to the maternity ward if your condition is stable. You will be given an opportunity to see and hold your baby as soon as possible.
After an anaesthetic by means of an epidural, you must continue to lie flat for a few hours after the operation. You will notice that you have no feeling in your legs, which is temporary. The day after the Caesarean section you start eating a little bit and you may leave your bed. Initially you may feel slightly weak and dizzy when you get up. Gradually you will start to feel better. Usually you can return home with the baby on the fourth or fifth day after the operation.
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