Elective Caesarean

A planned Caesarean Section is generally a straightforward, yet highly-planned surgical operation. Our Obstetricians, surgical staff, and midwives have a great deal of experience delivering babies via Caesarean and caring for patients afterwards.

Rest assured that during the pandemic, we are working to ensure the utmost safety for mums planning an elective Caesarean, their family, and our clinical staff. This is the current process for patients at this time.

An appointment time is made within 2 weeks before your scheduled date. One of our Preadmission Midwives calls to complete as much of your paperwork and admission as possible. This makes your admission process much smoother on the day, and gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have.

Please have your antenatal card from your Obstetrician handy - the midwife will need some of the information. Your partner is welcome to join in on speaker.

We recommend that you review our COVID-19 page on the morning of your appointment in case we have made any important changes to our services.

You receive a COVID-19 screening call for you and your partner. You are both asked if you have any acute respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, cough, sore throat and/or fever.

In the afternoon, you receive a separate call from Admissions to confirm your operation, fasting and admission times. They also tell you where to go on the day. We normally ask you to come in 2 hours before surgery to allow plenty of time to complete blood work, admit you, and get you changed for theatre.

Have a shower before leaving home and shave the top 2cm off your pubic hair.

Please remove all jewellery except for wedding and engagement rings. Any rings are taped to your finger before you move to theatre. Leave all valuables at home and make sure your phone and camera are charged. Light makeup and nail polish is permitted. Remember to tell your anaesthetist if you are wearing contact lenses.

Make sure that your partner wears covered shoes on the day.

We ask that you arrive at Hospital at your scheduled admission time, or slightly earlier. Here are directions on coming to Hospital. If you are delayed, please ring the Maternity Ward on (02) 9650 4465.

  • If your Caesarean is scheduled for 7.00am or later - check in at Reception on Level 5.
  • If your Caesarean is scheduled for before 7.00am - go directly to the Maternity Unit on Level 6 as Reception will be closed. Your admission time will be 5.00am.

Before entering the Maternity Unit, you and your partner/support person are asked a number of health questions that screen for COVID-19 and have your temperature checked. This process is required of all patients, visitors and staff entering the Unit.

If you become unwell at any time prior to coming into the Hospital, please telephone to let us know. This allows us to plan your admission in a way that keeps everyone safe.

On admission to the Maternity Ward, we take your bloodpressure, pulse and temperature. We also check baby’s heartbeat. We take someblood, if you haven’t had any taken before admission, place an armband on yourwrist, and check your consent form. You change into a theatre gown andanti-embolic stockings. Your partner changes into theatre scrubs. You are thentaken to the anaesthetic bay of the Operating Room.

The anaesthetic team meets you, and your anaesthetist inserts an intravenous drip, then the spinal block. A spinal block is a dense and heavy surgical block that will take away all sensation from below your breasts to your toes. The procedure is sometimes a little uncomfortable, but it is relatively quick. When the spinal block takes effect, you move to the operating theatre.

A catheter is inserted into your bladder and your tummy is painted with iodine to clean the skin. Then you are covered with surgical drapes. Your partner, who has been waiting in the anaesthetic bay, enters the operating theatre and sits next to you on a stool.

Your baby is born! The doctor passes your baby to the midwife, who will check him/her at the baby table (to assess the Apgar score and administer Vitamin K). If all is well, the midwife lays your baby on your chest to begin skin-to-skin while your Obstetrician closes your incisions.

The entire process in the operating room takes an hour, on average.

You are moved into the Recovery Room, for approximately 30 minutes, where the midwife checks your vital signs and helps with baby’s first feed.

You return to the Maternity Ward with a drip in your arm, a dressing over the surgical wound, a catheter in your bladder, and stockings and calf compressors on your legs to help with circulation. You may be able to wiggle your toes but still won’t be able to feel anything.

Once in your room, your midwife helps to position your baby, changes your pad, and gets you comfortable. You are brought regular pain medications, charted by your anaesthetist.

The bladder catheter is removed the next morning after theatre, and a midwife helps you to shower the first time you get out of bed.

Now you rest, recover and get to know your new little one. Our midwives are there to help you for the remainder of your stay.

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