Planned Cesarean births

A pregnant woman preparing for a caesarean birth on a bed while her partner stands by her and a nurse works on a computer

If you plan to have a Cesarean birth (C-section), be sure to talk to your health care provider to decide what is right for you. Consider creating a birth plan that details your preferences and needs, and share your plan with The Mother Baby Center care team. Cesarean birth (C-section) may be planned in advance or recommended as an emergency procedure if your health care provider determines that the health of you or your baby is at risk.

What to expect

In a Cesarean birth, the baby is born through an incision (surgical cut) in your abdomen. The surgery takes about 30 to 40 minutes, and the baby is born five to 10 minutes after the surgery begins. The rest of the time is needed to remove the placenta and repair the incision.

Planned C-section delivery

You may have a planned Cesarean birth. This means that you and your health care provider know before your labor begins that this is the way your baby will be born.

Having an unplanned C-section

You may have an unplanned, emergency Cesarean delivery, and this might happen because of your baby’s position, size or health, or because of your own health. A decision for an unplanned C-section can occur over several hours or happen quickly.

Learn more about Cesarean births.

Recovering from childbirth

Recovery from a cesarean birth will take longer than a vaginal birth. In addition to being a new parent, you are recovering from major surgery. It’s important to have a support system that will be able to help with daily activities while you recover. It’s normal for your incision to itch or feel numb or prickly when you touch it. These sensations can last for months.

Learn about what to expect if you had a Cesarean birth.