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Elective caesarean section

Your doctor will discuss the reasons why you have been advised to have an elective Caesarean section, at your antenatal clinic appointment.

Your doctor will ask you to sign a consent form and will explain the risks and benefits to the procedure. You will be given a date for the planned surgery.

All women undergoing elective caesarean section are asked to make an appointment in the antenatal day unit for pre-clerking. This is done a few days before surgery. At this appointment, all women are asked to have swabs taken for MRSA screening; blood tests to check your blood count and a recent blood group will be taken. You will also be given a packet of tablets with an antacid and anti-sickness with clear instructions as to when you need to take them prior to surgery.

Arriving on the ward

You should arrive on the antenatal ward (Frank Shaw Ward at Conquest Hospital) at 7.00am on the morning of your operation. It is very important that you have had nothing to eat and drink from midnight except a little water to help you swallow the tablets, as it can be dangerous and your operation will have to be postponed.

When you arrive on the ward, you will be greeted and shown to your bed to be prepared for theatre (consent form and blood tests checked, shaved across incision site, nail varnish removed, listened to your baby’s heart and checklist completed).

Once all is ready the anaesthetist will come to see you. If you are having a caesarean section because the baby is in the breech (bottom/feet down) position, a doctor will perform an ultrasound scan; if the baby has turned to head down (cephalic) you will be asked if you want to wait for labour to start naturally.

Going into theatre

Unless you require a general anaesthetic, one companion (partner, relative or friend) can accompany you in theatre.

You will be informed at approximately what time your operation is planned, but that is always subject to change if there are emergencies.

If you have a caesarean section, we would normally hope that you will be able to go home within 56 hours of your operation.