Being Prepared for a Scheduled Cesarean Section

Pregnant woman at hospital holding lower back

Tetra Images/Getty Images

Planning surgery can be scary, even if it is a cesarean section for the birth of your baby. Much has been written about the actual surgery, but very little can be found about the days prior to the cesarean section.

Before a Scheduled C-Section

After deciding on a surgical date, you will probably be asked to preregister at the hospital where your baby will be born. This may include information on your insurance card and your prenatal records. You may be asked to precertify your stay with your insurance company.

Your doctor may give you prescription medications to be taken before your surgery. Though you may have nothing by mouth, not even water for eight hours prior to your surgery. If you are overly concerned you may be given a prescription sleep aid for the evening prior to your surgery. Be sure to talk to your doctor about this if you are concerned.

You may be asked to have a special consult with either your anesthesiologist or with your baby's doctor or specialist. These may take place the morning of your surgery or weeks prior to the surgery depending on the timing of your cesarean birth.

Be sure to have your bags packed and with you, even if you don't plan to need them until after the birth. You can always send someone down to the car to get them. This plan actually works better for most people because trying to keep up with the bags as you move from the triage area to surgery to the post-surgical care ward, and then finally, the postpartum area can be a bear.

The Day of the Birth Via Scheduled C-Section

If your surgery is scheduled for very early in the morning, you may need to be at the hospital before the sun rises. If you aren't a morning person, this can be a bit daunting. Be sure to set multiple alarms to ensure you get out of bed. You might think you'll be so excited that you wouldn't oversleep, but it happens more than you think, particularly when you may have trouble sleeping the night before.

Your partner should eat, even if not while you're around. This helps them be prepared to help assist you by providing them some sustenance to go on. 

Grab your bag and get going! Don't forget to bring your birth plan for your birth or your breastfeeding plan.

Once at the hospital, figure out the best place to park. While you may be allowed to park in the labor and delivery parking spots, those are often limited and they want you to move your car ASAP. It might be better to park in the regular parking area and walk in. This prevents you from having to be separated from your partner after the birth. If you need to be dropped at the door to prevent walking, that works too.

You may have special stops to make before signing in for surgery. Be sure to ask if you need any additional lab work or testing.

If you have guests planning to wait in the waiting room during the birth, you may want to either pop in and say hello or direct them where they need to be to wait.

Was this page helpful?