A caesarean section means that your baby is delivered by a doctor making a cut in your tummy. You’ll be given an anaesthetic so that you don’t feel pain. It may be planned beforehand, or may be done as an emergency. To find out what happens, see our ‘Procedure’ section above.
If you’re having a caesarean under regional anaesthesia, your birthing partner will usually be allowed to be with you.
No, not necessarily. Around seven in 10 women are able to give birth vaginally after a caesarean. This is more likely to be successful if you’ve had a previous vaginal birth. For more information, see our section on ‘Future births after having a caesarean’ above.
You should wait until you’re fully recovered from your caesarean before driving. This is so that you’re physically able to drive and not at risk of being distracted by pain. This may take around six weeks. If you’re not sure, check with your doctor.
A caesarean section is performed under anaesthesia. This means the procedure is pain free or causes only minor discomfort. After a caesarean section, you’ll have some post-operative pain, usually across the lower tummy. You’ll be offered painkillers for this. The process of labour for a vaginal birth can be painful, but there will be a wide range of pain relief options available to help you cope. If you’re concerned about pain during childbirth, talk to your midwife. They can discuss your options for pain relief with you.
Recovery time will be different for each woman, but it can take around six to eight weeks to get back to normal. It takes longer to recover from a caesarean than from a vaginal birth. This is because a caesarean section is major surgery. For more information, see our section on Recovery from a caesarean delivery above.
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