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What to Expect From a C-section

Cesarean deliveries, or C-sections, are surgical procedures used to deliver about one-third of all U.S. babies through the abdomen instead of the birth canal. These surgeries may be planned or they may become necessary once labor is underway.

At the OB-GYN offices of Yakov Levy MD PC, in Midtown East, Manhattan, and Forest Hills, Queens, New York, we specialize in helping women during all stages of pregnancy, from preconception to postpartum care. Dr. Levy may recommend a C-section if you’re carrying more than one baby or if a vaginal delivery is too risky for you or your child. 

If you have a C-section planned or if you’re worried one may be required to safely deliver your baby, understanding the procedure and what to expect from a C-section can help put your mind at ease.

Why might I need a C-section?

Generally, C-sections are used when a surgical delivery is safer for you or your baby than a vaginal delivery. Dr. Levy may recommend a C-section if:

In some cases, physical obstructions, like a large fibroid, a displaced pelvic bone, or an unusually large fetal head can make it difficult to deliver vaginally and a C-section is necessary.

What can I expect during a C-section?

Whether or not a C-section is planned, it’s helpful to understand what to expect during and after the procedure in the event the surgery becomes necessary. 

Most C-sections are performed using local anesthesia, so you’re awake during the surgery but the lower part of your body is numbed. Dr. Levy may use an epidural or spinal block to keep you comfortable. In emergency situations, general anesthesia may be required for your safety and the health of your baby. 

Your provider administers a catheter to collect urine and an IV (intravenous) line to keep you hydrated and give you any medications required. The team places a screen to block your view of the surgery.

Once you’re numb, Dr. Levy makes an incision through the wall of your abdomen and uterus. Most women report feeling a sensation of pressure but no pain during the procedure. When the amniotic sac is open, and Dr. Levy removes your baby for cleaning and evaluation by the nursing staff. 

He then closes your uterus and abdomen with medical sutures or staples. Most of the time, you’re able to hold your baby in the delivery room before being moved to recovery.  

What can I expect after a C-section?

Immediately following your C-section, you’re closely monitored in the recovery room for bleeding and other complications. You receive antibiotics to reduce your risk of infection and pain medication to help keep you comfortable after the anesthesia wears off. 

Most women spend 3-5 days in the hospital following a C-section before being sent home to finish recovering. As you recover from your C-section, you can expect the following:

Check your C-section incision regularly for any signs of infection, and be sure to contact Dr. Levy if it becomes swollen, red, or leaks discharge. You should also contact our team if you have worsening pain, heavy bleeding, or a fever. 

Yakov Levy MD PC provides excellent care to women in the New York City area. Learn more about C-sections and other pregnancy-related topics by contacting the office nearest you. You may also schedule an appointment online or request a telehealth consultation now.

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