8 Questions to Ask When Your Doc Recommends an Unscheduled Cesarean Delivery - dummies

8 Questions to Ask When Your Doc Recommends an Unscheduled Cesarean Delivery

By Consumer Dummies

It’s one thing to know, plan for, and write a birth plan based on a scheduled cesarean birth; it’s quite another to get into labor — sometimes nearly all the way to the end — and then find out you need to have a C-section.

Most of the time, an unscheduled cesarean isn’t an emergency. In that case, you have a chance to ask questions and make your wishes known about who will be in the operating room with you and whether you want to have your baby with you right after birth (as long as neither you nor the baby has life-threatening complications requiring immediate care). When your doctor says she wants to do an unplanned caesarian delivery, consider asking these questions before she wheels you down to the operating room:

  • Why are you recommending a cesarean now? Although you probably already have some idea, you’ll feel better if you get your doctor’s input firsthand. Make sure she discusses both the pros and the cons.

  • Can we try any other options first? These options can include getting in a different position, walking up and down the hall, simply giving labor a little more time, augmenting your labor to strengthen your contractions, turning the dose down (or off) if your baby appears to be stressed, or waiting for your epidural to wear down a little.

  • Is my baby in immediate distress? In most cases, if your baby is in distress, you’ll know it by the flurry of activity in your room. If your room is still fairly quiet, ask your practitioner what she feels the risk to your baby is at this time.

  • Am I in danger? If the danger isn’t immediate, ask your doctor for an explanation of why a C-section is the best option for you right now.

  • What kind of anesthesia will I have for the surgery? The anesthesiologist may talk to you about the pros and cons of putting a higher dose of medication in your epidural for the surgery versus putting in a spinal. One benefit of using the epidural is that you can use it for pain medication after your surgery.

  • Can I hold my baby right after the surgery? If your baby isn’t in immediate distress, this should be an option.

  • Who can come into the operating room with me, and where will they be? Hopefully, you decided ahead of time (and put in your birth plan) your first choices. But if you’ve been in labor for a while, you may have a clearer idea of who’s a good choice and who isn’t.

  • How long will the surgery take, and what type of incision will I have? Keep in mind that the incision on the uterus and the incision on the skin may not be the same. The baby is usually out within five to ten minutes, but putting everything back together again can take up to an hour.