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Baby's Care After a Cesarean Delivery

Most cesarean deliveries are done with regional anesthesia, such as an epidural or spinal. With this type of anesthesia, only the lower part of the body is numbed for surgery. The mother is awake and able to hear and see her baby as soon as they are born. Sometimes a mother may be able to watch the birth of their baby through a transparent drape. General anesthesia may be used in some special situations. With this, the mother isn't awake for the birth.

A pediatric healthcare provider is often present when a woman gives birth by cesarean section. The baby is checked right away to make sure they don't have trouble breathing. This may happen from medicines the mother received during labor or delivery.

Once the baby is checked over, a nurse will bring your baby to you. If possible, your baby will be placed on your chest for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding. If this is not possible, your baby will be wrapped in blankets and brought the baby to you. In some cases, babies born by cesarean section will first need to be watched in the nursery for a short time. All of the usual procedures, such as weighing and giving medicines, are done there. Usually, your baby can be brought to you while you are in the recovery area after surgery. Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin care should start as soon as possible, just as with a vaginal delivery.