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Cesarean Births at the BirthPlace at Avera St. Luke's

The End Result is the Same, the Delivery of a Healthy Baby

In cesarean birth, babies are delivered through a surgical incision in the mother's abdominal wall. Cesareans are performed only when vaginal delivery is not possible or when there is a concern for the well-being of the mother or baby.

In Avera St. Luke's BirthPlace, we have a dedicated elevator that can take the mother directly to our Surgery Center for a cesarean birth.

Under our "First Touch" program, C-section moms and their babies can bond right away. While mom is in the recovery room, the baby is right there with her. It's part of the miracle of birth that we don't want anyone to miss!

Why Cesarean Births are Performed

Some of the reasons a cesarean birth might be performed include:

  • If the baby's head or body is too large for the mother's pelvis. This might not be discovered until during the labor process.
  • If the baby's heart rate suggests it is not tolerating labor or the intrauterine environment satisfactorily
  • If the placenta detaches early or is covering the opening of the cervix
  • If the bag of waters ruptures and the baby's head is not tight against the cervix, sometimes causing the umbilical cord to slide out of the cervix in front of the head. You should come to the hospital right away if your bag of waters ruptures at home.
  • If the baby is face down and side-ways or is going to come out bottom (not head) first, a cesarean section is usually performed.

Any serious medical condition of the mother that complicates the mother's or baby's health can necessitate a cesarean birth. These can include maternal heart condition, poorly controlled diabetes, high blood pressure or an active case of a sexually transmitted disease.

Step by Step Through the Cesarean Birth

If you need to have a cesarean section, our team will explain your options and what will happen. Preparation Procedures:

  • An IV line will be started in your arm for fluids.
  • A catheter will be placed in the bladder to keep it empty.
  • Mom is taken to one of our operating rooms.
  • Heart and blood pressure monitors are set up.
  • Regional anesthesia is administered to dull the pain, but allow the mom to stay awake.
  • General anesthesia might be administered to put mom to sleep if a serious complication arises. Your doctor and anesthesia team will help you decide what option is best.
  • The support person can change into scrubs and be present for the procedure.

The actual delivery takes from 3-10 minutes after surgery begins. The delivery of the placenta and the repair of the incisions take another 30 to 40 minutes. Then the mom is transferred to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit for about an hour. If mom and baby are stable, the baby and support person will remain with the mother in the Recovery Room to initiate early skin-to-skin contact and early breastfeeding.

Recovery From a Cesarean Birth

Since this type of birth includes major surgery, your hospital stay will likely be around three days. Using the supplied pain medications and using coughing and deep breathing techniques will facilitate a faster recovery.

Healthy Baby - Healthy Mom

While a cesarean birth might not be the first choice for delivering a baby, it can still be a very satisfying experience. The end result is the same as normal labor - the delivery of a healthy baby and a safe, healthy mom!