Posted by: uninformed | 2005/01/13


Hi there, I used to suffer very badly with period pains before I was pregnant and I am now wonderng if natural birth will be just as painful...I am opting for C-section. Am I completely passed out when they "cut" my baby out or are my eyes open? And how long does the procedure take?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

A caesarean section takes about 30-40 minutes. You can elect to have a general anaesthetic, in which case you are asleep, or an epidural/spinal where you are awake but don't feel pain.

Best wishes

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Our users say:
Posted by: muffin | 2005/01/13

I also had an elective caesar, and can say nothing but good things about it. I had a combined epidural /spinal block, and I was told it was the most effective as it kept the pain away for a longer time.
I could feel nothing, just a slight tugging as she was pulled out. You do not see anything, there is a screen at your boobs, so you can't see further than that.
The anaesthetist talks you through the whole procedure, and lets you know what they are doing step for step.
It happens very quickly, the cut the baby out in minutes, but take a bit longer to sew you up again. It probably doesn't take more than 1/2 hour in total.
You will get strong painkillers for the first 24 hours thereafter, and will have a catheter in till the next day. On the second say you have to get up and walk, but they will carry on with the painkillers for a few days.
To be honest, I had very little pain and recovered very quickly, I was driving again after 6 days.
Good luck with your decision, maybe ask your Dr if he can put you in touch with a patient of his who has had a caeser.

Reply to muffin
Posted by: Francis | 2005/01/13

Spinal Block works immediately and are put in deeper than a epidural. An epidural will be used for normal birth cause you can still "feel" the pressure and sometimes just one side goes "dead".

The spinal block works as they put it in and you are "verlam" from your ribs down.

your doctor won't give you an epidural if you are going for a c-section. They will do the spinal block. You are aware of everything and awake the hole time, but you don't feel a thing. You don't see a thing and hubby is sitting next to you "holding your hand"

Reply to Francis
Posted by: Kam | 2005/01/13

Kate: What is a spinal block?? What is the difference between an epidural and a spinal block?

Reply to Kam
Posted by: Kate | 2005/01/13

I had an elective ceasar. It was an emergency but as I was already booked for a ceaser I had spinal block which meant that I was awake and fully aware when the baby was delivered. If you are having natural and have to be rushed into theatre for an emergency ceaser, often you are put under general which means you are asleep when they deliver. Eelctive ceaser you are awake if you choose to be.

You will receive a spinal block instead of an epidural. The spinal wears off quicker and is very effective in deadening the pain. You will not feel anything.

I don't think the period pains are any indication of how labour will be. I have bad period pains too and was told by the gynae that I would probably have handle labour pains quite well. Who knows.

Reply to Kate
Posted by: Norma | 2005/01/13


I tried normal birth and everything was fine (I could handel the pain) untill they gave me "induksie", that was really painfull. But my boy was tired and they couldn't get his heartbeat anymore so I had to go for an emergancy c-section.

I think you will have epidural, that means you don't feel anything, (the lower part of your boddy) but you will be awake. You can read more about this on pregnancy dot about dot com.

Also ask your doc to explain everything, it's better to know what's going to happen..

Good luck

Reply to Norma

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