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Cesarean Section Deliveries

​Planned and emergency cesarean section (C-section) deliveries take place in our state-of-the-art surgery suites.

Preparing for Your C-Section

If you are scheduling a C-section, plan to check in at Labor & Delivery about two hours before your surgery time. An assigned nurse will accompany you through every step: birth preparation, the procedure, and recovery. A physician and anesthesiologist will discuss the surgery with you and review your medical history.

During a C-Section and Recovery

Expect to be in the delivery room for one to two hours before going to a recovery room in Labor & Delivery. For planned C-sections, we encourage your spouse or support person to be present for delivery and stay with you and your baby during your initial recovery. Your support person will be seated next to you and is allowed to photograph the birth. For unplanned C-sections, the circumstances will determine who is allowed in the delivery room.

We use a "window" surgical drape for all C-section deliveries, and give you the option of having the window open so you can watch the baby being delivered, or leaving it up. Whenever possible, we place the baby on your chest in the operating room after delivery.

You'll be in the recovery room for approximately two to three hours after surgery, where we will monitor your blood pressure, pulse, respirations, and temperature. As long as your baby does not need any special care, your baby and your support person will be with you. We encourage skin-to-skin contact with your baby and are available to help with breastfeeding. Visitation may be limited during this time immediately after surgery because rest is important for your recovery. Once your blood pressure, pulse, respirations, and temperature are normal and you can move well without problems, you will be transferred to the postpartum unit. 

Postpartum Care

Your postpartum care will be in a quiet environment where specialized nurses care for mothers and new babies.The average stay after a C-section is three days. You will need to have a support person stay with you and your baby for the first 24 hours. Sleeping arrangements will be made to accommodate your support person in your postpartum room.

C-Section FAQs

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What is a C-section?

Can I eat anything before surgery?

What happens the day of surgery?

What should I expect after surgery?

Can I still breastfeed after a C-section?

If I have a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, can I have an elective C-section?

If I had a C-section with my first child, do I need to have one with my second?

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Delivery Locations

La Jolla Hillcrest

More About C-Sections

See our Health Library for more information

Free Online Tutorials

Our online tutorials take about 20 minutes to view and help prepare you for childbirth.

Or learn more about Emmi tutorials.

More Pregnancy & Childbirth FAQs