My name is Sandra Matthews and I am the lead midwife for elective caesarean sections. I work within a multi-disciplinary team and on the day of your caesarean birth we will provide both care and support for you and your family during the birth of your baby.
We aim to enhance your birth experience and aim to provide you with the birth experience you desire. On the day of your caesarean we will discuss with you your birth options and choices which may include:

  • Lowering of the screen so that you can see your baby as shown as they are born
  • A quiet environment
  • Music of your choice (please bring a small speaker with you)
  • Skin-to-skin as soon as physically possible
  • A partner trimming the cord

EROP logo.pngEnhanced Recovery Obstetric Programme (EROP)

At Darent Valley Hospital, we follow the enhanced recovery pathway which is an evidence based model of care that enables patients to recover more quickly after surgery. Our aim is for you to have a better recovering after your caesarean, allowing you to go home sooner with reduced complications. This model of care is both safe and effective and focuses on modern anaesthetic and pain relief methods with an emphasis on early mobilisation and a return to normal life.

It is important that you look after yourself prior to surgery to enable your recovery to go as smoothly and as quickly as possible. We recommend eating a well-balanced diet of carbohydrates to give you energy; fruit and vegetables to give you the nutrients needed to recover from surgery; and keeping yourself hydrated.

Prior to your caesarean birth you will have blood samples taken in the antenatal clinic department. The Department is open 09.00-16.00. If you are booked to have a caesarean birth on a Monday, the earliest that blood samples can be taken is late on the Friday before or alternatively at our maternity assessment unit over the weekend.

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Have a high carbohydrate meal the night before your surgery to give you energy for the following day. This should include potatoes, rice, bread and pasta. If your caesarean is booked for the morning, then please do not eat after midnight. If your caesarean is booked for the afternoon, then you will be advised to have a high carbohydrate breakfast and fast from 06.00. We encourage you to have a non-fizzy drink such as 200-400mls of Ribena, apple juice (non-cloudy) or still Lucozade sport 2 hours prior to your caesarean. 

Please ensure you have a good night’s sleep and that everything is prepared for the following day.

You will receive a phone call from us the day before your planned caesarean birth, this is to confirm a time with you to arrive and we will call from a withheld number.

Please carry on taking any medications right up to the time of your caesarean birth, unless directed not to by your doctor or midwife.

Please note: if you suffer from any type of diabetes, please follow the guidance of your midwife in relation to pre-operative food and drink (low sugar and high protein).

We encourage you to wash without gels or soaps and do not apply creams to your skin on the morning of your caesarean section and remove all jewellery and piercings. On arrival you will be met by the team who will be involved in your care. Following the preparations for your caesarean section, you and your birth partner will be escorted into theatre.

Whilst in theatre the anaesthetist will normally perform a spinal anaesthetic to block the pain during the procedure allowing you to remain awake and provide optimum pain relief following the surgery.

Whilst in theatre we will ensure that you are kept warm and hydrated with intravenous fluids. You will also be given routine antibiotics to reduce the risk of a wound infection post operatively and a catheter will be inserted into your bladder. 

Following the birth of your baby, and providing all is well, we will encourage you to have skin-to- skin time during the remaining time you are in theatre.

We encourage you to resume a normal diet and fluids following your surgery as soon as possible to aid a prompt recovery.