10 Ways A Scheduled C-Section Is Different From An Emergency C-Section

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After my experience with an emergency c-section, I was terrified of the idea of a repeat surgical birth. I spent my entire second pregnancy prepping for a VBAC that did not happen. I ended up in surgery again. Apparently my body does not like to go into labor.

Having been through both an emergency c-section and a planned one — I can honestly say a planned c-section is not nearly as terrifying. If you have been through a bad experience with an emergency c-section and are pregnant and terrified with the prospect of going through a surgical birth, I’m here to ease your mind a little. It’s not the same experience. It’s really not as bad.

Here are ways a scheduled c-section is totally different than an emergency one.


1. Your family can be with you through the prep.

It was just me and the nurses rushing through the prep of my emergency c-section. For my scheduled c-section, my family was around me the entire time. The only time I was without my partner was when they were administering the epidural.

2. There is no panic and rushing.

One of the worst moments of my emergency c-section was the initial rush of doctors pouring into my room and running me down the hall to the operating room. Not good. In a planned c-section, there is no running. That is a plus.

3. Everyone is calmer.

Expanding on that last point, no one is panicking about a baby that needs to come out of your uterus RIGHT NOW. This makes the whole experience a lot less stressful.

4. The procedure itself takes longer.

I was shocked at how fast my emergency c-section was over – and shocked again at how long my scheduled one took. The procedure itself was much less jarring, as doctors were not being forced to rush to make sure baby got out fast enough. Movements were slower, there was less jarring and tugging – it was just a lot gentler of an experience.

5. Your body will probably recover quicker.

I couldn’t believe how much more pain I was in after my first c-section, but when I think about it, it makes sense. The doctors were not rushed during my planned c-section, so there were no sudden, quick, jarring movements. I’m sorry I’m using the word “jarring” so much – but it’s the best adjective to describe how an emergency c-section can feel.

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