Section worries

Hi I'm booked in for a section on weds. I have been told the spinal may not work or it may work too well causing you to feel too numb high up therfore affecting or making you feel you can't breath. I now feel terrified of this that I will panic and feel I can't breath even if I can.

They also say you can feel them "messing"inside you and even that is scaring me as you think of being numb meaning you can't feel anything. .

I was hoping anyone with experiences of a section could help put my mind at rest.

I've suffered with severe pgp since 22 weeks so I've been more concerned about coping with the pain and recovery afterwards that I hadn't really thought about the actual procedure.

Thank you

12 Replies

I went through an emergency c section 18 months ago and the spinal was correct, I was able to feed my boy asap. And all I really felt during the operation was a tugging sensation, and there he was! I would like to say please dont worry, but that's easier said than done, I know. My point is though, I had an emergency in the middle of a Sunday night, and all was well! What got me through my first pregnancy was thinking the whole process brings risks, but at the end of it, its so worth it! Things can go wrong no matter how your child is brought into the world. Just remember you're doing brilliantly! And if I had to choose to be induced again or have another c section, I would go for another section personally! Being induced and having it fail over 4 days was traumatising. Please dont lose too much sleep over this, just think of the end result 😊 good luck x


I went through an emergency section 15 months ago. As jubbly says, all you feel is a slight tugging sensation but no pain and all is soon forgotten!

They have to tell you the risks but remember those cases are in the minority!

I went from saying I would never have a section before my first baby to now considering an elective section for my second so it can't be that bad ;)

Don't think too much about it, it will be over before you know it. You'll do great :) x


I haven't had a c section but had a spinal block with my second as he was back to back and stuck. I couldn't feel anything from under my boobs down which meant when they told me to push it was really difficult as I couldn't feel the contractions, so had no sensation to push against. He was pulled out with forceps in the end, safe and sound.

You should discuss your anxiety with your midwife as they should help you.

Everyone is different and everyone's experiences of childbirth are different, I hope you have a positive experience, you'll be happy to have your lo in your arms and will soon forget It all.


Hi, no need to worry.

1) You're obviously having a planned c section for a reason. Like me, you've had to choose because a natural birth is deemed too dangerous to you or the baby or both. So the alternative is out of the question - and baby does have to come out - so worrying is a bit pointless as this is just going to have to happen.

2) C sections are the most common type of surgery in UK. Most large hospitals do 5-6 planned c sections a day and up to 11-14 a day if you include emergencies. This means that your surgeons are some of the most experienced in the world.

3) As you will be in theatre anyway, you'll be in the safest place possible if anything was going to go wrong with the birth - a planned c section is a ridiculously controlled experience when you consider what other mums to be have to go through. You'll be surrounded by at least 8 medical professionals at all times, all dedicated to keeping you as calm as possible.

4) You can take someone into theatre with you, who can help keep you calm and hold you steady on the table as they administer the spinal. It does feel a bit peculiar but don't forget you'll be so excited and overawed by fact you're about to meet your baby, you just won't care - your hormones kick in and keep you amazingly focused on getting this bit done swiftly and cleanly.

5) The surgeons and anesthetist will be talking to you throughout, asking about baby names, about baby clothes, nursery colours, the pregnancy and the miracle of your baby as well as talking you through step by step as to what they're doing and why - keeping you focused on the good things :)

6) What you feel is more akin to being pushed about rather than any pain or discomfort. Remember baby has no idea what's about to happen - so they'll be tucked up all lovely and asleep so the surgeons have to use a little brute force to push baby down out of your tummy. For me it felt like they were bouncing on up and down my chest - and I laughed!! There was absolutely no pain - it was lile being winded.

7) All you will care about is seeing your baby and making sure they are alright - counting toes and fingers and screaming. I had my boy laid on my chest as the sewed me back up...I was so busy smiling and talking to and stroking him, I had no perception of the clean up that was going on around me.

8) Once back in recovery, you'll be pumped with morphine and be too involved in trying to sit up, look at baby and trying to breastfeed that the whole c section experience will be a distant memory. The post operative pain os the same - your baby will be so all consuming you'll work through the pain, forget to sleep, forget to eat.....and the midwives will have you up within 24 hours and I assure you, you'll be grateful of the lack of pussyfooting when you're able to have your first shower and behin to feel human again :)

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let me know. The whole experience was so calm and controlled I actually felt like a bit of a cheat when my NCT friends shared their birthing stories. Hearing about all the things that could have gone wrong and the fear associated to an emergency c section/forceps/ventouse etc, I know I'd made the right decision for me and my baby.

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Can you please tell me how soon they gave you the baby? I am also considering an elective, and worried that they will take the baby off for weighing and ticking boxes and I won't get to hold him/her right away...


Hi Katrina - the minute the pulled him out they dropped the curtain and held him up for me to see - from where I was lying I saw his head, screaming face and fists but my hubby, who was sat right next to my head saw everything inc my "opening". Then they whisked him away and grabbed my hubby so he could go round and watch them way and check him and they showed him how to tidy up the umbilical chord, then they brought him back to me in the space of seconds and placed him on my chest skin to skin under a paper sheet while they tidied me up - about 30 minutes as they also tidied up some previous myomectomy scar/keloid tissue into bargain - with a loop suture rather than dissolvable stitches. It all happened very quickly and altho I couldn't move, I was calmed by fact my hubby didn't let baby out of his sight for one minute....altho from what he later told me he saw it isn't for the feint hearted - he's seen bits of me I will never see ;) We made a c section birth plan clearly stating exactly what we wanted to happen and besides going over it with the registrar in the morning, made sure there was a printed copy in with our notes - so they knew exactly how we wanted it to be. We played our own spotify play list on our ipad and took in a camera and a video camera - the midwife and aneasthetist fell over themselves to take pictures for us all together as well while they stitched me back up - capturing those first precious moments forever xx


I really want them to hand me the baby immediately, before any weighing/checking/cord cutting. They do this for a natural birth so I don't see why not for a section, unless there is a specific issue. I will talk to my consultant about this. Thanks for your Info!


I believe it is for legal/health reasons as the baby has not been born naturally - therefore will be in shock and may have breathing difficulties as lungs haven't had time to breath without water which would happen if your waters naturally broke - also because you are sedated they need to get id tag on asap - don't think you've any chance of them saying yes as they will put the health of your child and the success of the medical proceedure before anything else. You may be able to ask them to not cut the umbilicle chord immediately but then again that means leaving your incision open and putting you at risk of infection. Seriously, it's so fast and they won't clean baby if you want him/her immediately - Bobby was still covered in gunk and vernix when they put him on my chest.


I remember now, it's also because of the tags - they need to put weight, date, sex etc into computer to be able to get the tag printed off - to ensure babies don't get mixed up if there is a subsequent emergency - ie baby stops breathing and has to be rushed to resusitation.


Try not to worry! I had a spinal for my section on 15th & everything was fine. The anaesthetist talked me through it & explained that if I felt sick, nervous or short of breath to let them know & they would make me more comfortable straight away! They monitor you very closely & my anaesthetist was next to my head checking on things throughout the whole operation & asking how I was feeling!! Explain your concerns to them at your pre-clerking appointment & again on the day if you're still feeling nervous. Hope everything goes well for you & that they can put your mind at ease!!! Good luck x


Hi Nellynel,

I know how you feel right now. To start with I was absolutely fine with having a c-section..mine was a planned one out of choice.

However, on the actual day of my babies birth, I was terrified and felt sick!

Now, I can honestly tell you that a section seems a whole lot worse than it is..AND people tell you stories that scare the hell out of you!

Let me tell you what happened to me. I mean it when I say it was the most relaxing thing I have ever done.

The worse part was the spinal block. They do numb the area where the needle goes in but, it still hurt. Dont be scared! It only hurt for about 2 seconds. And I am a CHICKEN with needles!

Now, once you start waiting for the anaesthetic to take hold, they do tell you about the possibility of it going to high. I only heard this on the day, AND lying on the operating table. But hey I was running on nerves so it went in one ear and out the other.

I was absolutely fine. They checked me out by spraying either air or water on me..cant remember. But to start with it felt cold & wet. Once the anaesthetic took hold, the spray felt warm & dry. This meant I was ready. Everything was fine.

So, the section itself. I honestly felt nothing! You cant feel them cutting you open at all. However, once baby was born, the only thing you feel is a little tugging. it was as if someone had taken hold of my tummy skin, and was tugging my skin downwards. Which is in actual fact, kind of, what happens. They tug to get your baby out. Its not the same as yanking, its just a little tugging sensation.

It feels strange but it doesnt hurt. Really it doesnt! Its just a bit weird. Lastly the tugging is only a few seconds..and its over! Hello baby!

I hope what I have told you helps, and make you feel more at ease with your section. I read your post and I thought, 'I know what she is going through,'



You have every right to feel nervous. I had originally asked for a csection as all my sister's had to have emergency sections, except the one that was 10 weeks early and literally slid out! They convinced me to try natural first. I wanted a second opinion as I have a spinal deformity. I went into labour the day before my appointment. Turns out I should have never tried to do it naturally. My waters broke Monday evening. Thursday morning I had to have an emergency csection. I too had severe PGP. The recovery time for a planned section is a lot faster than if you push for hours and then get sliced open.

It is weird in that you are literally paralysed from the rib cage down. I couldn't feel or move my legs for half a day. You do feel tugging as they get the baby out, but that's about it.

I found what helped was a high bed, so you literally just drop your legs down without much bending. I do know now that my PGP was complicated by arthritis in my hips and spine. But the PGP pain disappeared quite quickly after birth.

Only a few days now and your baby will be in your arms! Hooray!


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