What to Expect in the Operating Room
A Guide for the Support Person during a Cesarean Section
It is the philosophy of the MemorialCare Center for Women to provide a family-centered birthing experience for our patients. In the event that a cesarean section becomes necessary, one support person is allowed to be with the patient in the Operating Room except under the following conditions, when no visitors are allowed:
- General Anesthesia is necessary
- Physician request
- Patient request
Support Person Responsibilities
- Prior to the cesarean section, you will be given scrubs including a disposable top, pants, a hat and mask. No one is allowed into the Operating Room (OR) unless they are correctly wearing this attire. DO NOT remove them at any time while in the OR department.
- You will be called into the OR after the patient is prepared and the surgery is ready to begin.
- Most everything in the OR is sterile. DO NOT touch anything unless asked to do so.
- You will be given a seat by the head of the patient. Please DO NOT move from this seat until you are directed by the OR staff. In rare instances, the physician or staff may ask you to leave the OR once surgery is underway. This is done for safety purposes, and you are expected to comply immediately with this request.
- Your primary responsibility is to support the patient during the cesarean section. You may hold the patient’s hand and talk quietly to her for reassurance. This is usually very comforting for most patients.
- Video cameras and still photography are allowed at the discretion of the physician and staff. You may be asked to turn off the camera at any point during the surgery. Failure to do so will result in your removal from the OR
- It is recommended that you eat a small meal prior to the surgery to help avoid feeling faint or ill at any time. If you do start to feel faint, notify the OR staff immediately for assistance.
- The neonatal team (baby doctor and nurse) will attend to the baby once it is born. This is a normal occurrence and does not mean anything is wrong. Once the team has examined the baby and determined that he or she is stable, you may be given the opportunity to hold the baby and show him or her to the mother.
- Occasionally, a baby may require closer observation and will be taken directly to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In most circumstances, however, the baby will be transported to the normal newborn nursery when the surgery is almost completed. If the baby goes to the Normal Newborn Nursery, please accompany the transport team so you can watch the official “weigh-in” and the admission process. This is generally a great photo opportunity!
- After the baby is born, the support person must exit the Operating Room. At this point you will not return to the Operating Room or the OR area.
- When the cesarean section is completed, the patient will be taken to the Recovery Room for approximately one-two hours. The Recovery Room is not a private room and therefore, for patient safety and privacy concerns, we do not allow visitors in this area.