Your partners involvement in Caesarean birth

If your Caesarean birth isn't an emergency requiring general anesthesia, your partner may be able to come into the operating room with you. Many hospitals allow this. Your partner may be thrilled by the idea. Or he may be squeamish or downright scared. It can be difficult to be so close to surgery when it involves someone you know and love.

If you and your partner choose for him to be present for your Caesarean birth, he'll have to wear surgical scrubs, a covering for his hair, shoe covers and a face mask. If he decides he wants to watch the procedure, he may have that option. But if he doesn't, he can sit near your head and hold your hand, where the anesthesia screen will block his view. Having your partner close by will probably make you feel more relaxed. This has its advantages. There is, however, a potential disadvantage: Fathers frequently have fainted in the delivery room, giving rise to a second patient who can't be given too much immediate attention.

Most hospitals encourage your photos of your baby, and the surgical team may take some shots of you, your partner, and the baby before the surgery is even over. Be aware, though, that most hospitals don't allow direct filming of the operation. Before your partner starts snapping photos or rolling tape, make sure he asks permission.

nurses also want to know that your bowels and urinary tract are returning to normal and that your legs and feet are getting enough blood circulation. If you have questions about anything that's happening, ask a member of your health care team.

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