Caesarean sections can be elective or an unplanned (or emergency) procedure.
If it is a planned procedure, a spinal anaesthetic is often used, but depending on the patient and/or anaesthetist, an epidural or a combined spinal/epidural can also be used. Either way, this type of anaesthetic makes you numb from the upper chest down, so that the caesarean can be performed. This type of anaesthetic is generally safer for you and your baby, and it allows your partner to be present with you when your baby is delivered.
If you have an unplanned Caesar, the anaesthetic is very similar. The epidural can be ‘topped-up’ with strong local anaesthetic if an epidural is already in situ, or a spinal anaesthetic can be used.
Rarely a general anaesthetic is indicated for your Caesar. This is occasionally required in higher risk pregnancies or in people who can’t have epidurals or spinals.