If you are not progressing in labour or there is concern about baby's well being an emergency caesarean section may be required. The decision making around this will always be done with you and your partner. Only very rarely does this need to be done very quickly and in almost all cases a caesarean section can be done with an epidural for pain relief and your partner coming with you into the operating theatre. Only in very rare cases does a caesarean section need to be done under general anaesthesia and then your partner is not able to come into the operating theatre. A team of experienced anaesthetists and support staff are always close at hand should a caesarean section be the safest way for baby to be born.
If baby is born by caesarean section it doesn't need to leave the room and your partner can help weigh and dress baby. You can usually give baby a cuddle and kiss within a few minutes of it being born. As soon as you are in recovery you can breast feed baby.
If baby is going to be delivered by a planned or "elective" caesarean section then you will usually attend a pre-admission clinic a couple of days before to meet one of the anaesthetists who will review your medical history and explain how an epidural works. Some blood will also be taken to check for any possible problems with cross matching blood in the unlikely event of you needing a blood transfusion. You will be admitted to the ward a couple of hours before your caesarean section time. Usually baby is born close to the planned time of your operation but occasionally elective cases are delayed by unexpected emergencies.