The answer will depend on a couple of factors, including:
- Your medical history
- Your place of birth
- Your doctor's preference
There are two main types of anesthesia typically used: regional anesthesia like a spinal block, combined spinal epidural anesthesia (CSE) or epidural anesthesia or general anesthesia where you go to "sleep" for the surgery.
The regional anesthesias, like an epidural, will block pain sensation from the area of the nipples to the knees. You will be wide awake during the surgery and aware of everything. You will feel pushing, pulling and tugging, but not pain. This is the most common type of anesthesia for an elective cesarean.
General anesthesia is used when your medical history or emergency dictate that regional anesthesia is too risky or not possible. Since there are more potential risks to you and your baby using general anesthesia, it is not preferred. You usually may not have a support person with you if you have a general anesthesia.