Annointing of the sick for C-Section?


Hi all…I am pregnant with baby number 3 due in September 2014! Both of my other kids were born via c-section and were 3 and 4 weeks early but healthy.

Since I will most likely be having a third c-section, I wonder if it is appropriate to ask for annointing before surgery. I won’t be “sick,” but it is a serious and major surgery. Thoughts?


I heard of a priest who would anoint any Catholic who wanted to be anointed before a surgery. I will eventually need surgery. I intend to try to remember to do that before I go in. It’s an excellent idea.


You could certainly ask a priest. Perhaps not great danger of death, but it is very serious, and your priest might well agree to Annointing.


By all means, consult your parish priest. I am not going to share details of my experience because i don’t mean to alarm you but I required an emergency csection as both my life and the babys life were in danger. the resident priest at the Catholic hospital refused, but heard my confession instead.


You should ask for this Anointing. Having a C-Section is a surgical procedure and indicates a difficulty with normal birth. It is always risky to have surgery, even minor surgery and thus you are certainly in need of such spiritual blessing and prayer.
The anointing of the sick is not just for those who are dangerously ill, but is used to strengthen all with chronic illness, depression, those facing medical procedures and even minor illness. Don’t forsake this opportunity for God’s special presence at this time.


Certainly you should ask for the sacrament. Anyone having surgery is technically in danger of death for reasons of the sacrament.
God bless and good luck with the little one.

Reb Levi


Any time a person has surgery is a great time for the Sacrament of the Sick. You do not need to be “near death” anymore to receive this sacrament.


As the others have said, the Anointing is appropriate any time one is to undergo major surgery. I think that it is also appropriate for any mother approaching childbirth.


If the surgery is for the reason of serious illness.

Surgery -major or minor is not always for those who are “dangerously ill” it is not about merely being in danger of death.


Not really. Just any surgery is not a great time for that particular Sacrament. But for confession.

…it is for those who due to sickness or old age become in danger of death…

(I recall C. Donovan of EWTN did a long write up on EWTN on this)


Canon Law:


The Instruction for the Rite of the Anointing of the Sick notes that “A sick person may be anointed before surgery* whenever a serious illness is the reason for the surgery*.”

So is pregnancy and birth a “serious illness”?

My pregnant wife certainly does not feel well often…but she will inform you that she does not have a serious illness…and she too will be having a needed (third) C- section. I noted this thread to her and she said – what the person should do is go to confession.

(now perhaps there is something else involved…with a particular case…)


The seriousness of the patient’s condition during surgery is largely dependent on whether or not the patient is under anesthesia. Anesthesia is frequently the most dangerous factor in surgery. In this case the woman will most likely be anesthetized. She is eligible for the sacrament on those grounds.
You might also consider going to the priest to ask for the ante-partum blessing. This is a blessing for a woman about to give birth. If he deems the sacrament inappropriate he will certainly grant you this blessing.

Reb Levi


It is not the surgery or the anesthesia that is key here --but the dangerious illness that necessitates the surgery.


It is not the surgery or the anesthesia that is key here --but the dangerious illness that necessitates the surgery.

The Instruction for the Rite of the Anointing of the Sick notes that:

“A sick person may be anointed before surgery whenever a serious illness is the reason for the surgery.”


And from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops site:

“The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient. The Sacrament may be repeated if the sick person recovers after the anointing but becomes ill once again, or if, during the same illness, the person’s condition becomes more serious. A person should be anointed before surgery when a dangerous illness is the reason for the intervention (cf. Rite of Anointing, Introduction, nos. 8-10).”


In my case I don’t think I will be seriously ill before the surgery (barring all future pregnancy complications that may occur). I do agree with the poster who suggested I go to confession before the delivery so that IF something were to happen, then I would be in a state of grace.

However, following the surgery there is a lot of pain and recovery involved in addition to the nursing and raising of a new child. While this is certainly serious and there are risks involved, I don’t know that I would say it is an illness.

I will talk to my parish priest and see what he recommends. :thumbsup:



It is not about the pain or the recovery involved …it is when there is danger (of death) from the illness.

Now if one became in such danger -like some serious infection happened …


I think that illness encompasses more than disease. It is any condition that impairs bodily function and requires medical assistance to correct.

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