Are you in the c section preparation mood?
C sections are more common than you think! In fact, one in every three births in the United States is done via C section. And they can be scary, but there will be a time where you’ll remember them fondly.
No, I’m not kidding! After all, no matter the way, it’s the day your baby will be born!
Here are 20 tips to ease your mind about having a C section, from someone who’s been there!
#1 You’ll Love Your C-Section Scar
I thought my C Section scar would be big and ugly. But it’s barely noticeable!
In fact, I was amazed at how tiny it is, considering that a whole new baby came out of there!
No matter the size or the cut, you’ll love and embrace your scar.
#2 C Sections Are Major Surgery
It’s easy to believe that C sections are minor procedures since they are so common. However, C Sections are safe, major surgeries.
Because of this, you’ll be approached by your doctor who will give you some information on C section preparation. The risks may sound scary, but they are not common. And you could argue that getting out of bed in the morning also has risks! So stay focused on the positive!
To perform a C Section, your doctor will make an incision into your abdomen followed by a section incision into your uterus. Your doctor will them remove your baby from your uterus and tend to the baby.
Once the baby’s airways are cleared and the umbilical cord is clamped, the doctor will hand your baby to the hospital staff and close your uterus with dissolving stitches and suture your abdomen.
Before the procedure, you will be put under anesthesia, so none of it will hurt, but you will feel things. Which brings me to our next point.
#3 You’ll Feel A Lot of Pressure
I will always remember the anesthesiology telling me that I would feel “a little bit of pressure” right before I felt like the world was collapsing on my uterus!
It doesn’t hurt, but it is uncomfortable.
You will feel things as the doctors do them, but what will probably stick with you is the pressure.
So much pressure!
#4 You Will Still Bleed Down There
Your body just went through a lot of change very quickly, and some vaginal bleeding is completely normal after a c section and it comes from the place where the placenta and the womb were attached.
At first, the bleeding may be heavy but as the weeks (yes, weeks!) progress it’ll gradually get thinner and thinner. It should last between 2 weeks and 6 weeks.
As you make your hospital bag in your c section preparation process, you’ll want lots of absorbent and incontinence pads.
#5 There Are Things You Can Do to Speed Up The Recovery
The recovery after a C Section can be rough, and it greatly depends on each body. But I thought it was going to be close to unbearable, and it was much, much better than what I had pictured.
In fact, in the 43 days that my son was in the NICU I saw tons of new moms having a harder time recovering from vaginal birth. I can only speak from my experience but the doctors told me that my C section recovery had been so efficient and speedy because I walked around a lot.
After one week I was almost painless!
Most moms rest after having a C section (I don’t blame them! I would have done it, too!) which makes the recovery much harder. As it turns out getting to your feet and walking around as soon as possible and as often as possible helps a lot to recover!
Take it easy, though, and always follow your doctor’s recommendations. This doesn’t mean you need to run a marathon!
#6 Your Scar Will Feel Numb for Years!
It’s been almost three years after my C section and I still feel the area numb, although much less numb than the first year (yes, year).
I asked my mom, who also had a C section with my sister, and she told me that it never felt the same for her. Although it did get better after a ton of years.
Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it and won’t care much about this, it’s just a little surprising.
#7 Take Your Medicines on Schedule, Even if it Doesn’t Hurt
From early on, take your medicines and don’t wait for the pain to hit. By staying on top of things you’ll feel better and recover faster!
Again, with the right c section preparation practices and knowledge, the recovery can be pretty fast. Odds are you’ll feel good as new after the first four or five days.
So skipping your pain medicine will be easy, since you won’t be in pain. But keep a reminder somewhere to stay on top of the pain, at least for the first ten days.
#8 Not All C Sections Are Identical
A C section can be planned, in which your doctor will schedule the surgery. You will be admitted to the hospital and be prepared for the surgery.
In this case you’ll have all the time in the world for c section preparation! You’ll be able to pack your hospital bag, ask your doctor how the scar is going to be (vertical or horizontal), and buy as many pads as you want!
But there are also emergency C Sections, which are done if there are any complications with vaginal delivery or with the mom’s pregnancy. Your doctor will explain the reason why they are performing the surgery, and ask your partner to wait outside.
If this is your case, try to keep your cool. Remember that lots of emergency c sections are performed every day with perfect results! In fact, having something happen is really rare!
#9 You Can have a Vaginal Birth After a C Section
A Vaginal Birth After C Section (VABC) could be possible, provided the incision in your C Section was a bikini cut since the scar in the uterus is strong and less likely to tear.
Having a VABC is something you should discuss with your doctor when the time is right. But if you have a healthy pregnancy and you give your scar time to heal before getting pregnant again, you have a good chance of being able to have a vaginal birth.
#10 Take Photos… Even if You Don’t Feel Like it
There will come a time when you’ll want to remember your post and pre C section days… and when you want to show pictures to your child.
Don’t make the mistake of not documenting this important part of your life just because you feel like shit. Power through it! You can even make a scrapbook of it!
I have only a few pictures of my son’s early days, and I appear in only one of them. It’s something I’ll always regret.
#11 Follow Your Doctor Recommendations
To stay out of risk and promote a speedy recovery, follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter. The recovery from a C Section may take up to 6 weeks and your doctor will monitor you closely.
There are several things you should avoid until your doctor says it’s ok, even if you feel just fine:
- Avoid driving.
- Don’t lift anything heavy.
- Abstain from having sex (you probably won’t want to, anyway).
- Don’t climb up or down the stairs.
- Avoid exercise.
- Ask your husband or family for help with the home chores.
- Don’t take baths, or soak in pools or hot tubs.
Remember that you’ll be recovering from a major surgery.
#12 You Can Still Breastfeed Normally
Having a C section may delay the beginning of milk production. It could be because of the stress of the surgery, the medications, or the delayed breastfeeding after surgery.
However, there are things you can do to promote a healthy breastfeeding relationship after a C section. In your c section preparation days, ask for skin-to-skin contact with your baby as soon as possible, and start breastfeeding within the first couple of hours after your baby is born.
There are several hospitals that will allow this, so ask beforehand if you want to breastfeed. If you can’t do any of these things, though, don’t despair.
The first time my son latched, he was one month old. Since he was a preemie and in the NICU it was impossible for him to latch sooner. I had a beautiful C section, didn’t have skin to skin after it, and my son and I went to have a long, healthy, breastfeeding relationship.
#13 You Will Love Your Belly Wrap
There is a lot of debate whether the abdominal binders help your muscles to recover or not. They don’t help you lose weight, but one thing is for sure. Moms love them.
It made me feel less loose in the abdomen as if it was helping me keep my muscles together, and I felt more secure when walking, sitting, and basically existing with my belly wrap.
Ask your doctor which wrap she recommends, but mine was exactly like this one on Amazon.
#14 Sneezing, Laughing, and Moving Will Hurt
Your abs will hurt. And anything you do that’s related to your abs and your core.
That includes a lot of things, but notoriously, coughing, laughing sneezing, sitting down, standing up… You use your core muscles a lot!
#15 Going to the Bathroom Will be Painful as Well
Sorry, I meant painful as heck!
Peeing was this huge task I hadn’t prepared for! Every time I needed to go (which, after the third day was a lot) I felt like I had just ran a marathon.
The feeling was short-lived but intense. I wasn’t expecting it to hurt that much! But if peeing was painful, going number two was downright scary, I worried that my stitches would pop, and it hurt quite a bit, too.
Don’t worry, it’s safe!
#16 The Second Day is the Most Painful
After all the anesthesia has worn out you will probably be exhausted, so between the rush of the surgery and the excitement of your new miracle, you’ll breeze through the pain in the first day.
You’ll probably won’t even have time to think how good you feel considering all those c section preparation blog posts you read!
And then the second day will come crashing like a train! You’ll be exhausted and in pain. But don’t worry, it’s only uphill afterward and you’ll feel significantly better the third day.
#17 It’ll Take a While for you to Wear Your Cute Underwear Again
Remember those Granny Panties that are featured in Bridget Jones? Those big stretchy panties will be your friend for the following weeks!
If the scar from your surgery is a bikini cut, you won’t be able to wear that cute underwear for a few months because they will graze your wound.
And it could be uncomfortable and painful.
#18 You’ll Need Help at Home with the Chores
During your c section preparation talks with your husband or your family, explain to them what the procedure is about and the doctor’s recommendations after it.
Ask for their help with the chores, remember that you’ll want to have a clean, spotless home for your newborn. But you probably won’t have the green light to do all the housework that involves.
Enter husband, friends and family.
Oh, and you’ll need to eat too, so you can ask them for their help cooking as well… Even if their cooking skills are basic like my husband’s!
#19 The First Time You Have Sex After the Surgery Can be a Little Bit Scary
You won’t feel much like wanting to be intimate ever again. But as the weeks progress you might miss it.
The first time after your C section means doing a lot of abs and having some pressure applied to your wound. And it was scary, especially for my husband, who though my scar my pop open.
Be sure you have your doctor’s green-light, which means it’ll be ok!
#20 C Sections are Beautiful Experiences!
I’ve never felt less mom because I had a C section. I love that I was able to have mine!
Without it, my son wouldn’t have had a chance of survival, so it’s beautiful in the best possible way and I’m so grateful that we could get a C section.
Any birth is wonderful, and C sections are no exceptions!
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