There is a high possibility for every pregnant woman to plan the type of birth she wants to have. Whilst most women want a vaginal birth, they should not rule out the option of delivery via Cesarean section. You would be amazed to learn that between 30-35% of women in the United States deliver via C-section. Although there are still a lot of stigmas attached to the term, you have to understand that C-section does not have to be a negative experience for you totally.
In Cesarean delivery, the doctors deliver the baby using incisions in the uterus and the abdomen. Sometimes, it is planned way before your due date if you have developed any complications. In some cases, women who have already given birth via C-section do not consider vaginal birth an option. Doctors might also perform emergency C-sections as a life-saving measure for the baby or the mother.
If you are apprehensive of getting a C-section done, this article is perfect for you. When you know how to prepare for a C-section, it can make your experience less traumatic and assist in speedy recovery. Knowing what to expect can take all the burden off your brain. We have listed everything that you must know before a C-section surgery.
#1 None of this is your fault
Many people ask you to reconsider your decision when it comes to C-section birth. It is because C-section is not as safe as vag1nal birth. But, you have to understand that if it’s the only option left for you, you have to go ahead with it. You are not doing anything by your choice or you did not do anything wrong. You are in this position because of unavoidable circumstances, not because of your deeds.
Around 1/3rd of women in the US give birth via C-section. There are others just like you out there. It does not make you a bad mother, you are simply doing what’s safe for you and your baby. Unlike other major surgeries, C-section ones are very safe and recovery does not take much time. You have to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions post-childbirth which can help you in recovering faster.
#2 C-section is a major surgery
The doctor makes incisions in your tummy and womb during a C-section surgery. The main cut is made across your abdomen. As a result, C-section is considered a major surgery that is performed when the surgeon is left with no other choice. In many cases, it is even planned days ahead of the due date. The entire surgery lasts for around 25 – 60 minutes. A mother recovers a bit late than vaginal birth in this case.
Since it is a major operation, it comes with its own set of risks. You may develop blood clots, infection, or suffer excessive bleeding. You are required to stay in the hospital for usually 2-3 days. Your doctor may prescribe you otherwise, depending upon your situation. As with any other surgery, you stand at a risk of developing complications. So, you need to be prepared for that by going into the operation room with an open mind, if you can. You will be delighted to know that most complications are temporary and subside within a few weeks.
#3 Take your pain medications along
Since your skin has been cut and stitched back again, you are very likely to experience intolerable pain for a couple of days after the surgery. Ask your doctor whether you should take any medications before the actual surgery. He/She might suggest ibuprofen and acetaminophen to fight the pain.
There is no rule that you will feel the pain right after the surgery as the doctor might give you some pain-relieving injections. Since it is a major surgery, you need to plan way ahead with your doctor about the pain-relieving methods after the surgery.
However, it is important to note that, such intense planning is only possible when you know that you are going to have a C-section birth. Even if you don’t have any emergency pain medications, entrust the task to your partner or another loved one who can assist you in any urgent situation.
#4 Accept and ask for help
Many people keep denying the truth because it is bitter and might harm them in some manner. C-section is not the time to do so. You know it was not your first choice and even if it was, you are doing no bad to your baby. Just accept that you will have a C-section and recover through it swiftly. The longer you deny the fact, the longer it will haunt you. As a result, you will develop stress and anxiety which will be tantamount to other health issues.
Now that you have accepted the truth of the C-section, you have to embrace all the things that will come with it. Since your recovery will be delayed, you will require a lot of external help to sail through this moment of life. Therefore, arrange for all of it when you have the time and energy. Ask for cooking, cleaning, and child care help so that you don’t have to worry about all of it at the last moment.
#5 It’s okay to be sad
If C-section was not your first choice, you will have some reservations about it. Constant thinking might leave you feeling sad for a long period of time. Well, that’s fine because you are a human being and you are allowed to feel your set of different emotions. Even if you accept the situation, you will require some time to let the news sink in. We are here to tell you that it is a perfectly normal thing to feel. Many women experience this emotional ride when they get to know that they won’t be able to deliver via vaginal birth.
You just don’t have to let this get to your head.
#6 Having a C-section is not ‘lesser’
The next step after spending some days in your room sadly, you need to buck up and gather some motivation. After all, your mood during pregnancy says a lot about your child and also impacts his/her health to a great extent. That’s why, for your baby and yourself, you need to find ways to cheer yourself up. The first thing to remind yourself is that you are having a baby. You have to fight back with all your might as delivering this baby and bringing life to earth is more important than anything else.
Whichever manner you decide to do so is perfectly fine. The bottom line is that you and your baby must remain healthy. You have got to stop comparing between C-section and vaginal birth because it is not in your hands. Create a happy space for yourself and engage in things that make you feel awesome about yourself. Maybe, talk to an encouraging person who can bring out the best in you.
#7 Prepare well before the D-day
Even if you have a vag1nal birth, you require a few day’s rest. Well, we are talking about C-section here so you have got to make solid arrangements before your due date. The first thing to do is prepare a hospital bag where you put in all your clothes, medications, accessories, and other important things. Then, cook some meals and store them in the freezer so that when you come back you don’t have to eat outside food. You can eat home-cooked food that is healthy and that you can trust.
You can make some arrangements with your close friends and relatives who can take care of your needs for some time. They can visit you in your home and assist you for the first few weeks until you are well-acquainted with the entire process. Don’t be over-ambitious and try to manage it all by yourself after the surgery.
#8 Stock up on necessary items
This mainly covers all the items that go into the hospital bag and on the shelves of your room once you return back home. After you have had the surgery, you won’t have the energy to order things online. That’s why it is essential for you to stock up on goodies that might come in handy post-surgery.
Some of the things that you can include are comfortable underwear, pain-relieving spray, compression pants, ice packs, certain medications, and so on. It would be great if you curate a postpartum care package for yourself. This will help you not face any discomfort after the C-section.
Meanwhile, it is also essential to stock up on necessary items. It is possible that might not find everything at the last moment. It is best to create your own backup.
These are the basic things every pregnant woman should know about C-sections. Even if the doctor has suggested vaginal birth to you, you don’t know what will happen once you are in labor. After the surgery, remain in touch with your healthcare provider. This way, if you have any doubts, you can communicate with them directly and sort everything out. Now, relax and follow everything that we have mentioned and you will be just fine!