Ha! It’s easy! Some women who’ve had natural childbirths say this. Well, guess what! C-sections are not just POP and out comes the baby, either. C-sections are no easy feat. One thing is for certain, no way is easy when it comes to bringing your bundle of joy into this world. Having a child is a life-changing and difficult ordeal.
Before you decide if you’d rather let your baby come into this world through your womb rather than through your vajayjay, think again. MSBNC reports that the highest performed major operating room procedures in the United States are C- Sections. Clearly, most people are going the C-section way with a third of deliveries being done this way. That is roughly over a million annually. The rate doesn’t seem to be slowing down with numbers getting higher each year.
Major reasons for this increase is the number of overweight women, women waiting longer to get pregnant and women opting for infertility treatments in order to have multiple babies, therefore increasing the complications associated with pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) cautions that C- sections, however, are being performed without any medical emergencies and this increases the risks for both the mom and baby since it is a critical surgery. Are you thinking of going under the knife? Before you consider the operation, below are 15 facts that prove that having a C-section isn’t really the easy way out.
15 The Baby Is Put At Risk
A baby born through cesarean is exposed to more risks than a baby born naturally. One, if a mum does not labor, their baby has a high chance of having difficulties breathing. This is because contractions during labor help prepare your baby’s lungs to breathe at birth. If a cesarean has been scheduled, a baby is high likely born preterm, meaning its lungs have not fully developed. Respiratory problems could mean admitting the baby to a special care nursery.
Another risk is that a baby born through cesarean has a higher chance of developing asthma when they grow since they develop some kind of bacteria inside their intestines. These intestinal bacteria increase the risk of developing both allergies and asthma later on. Finally, routine checks done to the baby such as suctioning the baby’s esophagus, mouth and airways make it harder for your baby to start breastfeeding. With all these risks for your baby, it is advisable to reconsider the procedure.
14 The Uterus Might Not Stay In Place
You heard that right! The womb is located behind other body organs. For the doctor to reach the baby and the uterus, those organs have to be moved during the procedure. The organs constitute the two main organs of the digestive system.
Most women have speculated that these organs are removed during the procedure, but the process varies from person to person. In some cases, your uterus may have to be removed together with other organs, while in some cases the organs are just pushed aside.
Depending on your surgeon and the tactics he adopts, the organs blocking your womb could be removed completely from the mom’s body and put back in once the delivery has taken place. In other cases though, or rather a majority of the cases, the body organs are just moved for a better view and for the baby to be removed successfully. The surgeon will remove your uterus partially, and leave the bladder and intestines in your body. Sounds scary, huh?
13 Moms Are Bedridden Afterwards
The moment you hear your newborn cry out for your attention, the first thing your maternal instinct says is to hop out of your bed and rush to your baby’s rescue. Too bad! That is just impossible after the procedure. You can expect to stay at the hospital for up to four days after the procedure and even longer if there were any complications. A new mom can stay bedridden for up to two weeks after the surgery and it is darn painful to even sit up, stretch or put your feet on the ground.
While at the hospital, the doctor prescribes pain meds that ease the struggle and help reduce the surgery pain. It can take the mom up to six weeks to heal and there have to be routine hospital checks to ensure that you’re doing okay. With natural delivery, however, most moms are up and about three days after the delivery.
12 Must Wait At Least Two Months To Get Intimate
Not the news you were expecting? You are under clear instructions from your doctor to not lift any heavy items, pulling or pushing motions or bending deeply until your wound heals.
That includes sex, yup! Sex is the last thing on your mind at this point. This is because your cervix could take up to 8 weeks to completely close up and your baby will demand all of your time. Most people assume that having a c-section means you can go back to having sex without having problems. This is because there are less bleeding and minimal trauma to your V area. This isn’t the case however.
Most women who’ve undergone C-sections have reportedly experienced struggles in the bedroom in their early postpartum stage. Studies have proven that women who’ve experienced both natural and surgical births reportedly experience challenges having sex in the first ninety days after giving birth.
11 Bathroom Breaks Can Be Very Uncomfortable
There are two situations going down. One, peeing could hurt or sting or your bladder may not feel empty after peeing because standard protocol requires that you have a catheter before the epidural. It feels uncomfortable to pee, but this is normal and should clear in a few days.
As for going on number 2, or rather, not going on number 2, there could be a number of reasons. One is the pregnancy hormones: they slow pretty much everything down so things won’t go back to normal immediately. The pain meds that your doctor prescribed could also play a role in constipation, and pooping post-surgery is also difficult since pushing becomes tough when your abdomen is sore and tender. Stool softeners will work wonders easing you back into your normal routine, making the process more natural. Drinking lots of water and walking around your house could also ease your mind and keeps your bowels active.
10 It's Not Uncommon To Experience The Shakes
Not such good news, huh? You might shake so much and think that you’re getting the chills. C-sections are a major procedure and moms have to be kept awake during the whole process. They are simply numbed from their waist down and doctors will use an anesthesia: either a spinal block and/or epidural during the C-section.
This keeps the mom awake and aware of the whole process and she even gets to see her baby being delivered. According to TheBump the effects of the blood loss and the epidural or spinal block is vigorous shaking and feeling cold, which could feel like fever chills all over. While strapped to the table, the shakes can start during the procedure and will probably continue until the recovery period. It is involuntary, may feel strange, but isn’t excessive. Don’t fret though, it is normal and will subside in no time.
9 A Catheter Is Used
Most people are blindsided and dumbfounded upon discovering that part of the procedure involves a catheter being inserted into your bladder. This is a surgery like any other; therefore a catheter is just standard hospital procedure during the surgery.
A mom scheduled to undergo a C-section is not allowed to drink or eat anything six hours before the procedure. A C-section starts with the anesthesia, normally the spinal block or epidural to numb your lower body (according to whattoexpect), your abdomen is shaved and an antiseptic solution is used to wash the abdomen. After this, the OR staff insert the catheter in your bladder and cover your tummy with sterile drapes. Foley catheters are normally placed before surgery to keep your bladder empty during and after the C-section. During the process, the mom is conscious, yet unaware of the need to pee. This is because the lower part of the body is numb. The mom, therefore, goes without any control. This makes complete sense but still feels weird.
8 Recovery Time Is Longer
Vicki Young, a mum from Southern Colorado would have chosen the fast recovery of natural birth over that of a C-section any day. Why? For her, the healing process after the surgery was a nightmare. It was difficult because she contracted an infection on her incision, taking months to heal. She felt helpless. No mom wants to go through such pain, considering that being there for her newborn baby was already hard enough.
The mom describes feeling vulnerable, unable to take care of herself let alone her baby, and she felt so traumatized post-surgery that she recalls it as the worst pain she’s ever experienced her whole life.
Vicki isn’t the only mom who experienced these feelings and pain after surgery. Most moms post-surgery, state that the pain and recovery lasted longer compared to moms who’ve undergone natural childbirth. While women who undergo natural birth without any complications take a day to feel able to get up and move around, a mom who has undergone surgery may have to be kept at the hospital for up to four days and consequently wait up to two months to heal fully.
7 There Will Be A Scar
No one likes scars, that’s for certain. A C-section will, however, leave you with a beautiful scar to remind you of bringing your baby into this world. An incision is made at least two finger widths above the pubic bone. It normally falls within the mom’s hairline and could be covered by undergarments or swimwear. However, when the delivery turns out to be difficult, a larger incision needs to be made; this could be in the case where a mom is expecting twins or has an excessively huge baby.
Initially, it appears as if there’s no scar at all when your bandages on the incision come off. However the scar transforms over time, it darkens and even becomes more transformed. Suturing has introduced new techniques so that your doctor should sew you back leaving minimal scarring. No, you won’t be as good as new but will look good and have a beautiful tiny scar hopefully. No need to worry, it may look weird and scary initially, but you will get used to the scar with time.
6 Health Risks Increase With Multiple C-Sections
Is there a limit to the number of C-sections that you can undergo? Yes! Studies show that there are increased risks after your third C-section and chances are that you can never go back to natural delivery after this. It is, therefore, safe to say that every repeat c-section increases the complications compared to the last one. Scar tissue will tend to form after surgery, which leads to placenta accreta. This is a condition where the placenta grows a little too deep into the uterine wall from the previous C- section’s scar tissue.
Placenta accreta is considered potentially life-threatening. During another delivery, it can cause an increased possibility of needing a hysterectomy and immense blood loss. These risks are associated exclusively with multiple cesarean sections. Other health problems associated with subsequent cesarean sections include bowel and bladder injuries and profuse bleeding during the delivery. Doesn’t sound too easy after all.
5 There’s A Limit To How Many C-Sections You Can Have
You’ve had your first C-section and definitely feel like baby number two and three should be born that way. Hold your horses, it’s not that easy. Way back in the day, the famous saying was that once you go the C-section way, there’s no going back. That’s just outdated according to a Dr. Moritz who states that the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and doctors recommend that moms try out V birth after cesarean, otherwise known as VBAC. This will depend entirely on the first pregnancy’s circumstances.
If your first natural delivery proved to be just not the thing for you, you can always talk to your gynecologist who can assist and guide you on what to do next. This is because women vary, what could work for one person could be entirely different for another one. Therefore, seeing your gynecologist helps clear up any uncertainties and gives you the perfect plan on deciding whether to go under the knife again, or simply go for a VBAC.
4 Newborns Won't Have Momma’s Bacteria
A mom’s intestinal flora play a crucial role in colonizing the newborn with its gut flora, also known as its numero uno intestinal microbes. Studies have indicated that babies born via cesarean will miss out on the gut microbiome, probably for life. The bacteria are beneficial for the development of a strong immune system. With a surgery, bacterial exposure is interrupted because the baby is directly taken from the uterus rather than traveling through the birth canal where the baby comes into contact with the mum’s bacteria and making it into their own, therefore developing microbiome.
Conducive research has linked the effects of non-colonization to be long-term, leading to a string of health conditions to include allergies and obesity. A study was done where a baby was swabbed inside the mouth and on the body with a piece of gauze, which was first put into the mom’s V in order to colonize the mom’s bacteria. The results were actually promising to prove to restore the microbiome for a short while. Sounds disgusting!
3 Your Pre-Pregnancy Shoes Probably Won’t Fit
Remember those Zara flats you’ve been eyeing at their store and hoping that you can buy them after the baby is here. There’s just bad news. It’s not happening any time soon. Remember bigfoot? That could be your story for a while. You’ve just undergone surgery, fluids have been pumped inside you making your feet and ankles swell up. Recovery after the C-section could actually mean more swelling and those Zara designer shoes will just have to wait for a while longer.
Your blood volume accumulates during pregnancy in order to nourish your growing baby, adding on to the fact that you’ve just undergone a cesarean operation! The IV fluids, therefore, add to the swelling. Gravity performs its rightful duty causing the fluids to move to your ankles and feet. Give it time though, it should pass. It is advisable to watch the swelling and attempt to elevate your feet whenever possible.
2 There’s No Such Thing As A Good Night's Sleep
A baby is no walk in the park. This is something probably everyone, including your mom, warned you about. The baby may be the bundle of joy you’ve wanted since forever, but you need to remember that sleep is something that you will have to cross off your to-do list. There is so much care in a hospital post-surgery you’ll barely sleep.
A mom who has been through a C-section has her vitals checked every three to four hours, that is, her temperature, blood pressure and nurses making sure that the healing process is as expected. Add to that, that they will probably be taking your blood a couple of times a day. Considering most moms will even spend up to a week at the hospital, they tend to catch no sleep in the hospital. Your newborn is also another factor, considering the fact that your maternal instinct just kicked in and you feel the need to watch your young one each moment. When you get home though, your family will be there to support you while you heal, leaving you feeling reassured.
1 Pains In Places Moms Would Least Expect
Pain is inevitable after a surgery, even with childbirth, whether natural or under the knife. Your body is exposed to elements after being opened up. Your baby comes out, the air gets in and it’s just what it is. That gas could probably hurt and in the places, you’d least expect your shoulders! A C-section just seems to catch you by surprise each time with its unexpected consequences.
Your bowels become somewhat sluggish after surgery and this could cause some pretty alarming gas issues. The pain can extend and get to your shoulders. Isn’t this super weird?!
As if gas while expectant wasn’t bad enough. Talk to your nurses and they will get you some gas pain relief or so they call it. The other alternative is walking around, which could prove difficult since you’ve just undergone surgery. Either way, the gas pain gets to go!