Whether women have a C-section that is scheduled or it happens unexpectedly, most have lots of questions. Many even write them down, and bring them to their doctor’s appointments. Things, such as what to expect on the operating table, the role partners might play, and what scars may be like afterward are common ones.
Some have disappointment about not getting to experience a vaginal birth and want to know if that’s even a possibility. Of course, that all depends on the individual’s pregnancy, health situation, and advice from physicians.
Good doctors will provide thorough answers that help ease anxiety and prepare patients for whatever lies ahead. Labor and delivery, in general, can be overwhelming. But a C-section is surgery, and it comes with additional complications and concerns. It’s natural to worry. There’s no reason for anyone to lose her mind about it.
Asking good questions is one way to be proactive and better understand what is going to happen to mom and baby.
The truth, however, is that no one can possibly think of every question beforehand. Of course, there are many women who don’t even know they were going to have a C-section until they were wheeled in. That’s when the questions start popping in their brain and out their mouth.
While some of these last-minute questions might be characterized as wacky or less important than others, they are what boils to the surface in the heat of the moment. And they are usually the most interesting ones.
Here are a few of the unexpected questions doctors might have heard during a C-section:
15 Ouch! Why Can I Feel Cutting During The C-section?
This is one of those terrifying moments, and it rarely happens. Every so often, however, a woman feels what’s happening during the surgery. Most C-sections involve regional anesthesia, which numbs the lower half of her body.
For whatever reason, a very small number of women say they still feel the pain of the incision, according to the BabyCenter forums. Some have even reacted, much to the dismay of the doctors and anyone else in the room.
It’s shocking. But this is seriously something most people will never have to worry about. It’s not at all a common occurrence. When it does happen, after the woman describes what she is feeling, the anesthesiologist will put her to sleep (as long as it’s safe), so she won’t feel anything.
There are some moms, however, who want to try and take the pain until after the baby is born, so they can see their bundle first.
14 Do C-section Patients Need A Catheter? Ewww!
Nobody likes the idea of sticking a tube up inside her and urinating into a bag. It’s embarrassing at best and can cause infections if not properly handled at worst. But sometimes it’s necessary, and most medical professionals know what they’re doing.
As long as the doctor and hospital have the proper credentials, the procedure should be hygienic and safe. In fact, some women say they don’t even feel it when it’s put in or taken out.
Still, many online readers have expressed shock and dismay about post-C-section catheters. Aside from embarrassment, many of them have mentioned having had bad experiences with catheters when they were younger. It was painful and uncomfortable, and they dreaded it when learning of this part of the C-section.
Knowing why they need it might help them relax. Doctors use the catheter to keep the bladder free of fluids during the surgery. And it stays in until the next day, according to Women’s Health. Patients are free to ask questions and should speak up about any pain they experience. Take a deep breath, and consider this the first of many, many sacrifices as a mom.
13 Is The C-section Scar Gonna Be Cool?
Ok, maybe they don’t ask it quite like this. But women wonder out loud about the scarring. They want to know about whether they are going to be able to wear a two-piece bathing suit ever again and perhaps if the scar itself will remain tender. (Of course, they can bare it all; it all depends on whether they’re comfortable with people seeing the scar and how they feel about its look.) Doctors, however, can’t tell patients much about what the scar is going to look like, except that they do their best to keep it minimal and that they should protect it from sun damage. Then, it’s up to them to decide whether that means covering up or lathering on sunblock.
What patients might be better off asking is about scar tissue and if there’s anything they can do to minimize the scar or insure the affected area heals properly. Scar tissue, or adhesions, can build up under the skin and cause some problems in rare cases. Eating healthy, avoiding heavy lifting, and following doctor’s orders usually can help.
12 When Can I Be Intimate Again?
To be honest, this question might be top of mind for the partners of women having a C-section. The women themselves are probably not thinking of sex in this moment. Then again, who knows? Everyone is different, after all.
Generally, doctors recommend waiting at least six weeks after the surgery to try having sex again. But patients can wait longer if that would make them feel more secure.
Initially, sex might be uncomfortable or even painful. There are things women can do to minimize the risk of discomfort. For instance, use lubrication because dryness is often cited as a problem.
Women should also communicate concerns to their partner, take things slowly, or even try out positions, such as woman on top, which allows women to control the amount of penetration. If the pain persists beyond a few weeks or is exceptionally worrisome, women should seek the help of their doctor.
11 Can I Get Drugs (Or Not)?
These women are not looking for a party or a dealer. Painkillers are often doled out to C-section patients. Some people online have discussed their outrage at how doctors administer opiate medication without consulting with the patient first.
Some people have bad reactions to these potent drugs, while others are trying to stay clean after an addiction. On the other hand, there are some people who don’t mind having these kinds of medications in small doses when administered by a health professional because they want something to take the edge off the pain after the C-section.
As long as doctors, who are not overprescribing the medication, are the ones administering it, then it should be safe and helpful. Medication is always a chemical people are putting into their temple – their body – so they should use their best judgment to determine whether it’s right for them.
The answer is different for every woman. Know thyself is the advice most professionals offer. Women should definitely speak up if this is an issue that is important to them.
10 Is That Normal?
Doctors get this question all the time about all sorts of stuff, not just C-sections. During a C-section, however, the question is often referring to a noise or pain patients are experiencing. For instance, a baby that is stuck in the birth canal might make a “popping” sound like that of a suction cup coming off a window when pulled out via surgery.
It’s perfectly normal, but it can be jarring for the parents, who are not medical professionals and wouldn’t know of this phenomenon. Women in labor and delivery often ask about bowel movements or flatulence. It happens. Most of the time, it’s all normal.
Many other things can happen. Some parents have described horror about beeping noises on machines, others have had their baby’s blood pressure drop. What is important for patients – and the medical professionals, too, of course – is to remain calm. Freaking out is just going to make matters worse. Remember, patients can always ask questions, and decent doctors will give them a decent explanation.
9 How Quickly Will I Get My Body Back?
A question as old as time, this one has been asked for as long as women have been having babies. The truth is there is no real answer. Every person is different. Most women never quite get back the body they once had.
Even if they lose the weight, their hips might have widened, and their skin likely stretched. Supermodels are the exception, not the rule. In the case of C-section patients, they have scars. It’s not all depressing, though. Many women do indeed get back to their previous weight.
Often, C-section moms have scars that are invisible even in a bikini. Some even lose weight now that they are more active chasing after a baby. Others make a healthy diet and exercise a priority to boost their own mood and create good habits for their growing family.
It could take anywhere from weeks to years, but most women see their pregnant belly vanish and have some semblance of the body they had before pregnancy. The human body is a weird and wonderful machine. You will be in awe of it after this process no matter how your baby came out.
8 Is The C-section Going To Save My Lady Parts?
This might sound completely silly. But women are obsessed with what labor and delivery do to their lady bits. The fear has always been that pushing out a human being – often the size of a watermelon – will make a woman’s vagina loose and her and her partner will be the worse for it. For women who believe that, having a C-section is a preventative measure.
There have been studies supporting the idea that orgasms and sex, in general, ends up being better for those who had C-sections versus those who had vaginal births. Best advice? Have lots of sex once it’s safe and comfortable, see if Kegel exercises help any (regardless of the C-section), and recognize the miracle of what the human body is capable of doing.
That empowerment alone often gives women additional confidence, which can make for a better sex life.
7 Can We Delay The Cord Cutting?
More and more moms-to-be are looking into natural childbirth, doulas, and midwives. Some oppose the sterile hospital setting so much that they try to opt for an at-home birth with loved ones, and these kinds of coaches surrounding them during labor. If you have to have a C-section, these trends become more difficult to experience.
A sterile hospital is kind of the best place for surgery, after all. But some medical professionals are trying to make the C-section experience closer to the one women might have with a vaginal birth.
They are offering patients a “gentle C-section.” What is that? Well, it’s pretty simple. The idea is to make mom more aware of what’s happening to her and her baby throughout the procedure. Some doctors slow down the surgery, in fact, as a way to keep mom and baby feeling connected and – they hope – to make it safer for immediate skin-to-skin contact, known to help in the bonding process, according to the Stir in Café Mom.
Even if the hospital or doctor doesn’t offer the full menu of “gentle C-section options,” patients might ask about the possibility of ordering a la carte. Of course, this all depends on the rules of the doctor and hospital and the health status of mom and baby. Still, it never hurts to ask. Mom’s experience matters, too.
6 Will I Be Able To Breastfeed?
Of course, the short answer is that women can breastfeed if that’s what they’d like to do. However, some moms, who have had C-sections, have found it more challenging to lactate in those first few days.
The good news is most hospitals have nurses who can assist women, and they can always call on a breastfeeding coach to help them even at home. If patients have had regional anesthesia, such as an epidural, they can try to breastfeed right away, according to Parents. They just have to have their partner or a nurse help them sit up.
Because of the incision, they may have to practice the holds used to position the baby for feedings. The best thing they can do is just try and relax and follow baby’s lead. They can continue to take the advice of the medical professionals around them, and it should turn out all right. What’s most important is that mom and baby are both healthy.
5 What Can I Get Dad To Do Post-op?
Daddy’s gonna buy you a diamond ring. Okay, that might not be entirely accurate, but push presents are a thing (and undergoing surgery to get the baby out probably qualifies mom for more).
Seriously, though, moms must ask their partners for help in the days following the C-section. If they are going solo as a parent, they should ask friends and family to pitch in. Many women have trouble walking and even lifting the baby. They shouldn’t drive or risk interrupting the healing process in any way.
So, moms should have their partners buying and carrying groceries, cases of diapers, etc. Partners should also be doing laundry (or at least carrying the loads from machine to closet). Any heavy lifting should be on dad’s to-do list.
Of course, moms need to sleep to heal, so partners should be giving them a hand whenever possible with late-night baby duties. If only mom could get dad to do this all the time and not just when she is having his baby extracted from her being!
4 Will A C-section Mean Better Intimacy For Me?
Oooh, la, la. Apparently, lots of women online are talking about the strength of their orgasms once they are able to give sex the old college try again (usually after those six weeks we keep mentioning). This isn’t just locker room banter. There’s some truth to it. Turns out that studies have shown women who had C-sections have had better sex than those who delivered vaginally.
A 2005 study found that the pelvic floors and connective tissue in the region of women who have had C-sections were stronger for up to two years than those who have had vaginal births, according to Psychology Today. This allows for deeper, more profound sensations during orgasm. Not too shabby, huh?
So, if anyone tries to gives you grief over your c-section, just ask them about their intimate life and they might just walk back some of the things they've been saying. If not, then school those fools!
3 Is Everyone Going To Hate Me For Having A C-section?
Well, they might if the secret gets out about the better sex. LOL! On a more serious note, however, there has been a backlash to C-sections in recent years. There was talk in the health media about allowing too many women to schedule births even if there was no physical need for a C-section.
At the same time, there has been a trend toward more natural and homeopathic tools during labor and delivery. Yes, women will find plenty of haters online, who criticize those who have had C-sections. Frankly, they’ll find plenty of haters online for just about anything. Period. Everyone needs to quit judging everyone else. This is especially true for women, who should be supporting each other.
These are personal choices, ones that we make in tandem with our partners and medical professionals. No one knows what is best for the individual except the individual. So, who cares if someone hates someone else for having a C-section? Each person has to make the right decision for her and move on.
2 What Are My Older Children Going To Do?
A C-section can be more complicated for a mom who has multiple children. It's a lot harder to heal when you have that kind of responsibility at home. For starters, moms have to ask for help from their partner or other family and friends if they’re raising their kids alone. And if She doesn't live close to relatives, that could cause some anxiety
In addition, moms need to consider the ages of the children. Even a child as young as 5 or 6 can help her get diapers or pick up toys. They usually think of their baby sibling as a doll and the whole thing as a game. As long as they’re not throwing around the baby like a football, mom can use that to her advantage. It's best to encourage the siblings to get involved so they don't feel left out.
Older siblings, such as teens, can really pitch in. Moms can have them help cook and clean and change diapers. Don’t worry, mom always manages to spread the love. Moms should make sure to thank their other kids for whatever help they provide and plan one-on-one time when things settle down and baby grows some.
1 Will I Be Forever Scarred Mentally, Too?
There’s no question that having a baby (regardless of how you do it) is going to change your life. Sometimes, C-sections, especially emergency ones, can be scary and traumatic. The worst thing parents can do while it’s happening is panic. Assuming mom and baby are healthy and well, when it’s all over, a new family is formed and love conquers all.
Still, as always, mom and those around her should be cognizant of the signs of postpartum depression. Is she crying more? Is she feeling sad often? Is she turned off by holding her baby? People can get more information about reasons moms sometimes don’t want to be around their baby on the Babygaga site. Anyone experiencing overwhelming sadness, should seek professional help.
Most women, however, survive both vaginal births and C-sections. Even if they are disappointed about having to do one type of delivery over the other, they are happy to have their babies and proud of themselves and their bodies. Realize that most people forget the challenges of the delivery room. If they didn’t, the world wouldn’t have such a huge population, right?