The medical world has come so far when it comes to delivering babies. The introduction of C-sections has saved the lives of countless women and their babies and everyone is thankful for that. C-sections are not easy, and they are definitely not the "easy way out" as some have claimed. It is still considered a major operation, even though it is one of the most commonly performed.
Not a lot of women know ahead of time that they are going to have a C-section. C-sections are usually done as an emergency procedure when something is going wrong during a natural delivery and they need to get the baby out. The baby being breech is one reason why someone may know ahead of time that they need a C-section.
Most of the time, a C-section can come as a complete surprise and it can be one of the scariest moments. So many thoughts are going through a woman’s mind when she is told she is about to have major surgery to make sure her baby gets out safely. There are many things she should know, things she should be prepared for, so we have a list of 20 things all women should know if they ever were to need an emergency C-section.
20 There Is Still A ‘Post Birth’ – You’re Not Out Of The Woods Yet
There is a misconception floating around that a woman who has a C-section gets to skip a lot of the messier sides of natural birth. That they skip a lot of the post-partum mess and healing, but this is not true. There is still a post-partum mess that happens to a degree that would require mom to wear a sanitary pad.
That is because the uterus still needs to distract and shed its lining the same way it would if mom had a natural birth. That doesn’t change. The only real difference is that her downstairs region may not be as sore as a woman who pushed out a baby.
19 Now There Are More Than Two Ways Out
When we think of giving birth, we know that there are really only two ways a baby can come out. It can be pushed out, or it can be surgically removed. However, as time goes on, there are more and more ways a baby can be born. When it comes to a C-section, there are options for how a mom would like her baby to be removed.
Mom can have what is known as a ‘gentle C-section,’ where they let the baby ease out on their own and mom can normally hold their baby right away. A lot of hospitals are even using clear drapes now so that mom can watch her little one enters the world.
18 What Does Local Mean Anyways?
Of course, when we are thinking about a C-section, we know that there is going to be some local anesthesia involved. No one would want to feel the procedure being done, but they want to be awake and alert to see their baby. They usually use a local anesthesia in order to numb mom completely from the waist down.
What they may not tell mom is that sometimes the anesthesia works a little too well. It can cause mom to lose feeling in her arms as well. This can be frustrating to a mom who wants to hold and nurse her baby because she may need to wait until the feeling in her arms returns.
17 Have To Be Honest …
It may be frightening, but some people prefer to know the entire truth, no matter how chilling it can be. At the end of the day, it may be important to know that a C-section hurts. Now, it does not hurt while it is being done, you are under some pretty strong pain meds and numbing. Afterward is when it hurts.
It is major surgery and it is bound to have a pretty painful and messy recovery. So, while you are trying to be a new mom, you may be in some serious pain. They will prescribe you some meds for the pain and the best thing you can do is take the meds while following the recovery instructions.
16 Move Around Afterward (Seriously!)
After a major surgery, the last thing you are going to feel like doing is moving around. However, it is important that mom gets up and gets moving as soon as possible. Moving is the best way to start the healing process, and the nurses will be there to help you in the hospital.
Cafemom.com released an article where moms shared what they wish they had known before having an emergency C-section, and this was one of their pieces of advice. One mom stated that she was scared to move due to all the sutures but moving around really helped her get through the healing process.
15 Raid The Nurse Station
Not only are the nurses there to help you with anything you may need, but they also have a gold mine of treasures aimed at helping a mom get through the recovery from childbirth. For a mom who has had a natural birth, they have peri bottles. For moms who have had a C-section, they have mesh underwear.
It sounds a little insane now to think that there would ever be a time when you would want to wear mesh underwear, but you will want to after having a C-section. The reason they are so loved is because they don’t irritate the wound that is healing. So, stock up and throw a couple in your bag to take home with you.
14 Clap Back
We live in a world where everyone wants to have an opinion on everything, and they are not afraid to share it. The popularity of social media has made it easier for people to share their opinions because they do it from behind a computer screen. We become much braver when we don’t have to say things to a person’s face.
There is no guilt in needing a C-section, even though some may try and guilt you for taking "the easy way out." Last time we checked, having major surgery was not the easy way out, actually, it is probably the hardest way out. Stand tall and be proud of what you went through to bring your baby safely into the world.
13 You’ll Be Ordering From Amazon In Recovery
A lot of women bring their laptop or tablet with them when they go into the hospital. They expect there to be a lot of waiting around and this provides them some entertainment while they wait. At the very least, they will have their cell phone. Amazon is a great platform when it comes to purchasing items you need and there may be some things you want to order before you leave.
A mom who had to have an emergency C-section purchased a post-partum support belt and she claimed that it helped her a lot when she came home. She stated that it made it easier for her to stand and move around because her abdomen always felt supported.
12 It Can Delay Nursing (Keyword: CAN!)
Breastfeeding is really important to a lot of moms out there, and they have a fear that if they need an emergency C-section, it will interfere with their ability to breastfeed. This is a myth; a C-section does not have to automatically mean that mom can not breastfeed.
A lot of hospitals recognize the importance of breastfeeding and will work with mom to get this going. That means trying to get mom and baby to do skin-to-skin as soon as possible and sending in lactation consultants to help mom form a strong nursing relationship with her baby. Some women have reported it took their milk a bit longer to come in, but they were still able to successfully nurse their child.
11 It May Feel Weird
The good news is that you will be numb the entire time the C-section is happening. There are stories online of anesthesia failing, but that happens very rarely that it is not something to worry about. However, the biggest surprise is that even though you are numb, you will still feel some things.
This may come as the biggest shock so it is better to be prepared for it. While you won't feel pain during the procedure, you are likely to feel pressure and pulling. This has been described as feeling 'weird' but not painful. The doctor has to dig around a bit to get the doctor out so you will feel a bit of pulling and pressure before that baby is placed in your arms.
10 But It Is So Normal
Here is the thing, we don’t need to be superheroes. We want to be tough and show the world we can do this, but childbirth will always be frightening, and it doesn’t matter how that baby comes out. If you are told that you need a C-section, it is normal to be worried and it is okay to express that you are nervous.
A lot of the time, even if it is an emergency C-section you will have some time to process. This is when you should ask the nurse any questions you may have that may help calm your fears.
9 The OR Will Be Cold
This is a really helpful tip from moms who have had C-sections, the operating room will be cold. They keep the room cold and if mom is not prepared, she could be shivering due to more than just the anesthesia. When you are packing your hospital bag it is always important to pack for the possibility of a C-section. Even if you don’t plan on having one, anything can happen, and you want to be prepared.
It is a good idea to pack some thick socks to help keep your feet warm, too. It is important to check with your hospital first because some hospitals have regulations on what mom can wear during a C-section.
8 Send Hubby Out For Prune Juice
Sometimes, dads can feel a bit left out and confused during childbirth. There really is not much for them to do but be there to support their partner while they birth their child. In an attempt to make them feel important and helpful there are some things that mom can get a nervous dad-to-be to do.
One thing is to send him out for some prune juice. Seems weird, but it will really help if you need a C-section. The hospital will give you a stool softener, but some added prune juice wouldn’t hurt either. The trauma to your abdomen may make that first bathroom visit a bit difficult and the last thing you will want is to be constipated.
7 You're Still Giving Birth…
We are circling back to the guilt some moms feel when they need a C-section. If there is one thing, we see the most when it comes to negative comments about C-sections, is that these women are not actually giving birth. That they are somehow less of a mom because they had a surgery to get their baby out safely.
That is the key word there, safely. C-sections usually happen because there is some threat to the mom or baby’s life, and they need to get that baby out in order to save their lives. This may seem dramatic, but it’s not, it is the truth. If you need an emergency C-section, you have definitely still given birth.
6 …And Bonding Still Happens!
Pregnant women usually have an image of how their birth is going to go. They envision themselves in the hospital bed, pushing and then having this beautiful little baby thrusted on their chest and the bonding is instant. When they are told that they need to have a C-section, their image is fragmented, and they worry that they will not bond with their baby.
This is not entirely true. Skin-to-skin time immediately following birth plays a big factor in bonding with a new baby. There are only certain circumstances in a C-section where this can not happen, just speak your wishes to the nurses and they will do everything in their power to let you have immediate contact with your baby.
5 Seriously, Don’t Lift
Whenever you have any procedure done there is always going to be instructions on what to do and not do in order to make sure you recover as quickly as possible with minimum difficulty. One thing they are going to tell a mom who has a C-section is not to lift anything heavier than her baby.
This is one piece of advice that mom is going to want to follow. If she doesn’t, she risks opening up the incision and getting an infection. It can be hard to do nothing when you have a new baby and there is stuff to do around the house. It is best to get hubby or a friend to help while you rest and heal.
4 Contractions Take A Whole New Meaning
Even if mom knows she is about to have a C-section, her body doesn’t know it, so it will continue to labor as it would if she was going to have a natural birth. That means she will continue to have contractions until she goes in for that C-section.
A lot of women have found that this is the hardest thing emotionally when it comes to a C-section. Enduring contractions when you know it is not going to lead to natural birth is one of the hardest things to overcome. It feels like you are going through all of this pain for nothing.
3 The Shakes Will Bring The Boys To The Yard
Shaking is a common occurrence, and it is one of the few things that can happen in both C-sections and natural births. This is due to the epidural and all of the numbing meds that are going through moms’ body. These shakes can last all throughout the procedure and even up to a couple of hours after it is done. This is normal and not something to be concerned about.
The only problem that may arise out of this is that if the shakes are too bad, you may not be able to hold your baby unassisted for a while. The nurses may have to assist you in holding your baby for a while until your system calms down.
2 Faster Than A Speeding Train
A lot of surgeries take a long time, because they are fairly complicated, and no one wants to make a mistake. C-sections, while they are major surgery, are done very quickly. As long as it is routine and there are no other complications, they are very efficient and quick.
C-sections are very common, and they happen every day. There is probably one happening while you read this article. When a procedure is done this often it is normal for a physician to get very good at them. When they are routine, they tend to be very efficient and that doctor will have your baby up and you stitched up in no time.
1 It’ll Be Okay!
At the end of the day, the best piece of advice that can be given to a woman who has to have an emergency C-section is that everything is going to be okay. It will seem crazy and overwhelming at first, but when it is all done you will have your baby and the love you feel for them will be all that matters.
Recovery will be tough, and you may need to call in for some help, but it will all get easier. No matter how you give birth, it is not easy to be a mom, so we need to give ourselves more credit and allow ourselves, and our bodies, a chance to recover and rest.
References: motherandbaby.co.uk, thestir.cafemom.com