Most expectant mothers in 2019 have been caught up in the pushback against “unnatural” birth. “Unnatural” implies there is a right and wrong way to give birth. Let it be known: there is no wrong way to give birth! C-sections are just as “real” as vaginal birth. Both avenues have their upsides and downsides. It’s important to remember no one has control over the birth process. We have influence at best, and even that influence has its limits!
A mom-to-be might desperately want to have a vaginal birth and end up with a c-section. If she isn’t planning to have a c-section birth, a mom might be underprepared for what the surgery entails. Recovering from any birth is difficult; recovering from a c-section is a true feat of human strength and willpower. I’m here to tell you the truth about recovering from a c-section. Newsflash: it ain’t always pretty!
You Might Shake During Your C-Section Surgery
One of the strange side effects of the medicines used to perform a c-section is “the shakes”. While it might seem alarming, it’s typical to have a shivering feeling even if you’re not cold. Operating rooms can be quite chilly, so the cool air could exacerbate this surgical side effect.
View this post on Instagram
Well done! 👏 Demo of layers involved in a c-section birth and how it is done. *Notice the vertical cut at the abdominal muscles and peritoneum. . . . . . . #csectionrecovery #csection #csectionbirth #csectionscar #csectionmom #csectionbelly #cesareanbirth #childbirtheducation #childbirtheducator #childbirth #birthdoula #doulasupport #midwifelife #obgynlife #obgynnurse #obgynresident #obgyndoctor #pelvicguru #pelvichealth #pelvicfloor #pelvicmafia #pelvicpt #physicaltherapist . . . . . (Credit to: Vbac or Bust on FB)
Use Pain Management As Prescribed
Hopefully, your nurses and doctor explain this important rule of postoperative pain management. Use your pain management as prescribed. Ideally, the prescribed pain killers will keep the pain in check - but if they don’t, let your doctor know! The key is not to let your pain get to an unmanageable point before taking another pill. Another component to pain management is rest. When the doctor says “stay off your feet” - they mean it!
It Will Feel Like Your Stitches Are Pulling Apart
Stitches, staples, however they close your incision - at some point during healing, it will feel like your incision is tearing apart. Standing upright will seem impossible. This is why it’s important to know what your incision should look like as it heals. Be sure to ask your doctor so you can keep an eye out for any major issues. So long as your incision looks like it’s healing nicely, try to ignore the sensation.
Support Your Belly When You Cough Or Sneeze
Most hospitals give their c-section patients a support band to wear around their incision as it heals. This band is meant to support the tissue while it heals, minimizing scar tissue. It also helps relieve that weird feeling of stitches coming undone. Even with a support band, be sure to provide extra support for your belly while you cough or sneeze. Simply hug a pillow to your stomach at the incision and worry no more!
Hopefully these tips help you feel more prepared to face a c-section birth and recovery! While no recovery is easy, c-section recovery has its own challenges. Moms who endure c-sections are just at the beginning of a much more intensive healing process. The good news is: you can make it easier on yourself!