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Cesarean Section (C-Section) dates back to Ancient Roman times and is a common surgery today in which to deliver a baby. The surgery entails surgically removing a baby through the mother’s abdomen after anesthesia by cutting a lower transverse incision in the abdomen wall and uterus. The baby and the placenta are then removed before being sutured up and sent to recovery. The recovery processing following a c-section varies.
Now, it is common for at least 1 out of 3 women to undergo a c-section. The surgery has improved over the decades and is relatively safe for mother and baby. Some C-Sections are planned, but many are done due to unexpected problems that do occur, for example:
- Health problems in the mother or if the baby’s health is in danger.
- The mother carrying more than one baby (Twins, Triplets, etc.)
- The baby is breeched (head is not down in the birth canal)
- The size of the baby which can cause a vaginal delivery to be unsafe.
- Labor is not progressing as it should tend to be the most common.
Having a C-Section is not a walk in the park. It is classified as major surgery and has a longer recovery period then a vaginal delivery. When you have a C-Section you will want to take it easy for 6 to 8 weeks and avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby.
I am a mom of two active Irish Twin boys. They were born 11-months and 3-days apart via a cesarean (C-section). My first c-section was not planned and was an emergency due to me spiking a fever after over 24hrs of being in labor. I had everything all ready to have a natural birth all the way down to the sheet of paper with all my wishes. That went out the window when the doctor told me the situation and how emergent it was for the safety of Jack (the baby) and I to undergo an emergency c-section.
Make sure to take a shower and remove the bandages and the steri-strips (medical tape) as it will make it less painful when you use water to soften the glue on the tape. It will hurt worse when you go to the doctor following discharge for a check-up and they remove them in order to check the incision. As the incision will be tender and often feel a little numb for a few days to weeks.
Getting comfortable may be the biggest issue you may encounter following a c-section. I recommended wearing a belly band or a form of a girdle. This will help a ton going to doctor’s appointments and accidentally hitting a pothole, laughing, or just laying down. Often I felt better sleeping in a chair or recliner for the first few weeks after being home.
These are my tips and tricks after having 2 c-sections within 1-year.
Tips, Tricks, & Facts for Having a C-Section:
- “Remain Calm as the medical staff does 1,000+ a day C-sections a day.” Everyone said this to me and it didn’t calm me down at all. When I went through my first one I was scared as it’s a new experience so you are expected to feel this way. The second one if you decide to do a scheduled c-section you are a little more prepared since you know what to expect.
- When you are clear to walk around do it! It helps a ton with the pain when they message your uterus. However, it can be rough at first walking and this is normal. It will get easier each day.
- Take the pain medication! Do not stop during the first two weeks thinking you can handle it. Give yourself some time to heal before tapering off.
- Do not think you can run a marathon or do crunches till after cleared from the doctor. You will only delay the healing that your body needs.
- Constipation. It is awful after a c-section due to the pain medicine. Drink tons of fluids (including prune juice), take the stool softener, eat fiber-rich meals, and you have to move.
- I remember being told not to lift anything over 15lbs. However, when you have Irish twins and you have a one-year-old you really can’t tell them that mommy can lift you because your to heavy so you do the best you can do.
- Accept help when you go home. I know you are probably an independent super momma. However, you just had major surgery and gave life to a human being. It is great to have some help with cooking, cleaning, and keeping up the laundry.
- It will hurt to cough, laugh, sneeze, or hit a pothole while going to appointments. Hold a pillow there or invest in a girdle at least for the first week or so.
- Expect numbness and tingling around your lower abdomen incision area. This is a normal result because of the nerves affected. This will get better in time.
- Ice might help the inflammation, swelling, and pain for a few days on the incision.
- REMOVE the bandage and tape on your incision before going to the doctor. It is a world easier to do this while in the shower because the water acts as an aide.
- Watch for signs of infection such as increased pain, swelling, redness, heat, or drainage from the incision, fever, or chills. Report any and all symptoms to your doctor immediately!
- Hormones will likely make everything seem worse and make you more sensitive. I promise you most people have gone through it. (You can ask my husband if you would like I told him a few days after being home he could go back to work now.)
- It is okay to grieve! Whether this was a planned C-section or not, it is common to feel some disappoint or sadness. Some studies actually show that women are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression after having a C-section.
- If you plan to have more children on the next go around there is still a possibility you can have a vaginal birth after C-Section (VBAC). You would have to ask your physician to see if you could be a candidate for this.
I wish you nothing but the best regardless of how you bring life into this world. 🙂
Do you have any further tips and tricks you want to add? Comment below so we can help others.