Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. After finding out that you are pregnant, a million thoughts are running through your head. Will I have a boy or a girl? What name am I going to pick out? How will I manage the responsibility of bringing a new life into the world? Often, many women are assumed to have a natural delivery. However, a Caesarean section, better known as a C-Section, is still an option. There are some great things to know before you opt for this procedure.
1. It’s A Major Surgery
A C-Section is not just a minor incision. While you may not experience much pain during the procedure, be prepared for the recovery process. C-sections are common, and it’s likely that not enough emphasis is placed on the actual procedure itself.
2. Moving Hurts
The simple act of getting up out of bed will hurt! It’s a good idea to have your support system close by. Ask your mom, husband, partner, or other close relatives if they can stay with you for a few days to help you recover.
3. Get Up and Move Around
As tricky as it can be, it’s important to move after a C-section. You’ll find that it won’t hurt as much as you think, and staying in bed will be more painful.
4. Have Medication on Hand
You’ll find the recovery a lot more bearable by having your pain medication on hand. If you feel better, you’ll be able to take better care of your baby. It’s not going to affect your breastmilk or other development of the baby.
5. Take Showers
You may think that water getting into the incision is harmful, but it’s not true. Take as many showers as you wish because they will help you relax and get comfortable.
6. Every Movement Will Hurt
Sneezing, coughing, reaching for a tissue, or just about any movement will be uncomfortable. If you can mentally prepare for the aches and pains, you’ll be in a better position to have more sustainable recovery.
Part of childbirth is the realization that your body will never look the same. A scar from a C-section is unavoidable, but you will learn to accept it. Your doctor will do his or her best to make unnoticeable.
8. Plan Ahead
If you know that you’re having a C-section, plan for what you’ll need at least a week after. Prep your meals, arrange for help with your kids, and have all of your laundry done. Having these things in order will help alleviate any mental stress after the procedure.
It is normal to have some numbness around the incision area after your procedure. Don’t panic, as many of your nerves are damaged during the surgery. But they often return to normal within two to three months after the operation.
10. Formula May Be Needed
Whether you’re in too much pain or your breastmilk has not come yet, it’s ok to rely on formula. It can be frustrating. But stay the course, and you could be breastfeeding your baby in no time.
11. It’s Ok to Ask for Help
Don’t feel any less of a mom if you ask for help after your surgery. As a new mom, you’ll want to prove that you can do it all, but your health and safety are top priorities.
12. Lots of Pressure
During the surgery, you can expect to feel a lot of pressure. While it’s not painful, it’s an awkward and out of body experience. You will feel a lot of pulling and pushing, and it can be unpleasant if you are not prepared.
13. No Driving
You’ll be in no condition or mood to drive right after your surgery, but you should make transportation plans for several weeks. You can expect to be given orders not to drive from your doctor for about two to four weeks, especially if you are still using pain medication.
14. C-Sections are Different
C-Sections are usually a planned surgery where your doctor will tell you to arrive on a specific date and time. In some situations, emergency C-sections are required for vaginal birth complications. Don’t let this stress you out because many of these procedures are performed with little risk involved.
15. Invest in an Abdominal Binder
An abdominal binder, better known as a belly wrap, will help your muscles feel tighter and firmer. It’s not going to help you lose weight, but it can be an extra security blanket during your recovery.
16. Watch Out for Infections
With your new bundle of joy demanding most of your attention, it can be easy to overlook your wound area. Keep a vigilant eye for any signs of infection because they can be very dangerous.
17. No Thongs for a While
You can kick cute and sexy underwear to the curb for a long time. Bikinis and other form-fitting lingerie will graze your wound and make you feel uncomfortable. Granny panties it is!
18. Prunes Please!
Your first bowel movement after surgery is going to be uncomfortable. Constipation is the last thing you will want to deal with. Prunes and other high fiber fruits and veggies can make it a lot more comfortable for you.
19. Avoid Heavy Lifting
Babies weight more than you think, and you won’t want to overdo it after your surgery. Ask for help to lift any objects (or babies) that might cause any type of strain.
20. It Gets Easier!
You might feel trapped in a corner with no way out, but it will get better as each day passes. Keep the faith, and remember that recovery is a journey and not a sprint!
C-Sections are a standard procedure, but it’s good to be prepared to make the process a lot smoother. You’ll want to enjoy your new baby without being fixated on your recovery!