Giving birth is a life-changing experience. You need to prepare and plan for the birth of your child, especially if you plan to have a C-section. Knowing what to expect during and after the procedure can help make the birth easier on you.
This article has been written to help make your preparation a little easier. Here are some things you should know when preparing for a C-section:
What you should know when preparing for a C-section
1. Create a Birth Plan
The importance of this cannot be over-emphasized. It is going to make your birth so much easier by giving you the opportunity of writing exactly how you want it to be and what would make you comfortable. Some of the things you could include in your birth plan include:
- Your preferred birthing partner
- Your preferred doctor and birthing location
- Playing music in the theater
- Having photographs and video recordings taking of your birth
- Requesting for screen so you can see your baby’s birth
- When you want to touch your baby
It would be helpful to discuss your birth plan with doctor, nurse, or midwife before your due date. Learn what happens during a caesarian section here.
2. Pack a Hospital Bag
This is a bag that includes all the essentials you would need in the hospital, both for you and your baby. You should add items that would help you both before and after your procedure like;
- Books, magazines, films or music for your entertainment
- Chargers and headphones (for music lovers)
- Any prescribed medications you are on
- Disposable or cotton underwear that would reach your waist. Regular pants may rub against and irritate your C-section.
- Comfortable and loose clothes for you and your baby- both for daytime and nighttime.
- Comfortable footwear-slippers are advised.
- A feeding pillow, to make breastfeeding easier
- Extra stuff like toiletries, maternity pads, clothes, enough to last you a few days in the hospital.
- Some women find it helpful to pack chewing gum-helps to get the bowel moving after surgery. Peppermint bags or oil would also help to relieve bloating that may occur after surgery.
3. Prepare Yourself
You need to prepare your body for a C-section just like you would for any other surgical procedure. Before surgery, you would have to take off any jewellery-some hospitals may allow you to leave only your wedding ring taped in place.
You would also need to take off any make-up, nail polish or contact lenses.Some women also prefer to shave or wax before the procedure. This is helpful because the dressing may be sticky and it might get uncomfortable if there is a lot of hair.
You would most likely be asked not to eat or drink anything about 6 hours before the C-section. Your doctor or midwife would discuss this with you.
How To Recover Faster After Your C-Section Operation
Now is the time for you to heal. It is going to be uncomfortable, and it may take some time, but you would get through it eventually. Here are some tips to help you recover faster:
- Rest as much as possible. Your caesarian section wound will feel sore for the first couple of days, and it might be difficult moving around. Try to keep everything you and your baby would need close to your bed or couch. Do not stress yourself with heavy housework yet. Give your body time to heal. If possible, avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby for the first few weeks.
- Get comfortable. Have lots of pillows around you. This would make things more comfortable for you and your baby, especially if you are breastfeeding.
- Stock up on pain medication. This would be recommended by your doctor. There are a variety of options that are safe for breastfeeding mothers like ibuprofen, paracetamol, or even a heating pad.
- Avoid sex as much as possible, at least for the first 6weeks. This would reduce your risk of infection.
- If possible, have meals frozen to limit the amount of times you would need to cook, especially within the first few days.
- Do not attempt driving for the first one or two weeks. This would enable you to heal enough to comfortably drive without needing pain medication.
- Regularly check your C-section for any sign of infection. Things you should watch out for include:
- Redness, swelling or discharge
- Heavy bleeding
- Worsening pain
To Sum It Up
A caesarean section is a major operation, and your body will need time to heal. Most women usually recover after 6weeks. Within this period, you need to rest as much as possible.
Depend on your family and friends when you can. Ask them for help, both before and after the procedure, and when you get home.
Don’t stress yourself too much, and you would begin to feel like yourself soon enough!
Read more on tips on surviving your first few days as a new mum.
- Michele Herman 2020, All About C-Sections: Before, During, and After, Parents, Viewed on August 26th, 2020, <https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/giving-birth/cesarean/all-about-c-sections-before-during-and-after/>.
- Laura Radniecki 2020, 27 things I wish I’d known before my C-section, Motherly, Viewed on August 26th, 2020, <https://www.mother.ly/life/27-things-i-wish-id-known-before-my-c-section>.