Giving birth takes on a new dimension when you need a caesarean section.
Undergoing such a surgical procedure may be intimidating and a bit disappointing, especially if you had your heart set on a vaginal birth. Whether you schedule a C-section in advance, because of certain conditions, or you need an emergency one to prevent any risks for both you and your baby, you should know what to expect.
Behind the operation, there are many details about which you may not have a clue, and that are also good to know. Take a look at the following list of things and facts that no one ever told you about having your baby delivered through a caesarean section.
1- You are not in an igloo, but sure feels like it
Operative rooms are 'infamously' known to be very cold. They are kept cool in order to prevent bacteria from growing and reduce, that way, the risk of infections. Although the medical staff usually raises the temperature of the room where you'll have the caesarean section to make it suitable for your little one, it may still be chilly inside. And when you have to spend about 30 minutes (that's how long the surgery usually takes) half-naked, that may not be fun. Fortunately, you can ask to have some blankets placed on you to avoid 'freezing'.
2- In your caesarean section, get ready for the 'shakes'
A lot of women who've had C-sections can tell: you may shake through the entire process or part of it. Such a side effect is linked to anaesthesia, either epidural or spinal block. Your body may start vibrating right after getting it added to your spinal, and it wouldn't be surprising if your arms and legs ended up 'jerking'. Though it may sound a little shocking, don't worry about it, because it will go away as soon as anaesthesia wears off.
3- The incision of the caesarean section will feel weird for a long time
You may have already heard that recovering from a caesarean section may take a few weeks. You may have to struggle a little more than you would if you had a vaginal birth, and that's no news. However, sometimes people are in the dark about how the incision is going to feel even once it's healed. The skin around the incision mark may remain numb for months and years, or it could just feel different to the touch than the rest of your body. Here you have some information on how to take care of your C-section scar.
4- It will take a few days to 'cut the cheese'
Oh yes, it won't be a fun experience, but it's completely normal to have trouble passing gas and stool after undergoing a caesarean section. But don't worry, because you'll be given stool softeners, so that you don't have to push much (that may hurt!) when doing your needs. A good piece of advice is to be back on your feet as soon as you can and take short walks, which can help your bowels 'settle down' faster.
5- First fast, then starve
If you plan your caesarean section in advance, you'll have to fast for 12 hours before the surgery. Your stomach will have to be solid and liquid-free, which can make you a little sick. Unfortunately, you'll keep starving as the procedure goes on and you may only be allowed to have ice-chips, which won't calm your appetite. To cap it all, you may find yourself throwing up as your spinal anaesthesia wears off, so definitely this won't be the best day to keep your gut content.
6- Blood, the uninvited guest to your caesarean section
Yes, even if you don't deliver your baby vaginally, there will be blood. Put on comfortable underwear, because you will experience light (hopefully!) bleeding; It has to do with the uterine wall healing itself once the placenta is removed from your body, along with the blood vessels adapting to the sudden decrease in hormone levels. Also, keep in mind that you'll probably bleed for a few weeks, as your body gets rid of the thick lining that used to support your baby during pregnancy.
7- You may become a nursing 'pro'
Milk shouldn't take any longer than with vaginal birth to come in, but the wound can be an obstacle when it comes to breastfeeding. You'll have to adopt good breastfeeding positions, like the side-lying and the rugby ball hold ones, to avoid any 'accidents' around the scar area. The good news is that, by making such an effort, you may become a nursing 'pro', so when your recovery is over, breastfeeding may feel so much easier.
Now that you got to read about 'the other side' of having a caesarean section, you will be prepared against these usually unexpected setbacks. Yes, it may not be your preferred way to give birth and, yes, it does have some added risks, but you have to roll with it and be positive. Despite the annoying recovery, it shouldn't cause you any further