This may have not been the path you planned to take during your delivery but here it is – the moment you were not waiting for. Whether it is an emergency c-section or a scheduled c-section it is truly a memorial experience, to say the least. Both of my deliveries were c-section and they were completely different from one another. My very first c-section was T E R R I F Y I N G because the whole day was considered an emergency. At 22 years old, and the words “your sons heart beat is dropping and he’s going into distress” was just the start of it all.
There really is no way to “prepare” for an emergency c-section except to be prepared that it can be a choice, and you usually don’t get much time to digest it is even about to happen. The best way to prepare is to be knowledgable of this type of delivery and educate yourself on how to care for your body and your baby afterwards.
You will be spend an extra day in the hospital, potentially more depending on the results of your delivery and your recovery. Both of my c-section’s landed me 4 days in the hospital and very, very hungry. When they tell you moving helps you heal and you look at the nurse like she has 4 eyes, believe them because it does. I don’t mean get out and exercise that would just be crazy, but walking yourself to the bathroom are the baby steps you need to take. It will still hurt to pee just like a vaginal delivery, and yes you will bleed A LOT! My number one purchase > granny panties and period pads. Get them, and learn to love them because you’ll be wearing them for a good month.
Fortunately my husband had a paternity leave with my second because that healing process took a lot longer than my first. I developed an infection in my cut and it was painful. It is so so important to keep your cut clean. DO NOT SCRUB IT, OUCH. I would just stand in the shower and let the soapy water run over it and pat it dry. The first few times you shower I recommend having someone there to help you. Standing up is hard and you are sore, so the extra support rinsing out you hair will keep you comfortable.
Rest, Rest, Rest and I know I’m telling you to do this as a new Mom and I sound crazy but invest in a rock and swaddle or a sleeper that stays right next to your bed so when you’re feeding you don’t have to stand up to get the baby. Oh and speaking of feeding, yes you can breastfeed but it will take a little bit longer for your milk to come in, especially with a scheduled c section. You’re body is not going into labor with a scheduled c section unless it does prior to the scheduled event! So your body is not necessarily “ready” to give birth so it doesn’t know quite yet to start preparing to feed. But relax, it will come in and when it does you’ll be feeling a lot better!
When the doctors recommend you not to drive – don’t. It is so serious you stay safe. If an accident occurs you have a very high risk of bleeding internally and no new momma has time for that!
Here are a few of my top must haves!
- Belly Band > I loved mine nice and tight. I wore it under everything, even when I slept.
- Underwear that went higher than my belly button. I hated anything touching my scar, so I lived in underwear that covered it.
- Maternity Pads
- Pain relief medication
- Stool Softener (This is no joke!! Pooping after a c section is a serious occasion)
- Ice pack or heating pad
- Squirt bottle to help clean out your wound
There is no magic potion to heal your scar and it will not disappear. However, there are creams you can purchase for scaring that might help. Staying moisturized if a definite but I wouldn’t put anything on you scar until told by your Dr it is okay. While it is healing it is best to keep clean and to pat dry.
My second c-section was a walk in the park! It was scheduled, and within 2 hours of walking into the hospital I had my healthy baby boy in my arms. Having a toddler after having a c-section is hard. If your husband can take paternity leave I would recommend it! If not – have your space prepared before you come. The more you have in arms reach the better! Lifting your baby will not hurt you, the doctors recommend not lifting anything heavier than your newborns weight. My toddler was turning 3 years old so he was a little more independent and potty trained! That saved my life, and my pocket book 🙂
Best of luck Mommas!