If you are having a caesarean....(188 Posts)
I've just made up a 'hints and tips' list for my friend who is having a caesarean soon (I've had two) if you want me to e-mail it to you let me know!
I think you should post it so those just lurking might benefit.
Ummmm, was a bit shy in case people thought it was silly
No, please danceswithmonkeys, post it! There are lots of us who would love to see this.
I think you'll find people adding to it. And then people headed for first sections will probably benefit. I know there are a few things I wish I had known before my first section. So, go on....
Hee hee! Now I feel special
DWMs fluffy bunny hints and tips if youre having a caesarean
Before you go to hospital:
Get your partner to shave your girly bits (unless you like nurses scraping away with a blunt bic!)
Make sure you pack a dressing gown and slippers as you will need to walk down to theatre in an open backed theatre gown
In the theatre make sure you ask if you want the baby held up for you to see immediately (providing they are ok) otherwise they may whisk them away before youve had a peep
If you can, get your partner to take a damp flannel in with them as some of the meds you have can make your face really itchy and a cool flannel is nice on it
Fill your freezer up with home cooked food or ready meals. You will NOT want to cook but you will want to eat!
After the caesarean:
Relax! You are a flippin star for producing your offspring, just lie there and lap up the glory!
Find the up/down button on your bed (if you have one!) it helps when you are trying to reach into the crib to pick up the baby
Make sure before your partner leaves you have everything you need within reach (sounds obvious I know) : Nappies, wipes, change of clothes for the baby, spare muslins, button for the bed and to call a midwife, drink and food for you.
If your baby starts coughing like they smoke 40 a day and then produces something slimy do not be alarmed because C-section babies dont get squished through the birth canal they dont get a chance to get any gunk pushed up from their chests so they cough it out later (gross but true)
If you are having trouble breast feeding firstly there are usually some fab breastfeeding counsellors on call at the hospital, they can help. Also if your baby is just not being satisfied by breast feeding (usually around 3am when you are at breaking point .) DO NOT be afraid to ask for your baby to be given a cup of formula. It will NOT stop them wanting to breast feed but will satisfy them for now and let you both get some sleep. Some midwives can be breastfeeding Nazis, dont let them bully you.
When you get home:
KEEP TAKING YOUR MEDS (for at least the first week or two). You may feel you dont need them but you will realise you do when you let them wear off! If necessary put on a timer to remind you to take them.
Lactulose is your friend. Unfortunately the downside of the lovely pain meds are that they make you constipated (also the caesarean shuts your body down in this dept for a short while). Keep taking the lactulose even after you have done a normal poo (I made the mistake of stopping daaaaamn) If your constipation is bad after a few days ask your midwife for advice.
Try and take a bath each day if you can (no bubbles or smellies) and let your scar air dry (if you really dont have time PAT it dry) , this will help keep things clean and avoid infections
If you start to feel ropey, particularly if you have a temperature you need to see your GP promptly as you may have an infection in your scar. It will clear up quickly but you will need antibiotics
Dont do anything you dont have to (this includes receiving the scores of visitors queuing at your door!) My midwife said to me when I was complaining about feeling so exhausted what do you expect dear, youve had major abdominal surgery! fair point.
That's about it, I'm sure other people will add on...
- Take arnica tablets from the day before
- When you get out of bed, stand up military straight. Then stay straight! Your muscles will object the next day, but slowly get straight each time you stand.
- If you've a toddler, explain clearly to them what is going to happen - how long you;ll be in hosp and who'll look after them. Also explain you won't be able to lift them, but adore cuddles on the sofa instead.
- Finally, good luck!
(I used immac cream to do the razor job before hand, but ask - not all hospitals do the shaving routine!)
Remember to pack some BIG pants for the few days afterwards as normal ones sit right on the scarline. I got a couple of packs of tesco value 'full briefs' in a large size and just threw them away when i'd finished with them
Also take a nightshirt as you wont be able to wear pjs for the first night as you may still have cathetar attached.
- If the pain gets worse or if people comment on you looking pale - get them to check your blood. I needed a blood transfusion, but didn't realise because I thought it was normal to feel so cr*p. Difficult to know exactly how much cr*pness is normal, but look out for paleness, dizzyness etc.
- I found lying down much easier for bfing for the first couple of weeks. Breastfeeding pillow from Mothercare helped too so that you can position the baby without putting any strain on you.
- Get duplicates of all the changing mats etc so that you can keep one upstairs and one downstairs so that you don't need to go up or down stairs more than once a day.
- Agree about the big pants! The bigger the better. Drawstring trackie bottoms for the same reason.
- You should have a visit from the physio to show you how to get in and out of bed etc. They'll be rushed and just want to leave you with a leaflet - make sure you go through everything with them so that you know the best way to move for the first few weeks.
- The physio also told me that you should massage the scar after the first few weeks to keep the skin flexible - apparently this'll reduce the cs overhang, when the loose flab on your belly overhangs the tight skin of the scar.
- Don't do anything apart from look after yourself and feed the baby. Everything else can be done by someone else or will wait until you've recovered.
Thanks everyone - I've already had one section, but have forgotten loads and will very likely end up with a second.
I do remember the bit about Lactulose being my friend though, hard to forget
Oh, and I sat cross-legged a few times after a day or two - and stretched to reach things. Not a good idea, I split my scar a bit and ended up with an infection: take it easy.
Take some chapstick! My lips were really dry after surgery.
Drink a lot of water - helps with the constipation and dehydration caused by breast feeding.
Arninca really helps recovery.
Solpadeine - post-op pain can be incredibly draining. Make sure that you keep on top of it.
YES to Big Pants.
Don't overdo it and don't lift anything heavier than your newborn until you have fully recovered.
You might get enormous swollen feet afterwards, which I hated. If you're worried about that, take long pyjamas and big woolly socks.
pinkyred- if you read this again,cold you tell us more about massgaing the scar. i had a csection 3 weeks ago and no one mentioned this - would be keen to avoid overhang!!!
bump for that massage advice from pinkyred!
i used those tena lady pants (with or without additional sanitary towel) as even the biggest pants worked their way into my scar. They were wonderfully comfy and just chuck them away when done with them.
Also if struggling to get out of bed, put both legs together and gently swing them both out of the bed, keeping ankles together- helps propel your body out.
I have heard (from a surgeon and a physio) that massage can help improve how scars look - it works by breaking down the scar tissue. Apparently it is routinely recommended to patients after other kinds of surgery. No idea why hospitals do not mention massage to women who have had sections. I massage my c-section scar by rubbing quite firmly as often as I remember/have time for, so fingers crossed!
Go for a pee regulalry !!!! I was so pleased not to be weeing every five minutes I didn't go for 3hours and I suddenly had immense pain on my scar - to the point I thought I was going to explode - had to get my mum to pull into a random shop at the side of the road so I could ask them to use to loo. If they had said no I was seconds off peeing myself on their floor.
BF after c-section tip: go for lying down position, so much less pain.
to get baby out of cradle in hosp crank bed up as far asgoes
I also stayed in my jimjams after my c-section, once you get dressed (in proper clothes) people suddenly think you are capable of doing alot more than you actually atr able to do.
I spent 4 weeks in my nightie & wasn't afraid of asking visitors to help when they came round. I didn't have an exceptionally pleasent c-section, although I have friends who breezed through it, so as I wasn't on top form I asked (& got) lots of help in those first 6 weeks.
If stairs feel like a strain on scar, go up on hands and knees - I did it for at least ten days after getting home.
Don't forget that the weight of the pram/pushchair might be too much for you at first. Take every step gradually. I went off for a walk with mine at 7 days old in a double buggy and though they were teeny weeny, it took me about an hour to walk a mile!
V. good point about the nipper coughing up gunk. After an emergency c-section and 3 lovely hours in the recovery room (where he fed and we gazed at him) we were wheeled to ward, it was 11pm so hubby went home. As the midwife put DS into the cot he coughed up a load of yellow slime...he then proceeded to sleep soundly through the night whilst i didnt sleep a wink as was convinced he was going to choke to death. Was hideous! More helpful MW explained the next day that this was v. normal!
Forgot to add as well that if you have SPD you might well be in less pain than before the birth...an unexpected (and pleasant) surprise!
Also if you need to cough or sneeze, then hold a pillow to your scar for the first few days. It will feel as if the whole thing will come unravelled (it won't of course!) and a pillow makes you feel much more in control.
Press on the scar with a clean towel if going for a poo.
YES to big pants.
Use Lavender oil (in a carrier oil) to massage scar and any stretch marks it works wonders. Also a few drops in bath water helps scar to heal - also good for episiotomy scars.
DO NOT go shopping with baby 2 days later like I did I tore my stitches and got an infection.
Going in for C- section tomorrow.... have taken note of all hints and tips Brilliant!!
Just read all that and some great stuff there. Will def massage the scar after a few weeks as suggested. Having my beautician to wax legs, under arms and first inch of you know what for c-section. do not want razor or bic and can't see properly myself to do it. hope inch is enough, might go for inch and a half!
oh my c-section is next monday! Good luck Nanjl76 x
i found having a towel or cushion over my scar in the car helped as it stopped the seatbelt rubbing on the scar. Also, salt and tea tree or lavender oil in the baths and if you can stomach it, a brazillian wax. From what I hear itchy stubble on a scar is no fun. Bio oil for massaging the scar is excellent.
Get some multi packs of actual Maternity knickers (not just big pants or scratch paper knicks which are always too small). No need to spend a fortune. Tesco do a five pack for £7 which are soft cotton and super comfy and go nowhere near the scar.
You still need maternity pads even tho you've had a CS! Sainsbury's and Tescos own are fine.
Avoid in particular, reaching, lifting and twisting actions.
Sitting up in bed is very hard. Get a hand from someone, or if you're on your own, take your time and do it slowly.
You might feel back to "normal" in 3 days. Don't be fooled. It is only because you feel better than shit, not because you are actually better! TAKE IT EASY. Don't be bending to pick up that dropped nappy/put shoes on etc. Ask someone else. Don't be a hero.
DO NOT wear ANYTHING that rubs on the scar even after 1 week. This includes PJ bottoms, knickers, maternity trousers, normal trousers - anything. If you can feel it rubbing, get changed. If you don't, it can lead to the area getting inflamed which can lead to an infection. I wish someone had told me this.
Take all your meds as prescribed even if you feel OK.
As well as the HUGE pants, maternity yoga bottoms were my saviour as I couldn't bear anything tight around my waist for a few weeks afterwards and it saves you wearing your pyjamas out of the house ( I actually did this so I could buy some loose trousers as I had an emergency section so was not expecting it!)
Go for nightdresses instead of PJs in the days after the section - bending down to pull them up and down is not pleasant.
i had excruciating pain after sitting in bed for a day after my section, i think its important to change position, even if its just in bed. my pain which they suspected was inernal bleeding and almost made me pass out, was actually trapped wind, that was lodged. apparently it is very common to have a lot of wind after a section. Don't hold it in, i thought i was going to die. Ask the hospital for peppermint tea, or cordial, or get someone to bring some in for you.
I also got a major pain with my 1st section, in my left shoulder and chest area, also apparently common, i couldn't breathe it was so bad, also wind related.
Take it very easy when doing the stairs, i had got used to walking round the hospital and using the lift to get to the car going home, but was not prepared for how hard it was to walk upstairs when i got home. take it easy.
Re: wind, it is common, Windeze is vv good.
Wind is because they put it in there! It's the same with a hysterectomy, Mum said she thought she was having a heartattack!
Not sure if this is exclusive to c-section new mums but my belly was the itchiest thing ever - take some nice baby lotion to put on it!
Buy a ton of maternity pads, I bought 2 packs of 10 and used them up when my waters popped! Then dh had to shop for them and I was lucky not to be wearing magic beans in my pants as he is not great with buying 'womens things'.
Asda are doing drawstring trackie-b's for £3 at the mo. I have 4 pairs as all my maternity trousers now feel uncomfortable now head is engaged. If/when I bleed on them they can be chucked with the big pants. They are very comfy, and I am embracing my inner Waynetta!
Hi all, was wondering if you guys had any tips or "best buys" for post-caesarean. I'm building a website designed to recommend certain products specifically for caesarean mums. I'd love some feedback! I've only just started it, so I thought I'd ask you guys on here to go have a peek and join up.
Oops! forgot link .... derrrrr
"Also if your baby is just not being satisfied by breast feeding (usually around 3am when you are at breaking point
.) DO NOT be afraid to ask for your baby to be given a cup of formula. It will NOT stop them wanting to breast feed but will satisfy them for now and let you both get some sleep. Some midwives can be breastfeeding Nazis, dont let them bully you. "
What do you mean by not satisfied?
If your baby is just not being satisfied by breastfeeding, it's because of
a) it's not latched on properly
b) it's being normal
Babies need to feed frequently in the first few days to prime your breasts for making plenty of milk later on. Also, their tummies are very small (the size of a marble when they're born) and their kidneys are very immature so they can't cope, and shouldn't be encouraged to cope, with anything more than a few drops at a time. Giving formula at this stage is risky.
If your baby is feeding frequently and it is tiring you out, either get a MW or BFC to help ensure you are latching your baby on well or help you feed in a position that lets you rest and/or doze while the baby feeds.
You can tell if your baby is latching on well because your nipple shouldn't hurt during the feed (although may hurt to latch on in the first few days), your nipple will come out the same shape it went in (although possibly a bit longer), and your baby will do wees and poos!
Of course, if you have already decided not to breastfeed, then it's less of an issue, but if it's important to you, then don't follow that particular tip of DWPs!'
Someone more knowledgable excellent thanks flamingo, also I don't know how true this is (it was for me) babies of c/s dont always feed immediatly as they can be more sleepy than vb babies, don't worry and don't let a m/w push you into giving formula (this is what happened to me).
Yes, true, Libra - just keep baby at the breast sleeping and cuddling. If the baby is close to the nipple, then every time he/she stirs, he/she'll try to latch on.
And if baby needs something because it's not feeding at all, then expressed bmilk is far, far better than formula. Lie baby along your knees, and gently sqeeze out drops of colostrum onto your little finger and put them just inside your baby's lips. Lots of that all day long and he/she'll gradually start waking up enough to be put close to the breast to try to latch on.
Don't express colostrum with a pump - you'll lose it all in the pump!
Get a tshirt printed with the phrase 'I just had major surgery as well as a baby, get it yourself, muppethead!' to wear when the inlaws visit.
Salt in your bath (lots) - helps prevent/get rid of infection.
If your c-section is pre planned and you have a date, make sure you wash your hair before. My c section was an urgent one, I went into hospital for a routine scan at 37 weeks (no bag packed at this point!!!) and ended up being bundled into the lift to go upstairs for an immediate c-section. In all the pics my hair looks really greasy and I REALLY REGRET THAT!!! (yes, very vain!) One thing I did do was go and get a leg and bikini wax and manicure and pedicure a couple of days before (yes but still forgot to wash my hair properly!) and I was glad that I did, however tip for the bikini wax - get them to wax that little bit lower than usual if you know you're to have a c-section as otherwise you get a lovely midwife shaving you with an awful bic razor (not very nice!) Oh and PACK YOUR BAG!!!!!! I didn't and my husband had to do it for me whilst I was waiting to go into surgery. He rushed home, threw a few (unhelpful) things into an overnight bag (like silk pymamas?!!!) and of course I had to send my mum to my place to go and get all the stuff I needed. One further tip - ask your partner to make sure there are lovely clean sheets on your bed at home waiting for you when you get home from hospital. Even though I was very well looked after in hospital, it was lovely to sink into my divine clean bed at home with fresh sheets once I got home. Stuff your freezer with food as you really won't feel like cooking for ages and don't feel guilty about formula if the breast feeding is not working for you. Good Luck!
Sorry one other thing..in your bag which you will efficiently pack (before 37 weeks!) put in some maternity bras for when your milk comes in. No one told me about this so when my milk did come in, I was in agony until I could get a bra on me and then it was instantly better. I ended up sleeping in said bra for at least a month after...
Caesarean Birth meditation relaxation CD I bought of ebay brilliant I think that helped me to remain calm for my CS.
Take packets of dried fruit to the hospital. Post C section constipation is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Mints and grown up wet wipes are nice too, though not essential. Sometimes you feel so grubby in a hot hospital bed.
Don't use soap or salt in your bath or on the wound - these will dry the wound out which is the last thing you want ( same applies for tear or episiotomy). Use a few drops of tea tree or lavender oil instead.
Second the advice re massaging the scar daily with oil. The physio explained that it also helps the tissues heal a lot better and reduces risk of scar tissue building up. I did it religiously and my scar looked great.
Arnica, arnica, arnica - in 30c or above strength.
Re. the feeding, do what feels right and listen to the experts in your hospital! When DS was born weighing 5lbs 1oz, he was tiny and did not have the energy to bfeed. He was put to my breast every feed time to feed as much as he could. I expressed colustrum into a syringe and that was given to him. Then he was topped up with formula. Once my milk came in, same routine except he was topped up with EBM. I was in floods of tears based on stuff I had read on mumsnet. That formula was really not great stuff, that he wouldnt breastfeed since he had been given a bottle. The list is endless. The bottom line is that by day 4 DS was feeding brilliantly. At discharge on day 5, he had not lost any weight and he thrived. So I for one second the advice re. topping up with formula in the early days if needed.
If your baby is a healthy weight then maybe it isnt so much of an issue. But I would not hesitate to use formula again in the early days if the MW's/ Paeds thought it was needed.
Oh and after those initial days of formula I exclusively bf DS until he was weaned at 5 1/2 months.
Thanks for the tips I'm probably having a planned section this time so want to be prepared!!
Roll on deoderant instead of a spray one for at the hospital when you shower (if you need to take baby with you).
had an emcs 4 weeks ago and wanted to add the following:
1. thought i felt better until i was discharged and had to walk upstairs to my bedroom - had the most intense burning pain ever and actually took me an hour to get up 13 stairs, with help of DP who couldn't believe in how much pain I was, I was winded and couldn't talk due to the pain and that was on the painkillers - TAKE IT VERY VERY SLOWLY YOU CAN DO IT. After a few days rest I felt better again, it does get easier.
If you find you can't walk very well due to the pain then walking backwards can take the edge off it. I think having SPD made my emcs pains worse though - as many people don't report this burning sensation. I was checked for haematomas etc so I take it the burning draggin pain was muscle pain.
2. don't be afraid to buzz for the midwife to lift your baby over to you, and put baby back again - don't be scared thats what they are there for
3. i second the breastfeeding advice - very emotional time and some MW want you to get baby onto formula, ask for a cup feed top up, and a breastfeeding support worker, don't give up even though it can be very very awkward
4. I was advised to roll out of bed on my side instead of a sitting up motion, this is to help with healing and also to avoid any further widening of any gap you may have in your stomach muscles
5. Yip, try to stand up straight, but take it slowly too
Brilliant thread, my elcs is in 2.5 weeks eek!
I'm a bit worried about stairs as we live in a 2nd floor flat- so I've definitely got to climb up them all on discharge day. I'm too heavy for DH to carry . Once up, presumably I'll be confined to barracks for a few more days until I think I could do it again. Has anyone managed this problem OK?
fatseal hopefully the pain I experienced trying to get upstairs or downstairs was only largely due to me being in a long labour where my epidural failed on my RHS and having SPD pains too before being sectioned. It seems to be (from what I have heard) that an elective section is somewhat less painful (might not be the case although others can advise I am sure).
Don't worry about this too much, it might neve happen for you. I now weigh about 6 stone heavier than my DH so there was no way he was about to lift me up the stairs. I did though at one point sit on the stairs and lift my bum up to the next one - DH then lifted my legs up. If you do find you are in pain then just take it really slowly, you will be able to do it. Can I just confess to having to pee in a jug at my bedside as once I got upstairs I couldn't actually move for a few days. I was not too bad in hospital but once discharged I don't know why the pains became a lot more. It did subside and with each day I was able to contemplate actually getting to the loo with my crutches. After about a week at home I felt a lot better and DH did run about after me and make all my meals etc.
As I say - I think my SPD pains kicked in & it seemed to pain me more where the epidural failed and didn't help. Here I am 4 weeks later trying to think of what I can wear, and exactly when will my tummy shrink down?
Good Luck to everyone
Great, thanks for the extra info. That sounds awful though, glad you're on the mend now.
This is a tip given to me by my midwife. To make sure wound is dry sfter bathing use your hairdryer on slow cool setting. Will dry area more comfortably than using a towel and more quickly than air drying! Worked for me and I had my 4th section last May.
tea tree oil to be dropped into warm water for bathing wound. Use paper towels to pat dry.
peppermint tea or water to help with trapped wind.
A few additions from me (as well as seconding the BIG pants) four weeks after my EMCS..
- Maternity trousers are likely to hurt a LOT as the 'under-the-bump' versions sit right on the scar. Drawstring trousers and maternity leggings are about the only things I can wear at the moment.
- A rocking chair was fantastic for my first week home as I had half a chance of getting out of it unaided. I found it also helped with my sore back.
Would be great to know if there are any good resources for C-section recovery (what you are and aren't supposed to do, and that sort of thing?) - never got any advice on this in hospital and not sure where to find out..?
Does anyone know when you should start massaging your scar? I had my section last week and want to know if I should be starting yet?
The NCT string big pants are great and haven't dug into my scar and yes, some lovely big over the bump trousers are the only ones I want to wear.
Raising the bed was the best advice and if you are told to keep putting the surgical stockings on for bed, try and get someone to do this for you - I did this after 4 days and nearly ruptured myself!
after having a bath i found it easier to dry the scar off with my hair dryer to make sure it was totally dry...the look on my 5 year old daughters face was priceless...!!
Forget lactulose - go for the 'golden bullets'
Glycerine suppositories are magic
if you feel like your stomach is about to rip open .... it probably is
sorry couldnt resist
on a more positive note:
- rest, rest, rest and more rest
- do not underestimate the importance of a good diet to recover from surgery
- dont come home too soon
- dont do anything for at least a week
- make sure you buzz for MW to help you with everything
- start massaging it as soon as is safe with some bio-oil(despite my disaster my scar now looks relatively normal)
- after shower dry with hairdryer
- take your painkillers as long as you need to and take them regularly
Definitely big pants and pants without zips (like track suits) for a few months.
NO BATHS, it is the best way to get an infection. just short showers, and proper old fashion soap (no smellies, no antibacterial) or nothing if you can't find it.
And take it easy after birth, you don't have to be the supermum everybody (the newspaper) wants you to be. Just enjoy your baby, and that's it, you just had your belly open twice
It's perfectly ok to stay in your nightie and not leave the house for several weeks. Big nighties with buttons down the front (very fetching) are ideal as you can breastfeed.
fatseal, I live at the 4th floor, and I managed OK on the discharged day (5 or 6), slowly and looking like an granny. Was confined indoors for a few weeks though, mainly because of the snow
Wow, talk about thread resurrection. But, good stuff on here.
Get DH/P to take charge of all the older children, and you look after baby.
I hated being cooped up and would never ever stay in the house for 4 weeks. I drove as soon as I felt comfotable with the emergency stop - about 2 weeks.
Make sure they prescribe the proper painkillers. I have had two EMCS now and both times they have forgotten to give me codeine. Ibufrofen and paracetamol on their own just do not cut it - no I haven't got a headache, I've just had major surgery, thanks! Ask for the strong stuff for the first night (I had morphine) and then check where your codeine is.
2nd everything above! Also, if you're on the larger side of life, or you just have a bit of overhang afterwards, then I found it helpful to use a maternity pad on thebe scar, especially when it's hot! (4th section coming up in December!)
Lavender and tea-tree oil in the bath works fabulously - there must be a point when arnica and/or calendula creams would be helpful for healing, but not sure when! I'd also recommend taking the arnica tabs well beforehand if possible - I took them 3 weeks before having all my wisdom teeth out and didn't have a single bruise.
Be aware that you might need help getting in and out of the bath - I was fine last time, but the previous two were agony.
Also, you'll need to pack your bags differently - last time I did one for 1 for recovery, with a smaller, transparent one for theatre inside, and then a much larger one for the rest of the stay.
Will think some more on this one!
ooh - getting in and out of bed - if there's something to attach it to, apparently a rope is helpful, but I couldn't do that, so I ended up swinging my legs round or rolling over and getting off backwards before I got up.
And if your plug doesn't come out beforehand, be aware it might come out days or weeks later!
Do your pelvic floor exercises, even if you had a c-section!
Do not hoover for at least 6 weeks! I was warned by a friend not to hoover, even though I was sure I had healed and felt able to do pretty much everything else, and I should have listened as I really felt it the next day. Something about the twisting motion is not good after a c-section (fine now though 4 months later).
It was mentioned earlier but if you are booked in for a section definitely take pj's into hospital. When i had my first child I took short nighties in to wear (what was I thinking!) I obviously thought that as soon as I gave birth my stomach would be flat again and I would look fabulous in short strappy baby doll type nighties . When I had my second child I had a planned section and knew from experience that I shouldn't wear nighties so bought some new pj's. After the birth I was taken up to the ward where my DH helped me change out of the hospital gown into my pj's but what i didn't realise was I would still have a catheter in so pj bottoms were not an option. So there I was in a tiny strappy top (when will I learn!) and no bottoms. Got to admit the nurse had a giggle when she came to get me out of bed for the first time to walk me down the corridor
After the twins had made their 'planned exit via sunroof' (as DH put it ) used a C-Section gridle, sort of medival looking thingy that you wrap around and velcro tight; sits just below your bra and comes down to mid bum. Was slightly uncomfortable but made me feel so much more secure as it protected the scar and sort of 'kept everything in'.
Believe it to be thanked for the fact that I have no overhang and have flat tummy.
some brilliant tips on here...
massage scar gently will help break down scar tissue, but follow what your body wants.
I bf lying down-still do mostly, am v lazy) ddrink lots of water, get up and walk about v slowly, bent double at first, yes, then straighten slowly as much as you can, ie when you go for a pee go for a walk.
baby won;t need washing and fiddling with if you don't want to yet, just lie in bed and cuddle. make sure tv working and lots of batteries for the remote at home for sitting resting and bf with water and snacks handy imo best bit
big pants that come up and over your bump mothercare do lovely (pricey) ones
get out of hospital asap, refuse visitors if you don;t want them , stay in bed with baby if you like, you have had MAJOR SURGERY so sitting about bonding with your baby is the best thing. still wish we had asked in laws to postpone their visit and also was braver at saying give me my baby back!
I really wish I had read the bit about the coughing baby after c section before I had mine.I screamed the place down in a complete blind panic,the noise my baby was making sounded as though she was choking to death and I just screamed HELP HELP .When the nurse came running she was really cross.I felt shaken for days after,didn`t help!
That's really interesting about the formula, my DC2 was c-sec and she was screaming all night and i had nothing to feed her - did you have to take it in yourself? or do hey have some there?
In the end the midwife took her for an hour to let me sleep.. but didn' manage to settle her.
I am loving the no hoovering advice
Two more tips not yet mentioned:
1) ask them not to weigh and measure the baby until you're out of surgery. I missed this stage with DS but made sure that I was part of the whole 'she weighs HOW much?!' party with my 9lb 9oz DD.
2) post-birth skin to skin contact triggers a 'must feed' response in newborns, but that is of course problematic if you're still being sewn up. But don't worry, turns out it doesn't have to be mum's skin - dad's is just as good! DH took DD off whilst I was being repaired and stuck her up his shirt; she nestled quietly for 10 mins then started trying to eat him alive, as if a switch had gone off! She then latched brilliantly onto me when I came out. And it gives the dads a genuinely useful job to do.
Really listen to your body and if you feel like something isn't right, tell someone and keep telling them until they listen!
I had a cs with DS1 at 33 weeks. The first few days afterwards, I was too ill (due to pre-eclampsia) to walk anywhere and didn't hold him for first 54 hours as he was in SCBU. When I was able to get out of bed I had a lot of pain. It got worse and worse and weeing was like passing broken glass. I told the midwives and was told to move around more, to walk up and down the corridors etc. Even putting my feet to the floor was agony.
I kept telling them I thought something was wrong and eventually (five days after surgery) they ran some tests. I had a UTI and two different uterine infections.
You know your body better than anyone so don't be afraid of looking stupid for speaking up if something isn't right.
Had an Em CS and had been so so sure that I was giving birth naturally that I had no idea what to do or expect.
No issues with pain or constipation at all. Didn't even need paracetamol.
All turned out ok tho. And as for BFing, I was only able to have DDs cheek resting at the top of my boob while they were sewing me up and it still triggered the rooting reflex. So no worries there.
However wish I had known about big knickers that didn't dig into scar - DH had to visit big knicker dept in M&S several times to get it right
Wish I had known about the terrible wind - had trouble for months with that.
Just a word of warning about Kokodan's tip below:
2) post-birth skin to skin contact triggers a 'must feed' response in newborns, but that is of course problematic if you're still being sewn up. But don't worry, turns out it doesn't have to be mum's skin - dad's is just as good! DH took DD off whilst I was being repaired and stuck her up his shirt; she nestled quietly for 10 mins then started trying to eat him alive, as if a switch had gone off! She then latched brilliantly onto me when I came out. And it gives the dads a genuinely useful job to do.
If baby roots too long without getting the breast, then it might be exhausted by the time the mum is able to feed and have given up. Sounds like it worked well timewise for you Kokodan, but I was in theatre for about 90 mins after I gave birth as I had a big bleed. He had the first 10 minutes of skin to skin then she did start to root so he put his shirt back on as she did start to try to root, and she then just stared at him intensely until she got more skin to skin with me, and latched on great then.
Sorry that post was a bit incoherent, said newborn is still rooting like mad 3 weeks on and making me a bit brain deda!
brain dead not brain deda. I give up.
If you want to have immediate skin-to-skin, put gown on back to front so that it can be opened and baby can be put straight to your breast. Explain to staff that you wish baby to be placed their immediately and they can examine baby afterwards, unless of course there is something obviously wrong.
Don't let anyone tell you c-sections lessen your chances of breast-feeding. This is absolute tosh.
I've had 3 c-sections - 2 emergency and 1 elective and agree that lactulose is your friend. Don't leave hospital without it. Constipation is not fun!
Big knickers a big must. Also drink lots of water to keep hydrated.
Take all the painkillers they give you.
And the other thing is that even though you won't want to you should get up and move about. It really does speed up the healing.
Going back to the original list, re the itchy face..
Allergies to meds causes an itchy face, so make sure to tell your care team if you experience this.
I had an itchy, burning & very red face for 24 hrs after my section. My friend is a nurse at the hospital & said it is a common reaction to the morphine in the spinal & my care team told me to avoid it in future.
In the pics taken by friends/family in the early days I have sores on my face for itchy so much!
So don't just write it off as one of those things!
Babies don't need anything more than colostrom for the first few days and it's normal for them to want to feed all the time even if it feels like they're not getting much. Their tummies are really tiny at that stage and all the suckling is encouraging your milk to come in and is soothing to them.
Having said that... having a c-section can delay your milk coming in because of the trauma to your body. So, if you feel like your milk hasn't come in after three days then get in touch with a lactation consultant because if formula supplementation is needed they can help you do it in a way that won't compromise breastfeeding and to encourage your milk to come in.
My milk did not come in until 8 days post section and if I had had a warning I would have found those early days much less stressful.
I also had the trapped gas thing - horrendously painful and there is treatment you can get to ease this so definitely worth mentioning it to the nurses!
Even if the scar looks scary to start with, it heals and fades incredibly quickly if you look after it.
There are LOADS of medics in scrubs in the room with you - don't be worried that it's because there is something wrong. Particularly good to know if you end up with an emergency section; can be a bit of a shock going from a calm (?!) room with a midwife to a bright room full of people.
Don't look up into the big silver light thing above the bed if you're squeamish - it works a bit like a mirror!
Painkillers were mentioned earlier. I'd just like to add that you might be palmed off with co-codamol if you ask for codeine. This didn't touch it for me. Seperate codeine tablets mean you can have a much higher dose. It'll make you feel completely out of it, but better that than writhing in pain....
Rather than big pants I got a pack of those disposable incontience pants with built in pad. They were amazing and totally right for the job - they come up really high over the scar and are very soft - it's all gathered with elastic, like smocking and the bit between your legs is all pad so you don't need to worry about leaking out of the side or a stick-on pad becoming dislodged. Also once they are done with you just rip the sides and pull them off - you don't have to bend down or raise your legs to get them off.
What I didn't realise is that when you are expressing milk, your uterus contracts - I thought I had split an internal stitch or something - so yeah, any 'twangs' while expressing are normal.
Eat branflakes for breakfast.
The hospital I was in gave us a pain cocktail of two different painkillers and peppermint water for the wind which was brilliant. I didn't need morphine.
Oh and those yoga trousers with the very very wide waistband that can be folded up or down - keep it folded up so it goes right over the scar.
Don't spend £20 on a manicure with polish - they will make you take off the beautiful polish as one of the ways they monitor you is by your nails .
If you're having an elective then consider whether you want to have the screen down. We had it up for first one, which meant that I couldn't hold her and felt pretty cut off from everything. For the second we wanted it to be more relaxed so had the screen down and music playing. Surgeon explained there was a chance I'd get splashed (which I didn't) but if you're not squeamish then it's worth a go.
In the delivery room afterwards I had to insist that the baby was tucked in and given skin to skin. The nurse was a pretty lazy bugger and wanted to wait until we got back to the ward (which I thought would have been too long and would have missed the 'golden hour' after birth). She snuggled for quite a while (the baby, not the nurse) and then had a mammoth feed and fell asleep. That got feeding off to a good start. I agree with previous comments about getting good help with feeding. There are some amazing bf counsellors who can really make a difference. Sadly, there's also lots of bad help. Anyone who makes you feel like a failure or like shit should be ignored.
Think carefully about visitors on the day. I said yes to visitors and wished both times I'd said no. I was spaced out on morphine, I looked a state and I just wanted to be with my family.
Don't accept help that isn't helpful to you. If you want friends and family to do a bit of washing up then fine. If you want them to sit and hold the baby so that you can get up and have a bit of a gentle sort out and a shower then that's fine too. Tell people what you want them to do.
Get someone to bring you decent food while you're still in hospital. I was desperate for decent fresh fruit, rather than a bruised old banana that seemed to be the standard on offer. Not sure how you're meant to recover from surgery and nourish a baby on the slops they serve.
If you can afford it then hire a cleaner for a couple of months afterwards. If you can't afford it then ask for it as a present (split across a few people - 2 weeks should be £20 max) or ask someone else to give your house a once over every week for a while. Personally, I can't sit there and let it go but if I know that once a week the floors will be done and the bathrooms given a good clean then I'm happy.
Take all the time you need to just be with your baby and do very little else. If you have older kids then they will be ok with you being on the sofa a lot as you'll be around for them and not rushing around doing everything. You'll be able to read to your older children and just chat. Let other people do the fetching and carrying and running around the garden.
That said, if you feel ready then you don't have to wait 6 weeks before you can drive. I checked with my insurance company and they said that whenever my GP gave me the go-ahead I would be covered. I spoke to the GP and she said that whenever I felt ready she would give me the go-ahead. I was driving after a couple of weeks and felt fine to do so.
If your scar splits then your insides will not fall out. I genuinely thought this would happen .
Phew, that was therapeutic.
Not sure if this has been mentioned earlier, but you can't wear any jewellery, incl earrings, wedding rings; and if you wear contact lenses they have to come out.
The best advice I got in terms of healing was to get on my feet asap, was up and walking (very gingerly) in the evening just a few hours after my DTs were born.
This is a fantastic thread - wish I'd been in the know before my first C-section (almost 10 yrs ago!)
Can I just nicely disagree with an early point from Dancingwithmonkeys?
Please don't give the baby formula, as it probably will disrupt BFing.
I had 3 c/sections, and the best thing I found was to buy a nice big pregnancy pillow (?) which helped to put the baby in the right position for a feed, and not nearly as uncomfortable on your tummy, as you could just relax, instead of having to hold the baby up.
I second the pillow. It made things much easier. Best thing I had there.
I also second what last poster says about formula, but that's a very personal decision. I wish I had had my SIL's consultant who told her to just relax and the baby would feed in a couple of days (which he did, and then some!), than half a dozen midwives offering formula (which is what I had and totally disrupted us). For the poster who asked, formual was very freely available in my hospital
Also, to comment on your original list, I found baths very unpleasant (stingy on the scar and hard to move around confidently) for weeks after the operation (and I usually love them). Might not be everybody's cup of tea.
HAve to have to add, take plenty of flannels as the itching when your skin becomes alive again is horrendous, take vaseline for nose and lips. Cool flannels were the only thing that stopped me going mad.
I have had four sections.
Peppermint tea is essential to help with that oh so painful trapped wind you get after a c-section.
Yes peppermint tea, godsend.....for the pain that is usually referred to your shoulder!
If you can afford it go and see a homeopath and get some arnica and I think it was bellis perenis (sp?) I did this for my third c-section and was walking around normally the next day. For my previous two I was bent double for days!
If you are not planning to get a private room and are not a very deep sleeper, bring ear plugs / ipod.
Bring your mobile phone AND CHARGER in case you can call for free. Those stupid screens they have cost a bloody fortune and in my opinon are bloody extortion... especially if you have overseas relative who may want to call.
Don't know if this has been said already - but don't let anyone who has a cough or cold give you a hug. It is agony to sneeze just after a c section! Oh, and if you do, it helps if you can press a pillow into your midrif.
Arnica, Bellis Perceuis and Hypercium is what the homeopath gave me - not sure if it worked or not bit it did no harm, my wound has healed beautifully and I was up and about the next day. One week later, feeling pretty good - even forgot to take pain meds today!
- You may get trapped wind as a result of internal organs being moved during C-section. Can be difficult to get this wind out (see constipation). A little peppermint oil in some warm water REALLY helps.
- Wearing some light support knickers over your big pants supports your tum more & helps you feel more secure(just M&S light support knix NOT Trinny & Tranny suck-in things)
Lots of good advice here - I've had 3 sections. (one was an emergency so I have a scar from my navel downwards, and 2 normal scars)
The hospital will get you out of bed after the first 12 hours, do not object, take it at your pace and do remember to stand really straight up, more than you would normally do, this prevents the scar from healing 'puckered' and allows it to stretch.
Big pants are a good idea to keep any padding there against the scar (especially good if you already have a toddler as their head is the height of your scar) ouch!
Take a cushion for the journey home in the car, I put mine under the seat-belt against my tum to soften any bounces.
I was quite sick after my surgery (I'm allergic to Morphine) top tip is if you sneeze/vomit/cough to bend forward and put your hands against the scar to give it support.
The docs will also tell you not to drive for 6 weeks - DO NOT DRIVE unless its an emergency - pushing down on the pedals in the car put unnecessary pressure on your abdominals and can give you problems in the future.
I found that sleeping flat was the best thing for me, other ladies in the ward had the beds propped up and found that the muscles had 'shortened' and they found standing really painful.
Keep moving as much as you can - rest when you need to but dont take to the sofa - for me it kept the fluid in my feet away and the scar was ok after about 11 days. so much so that we went from Wales for North Devon for the day! (shock)
I also found still wearing my maternity clothes for a few weeks after was good as the waistband was higher and allowed for stitches to heal.
Good luck. (smile)
If you would like to hold your baby skin-to-skin right after delivery, be sure to tell your midwife beforehand. Apparently they put the hospital gown on you a different way! This created a problem for me because I was still being sewn up but wanted to hold my baby, and my gown was covering my chest. While everyone was discussing how to adjust my gown, my DS had respiratory distress and had to be taken upstairs to NICU, so I didn't get to hold him for about 24 hours, which was heartbreaking.
(He was absolutely fine--just had to be observed. Apparently some respiratory distress is fairly common in C-section babies--at least more so than in vaginal births. If this happens to you, try not to panic, sometimes it just takes them a little time to figure it all out!)
Another note: while DS was in NICU, I tried to be vigilant about expressing colostrum for him. He was 4 weeks early so I felt this was especially important. However, the night midwife (who was with me two nights in a row) was very old-fashioned, and tried to discourage me from doing so, saying that since I was a C-section patient I needed to rest and not bother with expressing. I had to insist that she be supportive and help me get the colostrum delivered to DS in NICU on another floor. Just be prepared to be your own advocate in situations like this! (All the other nurses and midwives were completely supportive.)
I had never expected to have a C-section, so hadn't mentally prepared for it. But if you're headed for one, know that you can absolutely manage it, especially by keeping in mind the wonderful tips in this thread.
Congratulations in advance.
I had to have a section because my baby was breach and would add the following from my experience:
1) I shook from the spinal (which apparently sometimes happens) and was sick a few times (which is really strange as you don't projectile it as much as normal).
2) as it was my second, my womb contracted down quite fast and it hurt my scar area so had to have extra pain killers which made it go away.
3) Ask for a bed that fits a cot on the side if the hospital has one, it is easier to get the baby in and out when you are on your own.
4) stay on top of your medication, especially for the first 24 hours- I found it got better after that- but you still need it for a few weeks afterwards.
5) Try to walk about as much as pos without over doing it- it really helps you recover faster.
The first 24 hours is the worst, then it is the first week (at the end of which I went to the pub- driven there by hubby- as just needed to get out), then after a month I felt tons better (almost normal- could walk for a couple of miles) and after 2 months I was walking miles carrying my daughter as I joined a baby walking group and i think this has really helped me too- but I did listen to my body about this as I know others who just weren't up to this until about month 3 or 4.
Thanks to every one for all this advice! I think I'll be having a planed C section... I have very bad back problems so have an appointment with specialist soon, this will come in very handy it they do do a C section as my poor brian has turned to mush all ready!
I had an emergency CS 8 months ago with my first baby and have just found out I'm pregnant with number 2. Intend to have an elective CS this time. The tips on here are brilliant, I will be bookmarking the page to come back to when the time comes!
I have got one thing to add from my experience:
If you're perhaps on the larger side (as I am!) and your tummy hangs over your scar it can get a bit damp in there! My midwife suggested lying on the bed and holding your tummy up to get the air to it or blowing it with the hairdryer (a very amusing sight for hubby!) and to put one of hubby's cotton hankies or some surgical gauze over your scar to absorb any moisture. It made my scar feel a lot more comfortable. Especially as the midwife had some problems getting my staples out so I ended up with a small 'hole' at one end of my scar!
Good luck to everyone
You probably want to leave youras soon as possible. In order to this, you need to do the right amount of wee (yes, they measure it!) and poo. Hospitals are very hot, you may well have been sick a lot - so make sure you keep on drinking lots and lots of water. Also take a load of dried apricots with you to take care of the other.
My mum brought me cherries and they were a godsend when I woke up starving and immobile in the middle of the night. They tasted so good! Chocolate also good to counter iron deficiency.
When you get back, it is easy to rip your stitches getting up for the baby. Bolster yourself up with a pile of pillows and go to sleep half sitting up. It is better than the agony of getting up!
There are arguments on both sides about whether you formula feed.
I had a section with no labour so my milk didn't come in until day 5 and I wasn't even producing colustrum so DS had to be fed. BUT they were really supportive and helped me cup feed him which has a lot less impact on the sucking reflex (you're just pouring the formula down their throats really) which allows more time to get BF established.
I would recommend listening to the younger midwives rather than the old ones - they have much more support for BF and will be much more flexible with you.
Oh and yes cauliflower - take your own food. They have really strict hours when you can eat and it isn't that great when you do. A good diet is crucial to recovery so get DH to bring in lots of fresh foods to snack on.
oh and when you need a poo then roll up a towel like a sausage and tuck it inbetween your scar and legs, sort of lean against it, if you see what I mean. helped a lot.
I had emergency and am planning elective this time. My tip for squeamish mums to be is to take a CD - but none of this classical stuff - get a bit of something you can sing along to - it really helped me to focus on singing rather than the my-stomach-is-a-washing-machine feeling while they were taking baby out.
You can ask the midwives and all to not only let you see the wee'un when they're born but also insist on skin to skin contact asap following all the apgar hooha. Also get them to make sure you have a bed guard on the side of your hospital bed from the get go if you prefer to sleep with the baby next to you - I found this far easier for the first few days rather than having to painfully get up to get baby out of the cot everytime I wanted a cuddle or needed to feed.
Just resurecting this thread as trying to organise my bag.
I got peppermint oil capsules from holland and barrat, rather than the tea as due August and thought it may be to hot for tea. Couldn't find cordial anywhere.
Anyone used the capsules?
Ah, thank you mumtoblaire was trying to find this earlier! Bookmarking now.
mumtoblaire. I've also bought some peppermint oil capsules as 'kit' for a planned C-section (in 4 weeks time).
I tried a quick 'road test' last week, when I had some uncomfy trapped wind (I'd read warnings about peppermint oil causing contractions, but it's all a bit vague, and I suspect they mean industrial quantities, not a measly capsule).
Anyway - one capsule worked a treat! Pain gone in less than ten minutes, although the fragrantly minty burps carried on for a good couple of hours.
I'm assuming C-section trapped wind is of a different magnitude, but I was still impressed. And you can take several if needed.
Thanks barkfox..Good to know they should work. Minty burps I can handle as long as I don't get loud pops from other end I'll be fine. They would be sweet smelling though.
My sister was shocked that I had not even got a bag never mind packed it yet. I was out in town yesterday for hours trying to get stuff together, must admit bought very little except large holdall with wheels and cabin bag. Did buy large granny pants x 12 and chocolate brown bath and hand towel. No pjs or nighties yet.
Most important thing was the peppermint oil capsules and flipflops.
I have just started packing my bag, and am due to go in next Monday (5th July), so personally I am impressed at your organisational skills!
I have bag size paranoia - I have always gone for a full on suitcase, but on another thread someone mentioned that this was frowned upon. I just can't seem to pare it down enough to fit in anything smaller, maternity pads and nappies take up so much room, then there is towel, wash stuff, snacks etc etc.
Thanks to everyone who has put tips on this thread, it so helpful, and comforting to feel a little bit prepared.
had exactly the same slime thing happen to me! dd produced a complete mountain of the stuff 2 mins after dh left the ward on the first night! but was reassured it is sompletely normal as they haven't had a chance to have their lungs squuezed clear of it in the birth canal!
also can totally relate to the massive reduction in spd pain following the birth!...it was so amazing not to have that pain i had lived with for 5 months that i don't think i noticed the post op pain much at all as even with the scar i was so much more mobile than i had been prior to delivery with the spd.
i would also highly recommend the arnica...really does help to reduce brusing! and also the lactulose! it is a wonder medicine!...i think all women should be given it on dischsrge from the post natal ward.
Argh Lactulose, knew i was forgetting something. I already have the arnica tablets. Do you just dispense it on your tongue or take it with water?
Question about waxing..Those that did get it done pre-Op, how many days before hand did you get it done?
Does it hurt more because your lady bits are swollen and sore?
And I have a real problem with ingrown hairs(sorry if TMI)post epilation/waxing, any ideas how to avoid this?
I am 33+4 today so trying to fill in countdown calendar as don't want to get to day before and suddenly remember something i should have done in week 38.
5 weeks to go. Feeling rather huge now.
Have decided just to use Veet for bikini line and do it and my legs two days before Op.
Can't wait to meet this baby now I don't have to worry about method of delivery.
Mumtoblaire - re ingrowing hairs, exfoliate regularly and then moisturise! Helps me as I used to have a problem.
Thanks I am on a de-fuzzing countdown.
8 DAYS TO GO!!
Rereading this thread so I don't forget anything, sorting out my bags again and trying to be super organised. If I don't then baby may come sooner and I am not ready....Thinking sods law!
Washing/ironing being done everyday and all floors hoovered everyday so that I can relax when I get home knowing I don't HAVE to do anything. Beds will be changed day before and fresh bedding left for DH to change day I am coming home(I love a fresh bed).
Dining table going to be set as changing/bathing station so I don't need to bend down.
Wow, so much useful info here! Thanks ladies! I'm due for an elective c section on 7th Sept as have twins and previous medical history. All your advice is going in and I will be re-reading as time gets nearer. Haven't packed my bag yet or got all the stuff yet so am hoping to have time over next few weeks. This site is the most useful so far. Thanks again!
Hi there, could you email me your hints and tips? i am having a c-section next month.
hiya could you email me the hints and tips of a c section. its my first and i am realy scared
havent read through them all in case i have duplicated.
warning this is rough but better be aware.
for about 24 hours post sec you will be lying on your back in bed. the lochia will pool in your womb/vagina and clot while your lying in bed. you will get up the next day to shower and everything will be dislodged. clots the size of plums will come out.
this happened to me and i completely freaked out. i knew about the lochia but not the clotting. just in case anyone else was not aware.
also never bother about dignity/pride. my lowest point was s***ing myself in bed. unlike most i had major diarrhoea after mine due to the voltarol pain meds. also took a reaction to the adhesive on the dressing.
Am recovering from EMCS as I read this thread, some v useful tips
Wow, I have really been fascinated reading all this.
I am a frequent lurker on the C-section boards.Reason being I am now a grandmother who had both of my own two children by EMCS in 1969 and 1972.Nothing absolutly nothing was availble for helping us then, so excuse me for noseying.I wish this board and the internet was availablethen.
Alot has changed, when I had mine your hospital stay post C-section was 10 days, yes 10 days.You were more or less back on your feet by the time you got home, but, in my case especially the second time I was more or less on my own with baby and toddler.DH away in merchant navy, mother and MIL coming when they felt like it.Neither had had a CS so they thought it was a bad time you would get over it.
I just coped by instinct, cannot give much advice on here as now things are differant.Then you had the classical scar which is a cut straight down the middle of your abdomen going down from just under the belly button to where the present scar line is now, so big pants were still a must.I chose not to BF for various reasons, and I found this was better being on my own,one less thing to cope with, plus if anyone called to help they could feed baby while I spent time with DS1, dont think that is recommended now.
You have a marvellous idea OP, and thanks to all others on here also.I should have had you all around 41 years ago.
I had a c sec 8 months ago, and i still feel painful twinges from time to time. I made the mistake of lifting the infant carrier with the 3.5kg baby in it..for a very short distance..managed to split half the stitches and get an infection. This same side of the scar still causes pain from time to time. Just 'do not' lift weight..nothing more than a pillow or baby.
since i had a summer baby i the HV told me to:
- use surgical swabs dipped in saline boiled water, to wipe scar and keep it clean.
- use a hair dryer to dry it completely post shower
- keep a clean tissue between the scar and the loose tummy skin that hangs over to absorb sweat etc.
- neosporin powder clears up any fungal infections which you might get in warm weather.
My tips are:
Buy big knickers (black only as they don't show blood stains!), Primarni, Matalan etc do packs of 5 or so dirt cheap). Much more comfy than disposable knickers & hold pads in nicely.
Eat fruit, bran flakes and ask for Lactulose as soon as you've had your baby. You won't be discharged until you've been and the codeine based painkillers they give you can make you constipated. If Lactulose doesn't work, Movicol is good too, works gently.
Drinks lots and have little snacks often to keep your energy up.
Don't freak out when the MW tells you to have a shower in the 2nd day and to remove your dressing yourself. I was terrified but the micropore dressing, once wet, came off easily.
Don't have too many visitors, I loved seeing my close family the afternoon after I'd had both sections, but the next day I really wasn't in the mood for the onslaught.
You may be surprised at how quickly you feel normal again. Don't underestimate yourself and do too much. I felt fine after 5 days & went shopping with DH. 5 hours later, on the phone to the out of hours surgery after I passed clots, I was told by the doctor, I'd done waaay too much too soon.
This thread is fab!
Due to have DD3 by ELCS in 9 weeks time and am very worried but this thread has really helped.
I'm also grateful for this thread, though am STILL not sure whether will have a cs (in 5 weeks!)
A friend of mine highly recommends NOT having general anaesthesia (which they my not administer in the UK anyway), and to ask someone in the room to communicate regularly with you during the procedure so that you are somewhat aware of what is going on, despite the groggy state (i.e., the importance of knowing when the baby is out, and even insisting that you or your husband hold/cuddle with him/her for a moment).
Just wanted to send a note to 1944girl that I often think of how lost I would have been if I'd had a baby before the Internet, and am in awe of you, my mom, and the millions of other mums in the world who were/are brave enough to go through this without the virtual support system!!! My mum doesn't even want to talk about it with me, I assume b/c the trauma was too great. And my boss from the former Soviet Union has some frighteningly hilarious stories to tell of her experiences!
Haven't read the whole tread but wanted to say that, while I support requesting lactulose after your section, do NOT do what I did and spill it on your slippers. Apart from the fact that it doesn't help your constipation any whilst spilt on your slippers, it is vile sticky stuff which cannot be washed off at all. Ever. Get some new slippers.
Ask the midwives for a bedside cot!!!!
I saw a non C'section mum with a little cot which hooked on the side of the bed and demanded one straight away! (They are designed more for immobile post partum mums!)
The reason being that for the first 24 hours I couldn't get up & was sick of waiting for the MWs to answer my buzzer & pass me my baby!! SOOOOO much easier than the wheelie cots!
Thankyou ckny1,I have never been able to talk about my ceasarian births until the last few months when I found mumsnet!
Great thread. I had a c-section 20 weeks ago and it went well but had bad case of pre-ec. Im still wearing massive pants as small pants sitting on the scar makes me fell yuk. I had a great midwife who advised hairdrying the scar after showering everyday and that was and still is excellent advise as it ensures the scar (and other bits ) are absolutely clean and dry before putting on underwear.
Sterile saline solution designed for contact lenses makes cleaning the wound less of a faff. I used that on cotton wool pads (that didn't leave any cotton wool behind).
Hi, after having an emergency c-section with my first child (undetected breech) and a elective c-section (also breech) with my second child, I have elected to have c-section again... after being scanned today at 28 weeks the baby isnt breech, does anyone know if I will be forced to have baby naturally if I go into labour early? I really do not want natural birth, and am finding it really worrying that I may be forced into it.
From a real-time/need to know perspective that's a really good and practical list of tips for mum's facing a first time CS. Completely not the things we as Dr's tell expectant mums, but just as useful if not more so.
I'd like to use some of these for a new patient ammended Pt information leaflet at the RFree if that's ok with you !
This is an awesome list - thank you so much! I have copied and pasted the relevant bits onto a word document and plan to make it 'look pretty' and then print it off!
Great thread. New question: how long is it normally before you can have a shower after an ELCS? Thanks!
you can shower as normal the next day.
It's really impt to be up and active ASAP (and by that I mean as soon as the spinal has completely worn off)
Just bumping this as lots of useful stuff.
My tip .get your dh to bring in a bag of chilled chopped fresh fruit each day.....so nice.....and iced water in bottles.
I has elcs two weeks ago - my tips:
Take flip flops, easy to get on and off and it doesn't matter if they get wet in the shower. Some hospital showers are like wet rooms so slippers could end up soggy.
Keep an eye on the time and make sure you ask for your pain relief when it's due. Often the midwives will be running late and you don't want it wearing thin.
Drink twice as much water as you think you need. Hospitals are hot, you will be dehydrated and even if you don't feel thirsty your wee will be like marmalade. Ask anyone who happens to be passing to refill your jug.
Put clean sheets on your bed at home, it's lovely to come back to your own clean fresh bedding after hospital bed. Put extra cushions and pillows on it for bfing and support when sitting up. Stay in bed and make the world come to you for as long as poss.
Tena pants are v comfy, absorb everything even when you're lying down and can be ripped off - no bending over to remove.
If you have visitors in the first few days, give them little jobs to do. Cuddles with baby granted only when job completed!
Sorry as I haven't read thread, but YES to big pants. And remember if you are planning to BF it can take longer for your milk to come in. The first time (first dc and first section) it took the full five days.
And a v-pillow is your friend. Especially second time around when your toddler wants to climb on your lap for cuddles.
And if you have emergency sections (which happened to me both times) give yourself DOUBLE the recovery time.
And with my first I got into a complete state because I didn't know I could ask the staff to change her nappy
How soon after op can i start massaging the scar? Have got some arnica massage oil can i use that?
Thanks soooo much ladies...i got 2 days left...very nervous now
bumping this thread for any mums due c section soon and new to site
This thread is absolutely incredible. I'm 30 weeks pregnant and have just been classed as high risk with an elective c-section looking highly likely (baby transverse and low lying placenta). I won't know for sure for a good few weeks yet but reading this thread has made me feel so much more prepared, especially as I really wanted a natural birth in a midwife led unit. So, the list for the hospital bag grows: big pants, maternity pads (totally didn't realise I would still need these!), nightie not pjs, arnice tabs, etc etc etc. I now know that I CAN have skin to skin contact straight away and breastfeed, and I know all about lochia - how lovely! - even the gory details help!
Thank you everyone, i'm not so scared anymore.
Hair dryer on cool setting useful for drying the scar after bath.
Squirty water bottles...impossible to lift the jug to refil the tiny water cups. Water bottle in bed with lid on much easier to manage
Flash wipes for the hospital bath....not sure what the cleaner did in there but the scum etc in the bath convinced me it wasn't cleaning.
Yes yes yes to the Arnica tablets, I had a super good recovery and I am sure it was down to those, I was told to take them a week before and a week after.
Most theatres will let you take a cd in so you can have your favourite songs playing, my PFB was born to Frank Sinatras christmas album! (was a christmas baby)
Take lots of little cartons of Apple juice and sports water bottles as I was very thirsty and they didn't come round with drinks often enough for me. They don't recommend orange as its too acidic in the tummy and can make you sick. Lots of cereal bars too as you cant eat before so I was starving by the time we were done!
A black nightie and black dressing gown is best as it wont show any leakage (yuck)
After just remember its major surgery and just do as much or as little as you can.
I had a rubbish pregnancy but the ELCS was the beginning of the best bit really relaxing and calm!
Can I just ask a stupid question? People say it's important to get upright asap after the surgery but why is that? I would have thought rest until you feel ready...?
Bluefroggy, you need to get the blood moving around your body to help recovery and because dvt is a risk if you don't move about.
The midwives will encourage you to get up when the spinal has worn off, and although you might feel a bit shaky, after being stuck immobile for hours, it feels really good to be upright. Keep on top of the pain relief and it wont hurt, it'll just feel weird and tight around your wound. It's nice to be able to hobble slowly to the bathroom even to just to have a hand wash.
You will need to rest again on returning to your bed but it'll make getting up the next time that little bit easier.
oh yes, forgot the dvt. thanks
I'm having a casaerian in 10 days and this is the best thread ever. Thank you all.
re getting up - its very common to faint or feel light headed when you first get up - so do make sure you have your DH and a care assistant or two really helping you to a chair first. if you can do that - then aim for bathroom.
they tried to push me to bathroom and i said i wasnt ready - so instead got a chair right by bed for me - good job, seconds later i was passed out.
please dont push yourself on moving, wiggle toes in bed -raise up legs rotoate ankles....sqeeze all muscles you can - wave arms around.
a MW came round to me and got me to turn on my side - i tweaked something and got horrific side pains since...other ladies on ward all had really nasty deliveries - emergency sections - they were more mobile and in less pain than me ebcayse of this stupid woman,
there is encouraging movement and stupid movement.
move gently in your bed - but dont attempt a fulll side turn!
the babies that cried all night on the ward were the ones that werent fed. if baby cries - feed feed feed.
if you can wedge pillows round you - bars up on bed, sleep with baby if you feel safe to do so...much much much easier - not offically recomened but loads of MW saw us and said nothing. i got myself into a postion where literally neither of us could move an inch.
check what medication they will give you if breast feeding a few people have been told can only have certian things ,....
oramorph is available for break through pain, its not the same as the other drugs they give you - so you can have it in between the other drugs.
be aware - often one mw will come round and tell you one thing then another will come round and say excalty the opposite!!!
Bumping this for anyone due soon.
I'm having a section in 2 weeks, its very handy x
a light diet afterwards helps. I survived on having 2 pieces of brown bread with frozen boiled vegs with loads of spinach added to it. I had it together with the water it was cooked in. anything heavy gave me a tummy ache.
Lots of great advice here already. I've had three C-sections, here are my tips. .
Water bottles with sports caps to drink from whilst laying down.
Buzz, buzz, buzz that buzzer. Don't try to stretch to lift baby from cot. I even asked mws to change baby's nappy when no relatives were there to help me.
After a few days, a dressing gown cord tied to the end of the bed to help you pull yourself up to sitting.
Don't rush to go home. I recommend pushing to stay a third night.
I'm seriously thinking about paying for a cleaner if there is a next time. Like an earlier poster, I really struggle to leave little jobs and actually can't relax very well.
The day of the surgery is a shock but spinal and top up drugs, as well as not being allowed out of bed, make it ok.
Day 2 is always the worse for me, the day they get you up.
Each day after that gets slightly easier.
The first week is pretty hellish so just do nothing. Improved slightly once stitches are removed (approx day 5).
The second week is still tough but after that it gradually begins to improve.
After about five weeks I feel back to normal.
Hope that adds some helpful tips to the already great advice on here.
Brilliant thread with some invaluable advice! I'm unsure if I'm having a c section but it is looking more and more likely so after being adament about a natural birth all along this has really helped me to plan and prepare!!
Some of this info is out of date. For example my recent CS info pack says NOT to shave beforehand because this can be a cause of infection.
It must vary by area redwelly, as I had a c-section a few weeks ago and was told to shave beforehand.
Thanks so much for bumping! Have my section on weds due to baby being breech. Had pre op today but these tips are invaluable! Thank you!
Bumping for others as I've found this so useful, might be needing a section in a couple of weeks and terrified!
Thank you so much for this. I'm 6 weeks pregnant with dc2 and it's quite likely I will be opting for a c-section. I've really struggled to get my head around it but this has really helped. Thank you.
Thanks for this thread. I am 4-5 weeks away from my third Cs, and though some things are different where I live, this thread is helpful esp. for things I've forgotten (like massive lochia in the shower). (Differences include hospital bags, for instance - the hospital where I give birth provides nighties, pads, plush bath gowns, slippers, baby nappies, clothes, etc.; you can only bring toiletries, if you wish. Plus no food except a couple of biscuits, tea, apple juice and prunes for 2 days, which is tough, and you can't bring in food from outside. Hospital stay is 5 days w/ a Cs, and only on the third day do they bring you food, which is actually very nice. The baby is only brought to you a little at a time in the beginning, unless you ask otherwise. Etc.)
Anyway, I cannot stress enough the importance of walking as soon as possible, and as much as you can afterwards. Cs1 was tough, I barely got up, stayed in bed a lot and only fully recovered over a month later. Cs2, got up some 9 hours after, kept moving, showering, etc. (resting as well, of course), and it hurt infinitely less (only paracetamol after day 3), plus I was practically normal 5 days later.
Cannot emphasize this enough, the experiences were worlds apart. No depression the second time around, no crankiness, joy galore even though baby No.2 was/is as demanding as they make them.
As cheesy as it sounds, not feeling scared and sorry for yourself makes a massive difference as well.
Angelina sounds like my hospital. My c section is in the morning and pleased to have found this thread... Message being sent to hubby immediately regarding a few items. Am super nervous as it's first c section.... Excited too though.
Anyway thanks to all the contributors, very very helpful thread
Brilliant brilliant thread! Can I ask if anyone has used a prenatal girdle after a c section? Looks like they offer lots of support and make you feel a bit more secure but haven't heard anyone mention it yet. Having CS in 4 weeks, can't wait to see my twins!
Sorry - mean a postnatal girdle obviously…..
I was wondering the same about the postnatal girdle or support belt. Anyone?
Also what is best oil for treating the scar? Anyone tried dermafix? It's been recommended to me. Or bio oil? Or someone even said boots protect and perfect serum!
This thread is great. My elcs is 3 weeks today. I've been online & ordered lavender oil, peppermint capsules, windeze, new flip flops, a really long cardigan (in place of a dressing gown) and a sports bottle.
I feel more relaxed knowing I have this stuff coming.
Do not allow your dh to talk you into helping him rearrange the living room furniture less than 4 weeks post cs.
I second whoever said that if you jyst get on with it people think that you can do more than you actually can. I was carrying on as normal after a few weeks then ended up in lots of pain again.
My stuff arrived today. Now have peppermint oil capsules, windeze, flip flops & sports bottle. Also have a mountain more pads. I feel more prepared. Thanks everyone who suggested stuff.
I agree with the pads thing. You will still bleed lots even if you don't go into labour. Don't take the pack of pads out of your bag and leave them at home. Doh!
Can I add some things to the 'before' the c-section from a medical perspective?
Please take off all your nail varnish and make up before coming to theatre. You can always put it back on again on the ward for photos, but in an operating theatre where things can go wrong, it's a bad idea.
Also for the love of God please don't get a spray tan - or any kind of all over tan! It's a really stupid thing to do.
Leave any jewellery at home. I would hate to think any of my colleagues are thrives, but in a rush things do tend to go walkies.
If we tell you not to eat, we really do mean it! We are nice people honestly! We wouldn't be so strict on the not drinking/eating if it wasn't so necessary.
Lastly . . Don't be shy or embarrassed. We really are unshockable! We have seen and done a lot of difficult/ funny/ bizarre/ sad / unbelievable things. We only want to help you, so talk to us!
Bump for the really useful tips, hoping to avoid a CS but it's great to be prepared.
Fantastic thread, def worthy of bump! Only wish I'd had this advice before my EMCS! Making lists as we speak!
Everyone with c section experience is saying that they felt "rough" afterwards. Can you elaborate on what you mean?
nauseous? Dizzy? hungover? headache? fatigue?
I had a really straightforward c section recovery even though mine was unplanned. Afterwards there was nothing I would describe as acute pain. It was more a sort of odd feeling in the whole abdominal region. My belly suddenly without a baby in it felt like a big wobbly jelly strapped to my front, my abdominal muscles felt weak and I was conscious of the incision area as a sort of nagging twinge on movement, a bit like when you have an exercise injury you're trying not to strain. Sitting up in bed is the most difficult thing. The reclining bed in the hospital really helps. But to put it into perspective the shredded blistered nipples I got from breastfeeding were 10 times worse in terms of discomfort.
I was tired (2 days without sleep) but running on adrenaline. I think it didn't occur to me that there were things I couldn't manage to do so I just carried on as normal. Section Sunday evening, walking 6 hours later, showered myself midday Monday and walking around as normal, doing laundry on Wednesday, on hands and knees scrubbing poo out of the carpet on Friday. In hindsight I wonder if that was wise, in fact the last one is positively stupid, but I did feel back to normal incredibly quickly.
The worst things for me were the extreme constipation and very swollen feet and legs. If I ever have another c section I will be overdosing on dried fruit, drinking litres of water and refusing painkillers with codeine. It was not fun. The swollen legs disappeared after about 10 days. Elevating them helped temporarily.
To be that's what "rough" felt like. Hope that helps.
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