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Planning a caesarean? What are the benefits?

(120 Posts)
Uwila Thu 09-Dec-04 14:21:06

I have already decided that I want a casarean this time round (just have to convince the consultant which shouldn't be too difficult since I had an emergency c last time).

I see lots of stuff in the media about how caesareans are bad for mother and baby and what a bad thing it is that we perform so many in this country. But, I personally think they are a good thing. And I think recovery is much easier than is usually described in places like the all natural NCT classes.

Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else who is pregnant now is wanting a caesarean and why? I assume I'm not alone in thinking there are actually benefits to a caesarean (like I won't break my pelvis!).

NotQuiteCockney Thu 09-Dec-04 14:24:28

From what I know, a planned caesarean is better than an emergency, because at least you're not exhausted from hours and hours of labour. Putting in an epidural is easier if you're not in labour.

Oh, and there's no risk of tears, and much lower risk of incontinence, post-section.

I'm not your best resource, though, I had two sections, but would much rather have had natural births.

OnZephyrstdayofXmas Thu 09-Dec-04 14:28:15

Hi Uwila My first was emergency - I thought I would automatically get one the second time but they did everything they could to try and turn me against it. Esp the consultants!! Be strong though if you are adamant you want one otherwise they'll talk you out of it!!
It was a wonderful experience. It was totally calm, you go in at about 9am so by lunchtime its all done, you aren't half asleep so you get to spend all day with your baby, and you are better prepared for being up in the night.
And of course there's the added bonus of not breaking your pelvis!!

lisalisa Thu 09-Dec-04 14:31:22

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Uwila Thu 09-Dec-04 14:33:22

Sorry, NQC. I should clarify. I meant to ask about the benefits of caesarean vs. natural and not about planned vs. emergency.

My last one was at 3am 30 hours after being induced. So, yes, that 9:00am schedule is a definite bonus. Seems trivial in a way. But I think being able to spend that first day with baby when you are both alert and awake is actually quite important. So, good point. I hadn't thought of that.

aloha Thu 09-Dec-04 14:33:53

Well, I had a great section for ds - we all recovered really well and it saved his life and maybe mine (severe placenta praevia), which has to good. Downside? Stayed in hospital too long and I don't think ds was really ready to come out, he had a great apgar and breathed absolutely fine, but I just had a feeling he wasn't 'cooked' - but it was much, much riskier to leave him in than take him out by nearly 38 weeks - and I don't have stretchmarks!
This time I want another section, but ideally not before 40 weeks. I just cannot, cannot face the ordeal and (to me) humiliation of labour (don't jump on me, this is my personal view!). I don't think I would cope at all well with 30hours of labour etc. Also my son was 8lb 8oz before 38 weeks and I really, really wouldn't want forceps. I've just heard too many horror stories - like midwives refusing pain relief/epidurals etc and shouting at women in labour. My close friend lost her first baby during his birth, I know of someone else permanently injured and deeply traumatised by 'natural' birth - oh, yes, and someone who DID break their pelvis! I found my elective section to be a very civilised experience and I will be asking my consultant what I can do to make sure I can be out of hospital and into my own bed as soon as possible. I have thought about this and really feel, esp as this will be my last child, that my experience with ds was good, and I'd hate to end up resenting my dd for an horrific birth or always regretting my choice.

aloha Thu 09-Dec-04 14:35:13

Oh, and I was in for 9am or something, but didn't get it done until 6pm, due to emergencies coming in. That was a real bummer. And I was HUNGRY!

aloha Thu 09-Dec-04 14:36:04

Oh, and no, I didn't enjoy being totally numb, but better than total agony, surely?

Uwila Thu 09-Dec-04 14:43:19

Right. Well then there was a benefit to my emergency. They knocked me out. Woke with DH sitting next to me holding dd. Awwwwww....

So, Lisalisa, your belly hangs over the scar, does it. Now, you know that if I ever meet you in person I won;t be able to help but scope out your belly situation. Seriously, thank you for sharing your views (which I always fing very insightful), but I'm sure that I want one. I just wondered if other people find benefits to them that I have not yet thought of. I think they get a bad wrap in the media. And I have no doubt at all that the NHS' view on them has much more to do with their budget than it does my health (a parallel to their philosophy on multiple jabs I think).

Also, I did not find the recovery to be very bad. I do remember hunching over for a bit. But, I think i was out and about running around town after about a week. Hope I can be that lucky this time too.

aloha Thu 09-Dec-04 14:44:53

One of my friends who has had two electives was right as rain a week after her second, and she's a serious wimp! Much quicker than her first, actually. And home after 48hours.

aloha Thu 09-Dec-04 14:46:44

There are a lot of disadvantages to a bad birth - a good caesarian has to be better than a birth that leaves you with post-traumatic stress disorder or one you cannot recall without crying or one that leaves you permanently injured.

Uwila Thu 09-Dec-04 14:48:04

Home after 48 hours is pretty good. I stayed in for 3 days, and boy did that third day drag on. Although this time I have a toddler. So, I told my husband that I was going to stay in for at least a week while he loks after DD. The look on his face was difinately a missed kodak moment.

aloha Thu 09-Dec-04 14:52:12

And there are very senior doctors who are specialists in this area who do believe, looking at all the evidence that sections may well be safer for babies. This usually arouses howls of protest!

Uwila Thu 09-Dec-04 14:57:06

Oh, I'm so glad you raised that point, Aloha. I know nothing of whatever evidence you are referring to. But, everytime a midwife has told me that natural is safer for baby, I have not gotten a saisfactory answer as to why. NEver could understand how being squeezed so tightly through a tiny little hole could actually be good for one. I can understand the view that major surgery is not good for mum, but never could I grasp the benefits to baby. But, then, maybe I'm just dumb (but I like to think not).

aloha Thu 09-Dec-04 14:59:21

The idea is that babies get primed hormonally by birth and that the squeezing is good for reflexes, nervous system development and, most importantly, squeezing fluid from the lungs. However, I suspect it is also bloody painful and there is some evidence that c-section babies suffer less during birth so have a reduced stress reaction and suffer less from pain during babyhood.

Uwila Thu 09-Dec-04 14:59:36

Aloha, when are you due? Where do you live? What hospital? (if you don't mind me asking)

MancMum Thu 09-Dec-04 15:02:49

I had 2 planned sections and I would say tht I recovered far quicker than any natural birthing mums I know - I found them totaly painfree and was up and about 8 hours after each - I am a total wimp when it comes to pain and I have had more painful periods than any pain associated with sections... I would honestly say I never had anything more than a bit of tenderness for a couple of days but never hda any problem with lifting 10lb baby so could not really be that much of an issue... my only gripe was despite every nurse and doc saying what a great recovery I made, I still had to stay in for 4-5 days which did get dull but then gave me time to rest and bond and start a routine - not sure I would have had this time had I been at home...

I totally recommend them to everyone and never understand why anyone would take the other opttion - brings tears to my eyes (and bits)just thinking of it!

NotQuiteCockney Thu 09-Dec-04 15:21:26

Oh, the current NICE clinical standards say, you should be out in 24 hours if you don't have a fever.

I got out after 30 hours on my last section, without having to sign myself out against medical advice and go through all that hassle.

So if you have a good section, and heal well, you can get yourself out very fast. (Having the section before noon really makes a difference for this, thanks to hospital weirdness.)

lisalisa Thu 09-Dec-04 15:22:25

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lisalisa Thu 09-Dec-04 15:24:24

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artyjoe Thu 09-Dec-04 15:33:32

Thanks for starting this thread, i was wanting to start one similar but seem to have lost the ability to start a new thread...any ideas how? Anyway....

It looks like I'll be given a C section now as at 34 weeks I'm measuring 40 weeks so think they may do it on 2nd January.

I'm concerned as I am a big woman and had a laparoscopy when I was much smaller, which felt dreadful, which makes me feel I must be a wimp. I'm concerned about the cut as I do have a lot of fat to get through and am concerned about recovery time. Any advice? Happy stories?


MrsBigDrumsADrumming Thu 09-Dec-04 15:36:52

I thought the standard was 3 days after the c-section, 4 if the section was done in the afternoon as was the case with ds.

I guess both natural and elective c-section have their benefits. I had an elective for ds as dd was an emergency and after induced labour and failure to progress etc I was a right exhausted mess after dd was delivered. Also even though the consultant were trying to push me towards natural birth for ds, they also sort of admitted that I'd with a very high probablility would end up with an emergency c-section... 2:3! So I said stuff it, I know it's a major operation and there are risks, BUT there are also risks for natural births... my friend just delivered a healthy baby girl whopper of nearly 4kg (I think thats 8 pounds something. My friend is a size 6! She was 'lucky' to have had an epidural as in the end they tried ventouse and foreceps (the latter got the little one out), but in the course of things she lost over 1 liter of blood, and as there's hardly anything to her that's a lot. Her red blood count dropped to 4! I had 8 after my c-section! She's still totally anaemic and weak. At least with a c-section they expect blood loss.

So that was the gore of the day

MrsBigDrumsADrumming Thu 09-Dec-04 15:38:41

artyjoe : I'm not exactly on the skinny side myself. Recovery was fine. Just make sure you keep the incision area dry after the op and you'll be fine. And don't overdo it! The painkillers are great but they have a tendency to let you do things you shouldn/t do

jabberwocky Thu 09-Dec-04 15:39:25

I was in for 3 days after and needed every minute! Was getting around pretty well after the first week.

aloha Thu 09-Dec-04 16:02:47

I'm due Feb 11 and having my baby at Kings. Hoping to get out ASAP. I felt sooo much better at home. Lovely, lovely duvet and pillows! Lovely sofa. Lovely tea. And will really miss ds!

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