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Some CS questions - would appreciate answers!

(62 Posts)
Angelico Thu 13-Sep-12 22:36:01

Hi ladies, having ELCS in 12 days. Was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions:

1. People recommend arnica. Is that tablets? Where do you get / how many do you take? Do they actually work???

2.Trapped wind pain - is it common? Got some peppermint oil capsules, when do you take them? After CS or start before? Does peppermint tea help?

3. Did you get good pain relief or should I take in some of my own painkillers? They will give me a suppositry and consultant assures me they will give me painkillers and to take them (ie don't be a hero) but I know wards get busy...

4. Senna tablets or lactulose - useful? Or did you just eat prunes and things?

5. Am probably getting spinal rather than epidural. Is this a good method? I know it can't be topped up.

Thanking you in advance!

BigRedCheeks Thu 13-Sep-12 23:22:58

Hi Angelico and how exciting!! I had ELCS with dd3 6 months ago.

I didn't take arnica, considered it but read enough to convince me it doesn't really work.

Didn't have trapped wind pain but it is common apparently. The best advice I was given was to get up as soon as poss, taking care not to strain yourself and obviously not to go legging it around the ward! But just standing stretching legs arms gently all helps, lying scrunched up in bed does not help.

With regards to painkillers, definitely take what is offered as it is hard to get on top of the pain once you let it take over.You may only need something for a day or two or a week or two.I took mine (and i breastfed, still am ) for two weeks as as had a slight complication. They will give you a suppository straight after the op,you don't even realise its done. It wears off after a few hours. The spinal helps for a bit but mine wore off quickly for others it is longer. It helped me breastfeed actually having the painkillers as it is difficult to hold the baby when you are hurting. Wards do get busy but they seem to do the painkiller rounds regularly. If for any reason it is not enough get your dh or dp to insist on something different. There are different pain relief methods and each patient has different needs.

The constipation thing is not the same for everyone, I think just eating Lots of fruit, veg and drinking water is best. I had it worse with a natural birth, you can never tell! You can take peppermint capsules after the op and they also have medication for gas pains in the hospital. I didn't take anything but took in a little orange juice and fruit and had water but don't over do it eating bags and bags of grapes! Just resume healthy eating at home.

I had the spinal as I said, it was fine. I did have a complication and the anasthetic lasted the entire time they were sorting me out (uncommon thing so don't worry)

Last couple of things- the pain was not as bad as I imagined but I did keep on top of it. Painkillers do not affect your baby when bfing, and massage bio oil onto the scar twice daily from about 4-6 weeks or when scar has healed- it is getting rid of my scar nicely and prevents tightness, numbness and overhang and helps prevent hard scar tissue forming. I also took a sleep mask and earplug and big extra pillow in as ward is noisy. Good luck grin

mrswoz Fri 14-Sep-12 00:53:47

Angelico I have had 2 emcs and am booked in for elective cs in ten days.

I didn't have arnica with either of my previous 2 emcs and I didn't have a particularly hard time with healing/bruising.

I didn't suffer the trapped wind but hear that it is very common - I have packed peppermint teabags in my hospital bag just in case. I normally am quite prone to wind in everyday life so was surprised I haven't suffered after a section before!

Painkillers I would take regularly until you are sure you no longer need them. Both times I have tried to quit them too early and suffered, on one occasion so badly I went to my GP the day after leaving hospital to ask for stronger painkillers, whereasif I'd been a good girl and took the ones they gave me, I'd probably have been ok.

I have not suffered constipation after a section either - was offered lactulose after but always refused, this time I plan to make sure I have plenty of fruit and veg in the couple of days leading up to the section so hopefully avoiding constipation this time too.

I had a spinal both times, have never tried an epidural so not much help on that one I'm afraid.

Hope all this is of some use to you! smile

phlebas Fri 14-Sep-12 01:11:55

I've had 4 sections - 1 emergency & 3 electives

1. People recommend arnica - I've never used it so can't comment.

2.Trapped wind pain - never had it (haven't done anything to avoid it, it just hasn't been a problem)

3. Did you get good pain relief or should I take in some of my own painkillers? - with #1 & #2 I had very good pain relief - the suppository is diclofenac & apart from that I managed with just paracetamol/diclofenac/codeine. I didn't nee much at all after the first week. #3 I had awful afterpains & needed morphine to cope with them, I also needed to take pain killers for longer (about 3 weeks iirc) - mainly because I didn't rest much afterwards. #4 I had a lot of pain - worse after pains than #3 even - & had quite a cocktail of opioids including tramadol afterwards.

4. Senna tablets or lactulose -senna - seriously do not let yourself get constipated. I've been prescribed it with my pain relief all 4 times.

5. Am probably getting spinal rather than epidural - they only do spinals for electives here so there is no choice of having an epidural. I had an epidural for my first & spinals for the rest. There wasn't really much difference - the epidural crashed my blood pressure which was unpleasant. I react badly to the diamorphine in the spinal (horrendous itching) so with the 4th asked to have only a minimal dose - which was great & I had no itching but pain relief was pretty useless post surgery. All 4 times I was up & walking/showered by tea time on the day of the section.

Smallgreenone Fri 14-Sep-12 01:16:24

Hi I had a CS two and a half weeks ago.
Didn't take arnica but expect you can get from holland and Barrett type shops. It won't hurt to take it it's great stuff.
Didn't suffer from trapped wind either so can't help there!
Painkillers- they gave me a suppository right after the op and then I was offered morphine orally and paracetamol and something beginning with d that if forget the name of. To be honest I didn't think the pain was bad and I only took the paracetamol. But if it is bad take what you need but bear in mind they will make constipation worse.
Definitely take lactulose and eat lots of fruit to keep everything nice and soft! You don't want to be straining afterwards.
I had a spinal anaesthetic and it was fine, the procedure is so quick it doesn't have time to need topping up. It takes them a minute to get the baby out and 20 to close if you have a good surgeon.
My father is a consultant surgeon and his advice to abdominal patients is to get up the next day slowly and walk a little further each day eveni if it is only 10 yards. Don't over do it but do work at your recovery.
Good luck and am sure you'll be fine. Xxxx

elizaregina Fri 14-Sep-12 08:20:02

Hi Angelico,

Caqnt help you with advice as havant had my section yet - I just wanted to wish you the best of luck as have noticed your posts on sections etc....

Please come back and update us. x

NellyBluth Fri 14-Sep-12 08:25:59

I had trapped wind after my emcs, it was bloody agony! If you do get it, you can get referred pain up into your shoulder which feels like you are having a minor heart attack, but its not. They kept giving me peppermint tea and gripe water but neither did much, I was much happier when someone brought me in some Rennie, so if Rennie work for you then it wouldn't hurt to pack a few.

We were given Lactulose as standard to help with the constipation, but I gave in after two days and asked for a suppository blush... but you may as well get it sorted while in hospital, whatever you do don't get so 'bunged up' you need to strain!

Painkillers you will be given, but remember to push for them if you think you've missed a drugs round because you were away from your bed.

noblegiraffe Fri 14-Sep-12 08:39:39

I didn't have trapped wind or constipation and didn't take arnica (my scar healed just fine). On the painkiller front I was given paracetamol and something stronger at hospital 3 times a day. After 3 days or so (I was in for a week but not due to CS, as DS had an infection) they convinced me to drop the stronger painkiller but after a day I ended up back on it as it was too painful. I stopped the good stuff after a week and kept up the paracetamol for a couple of weeks. They said you'll know when it's time to stop as you'll forget to take it. The first few days I was definitely aware of when the drugs were due!

Angelico Fri 14-Sep-12 08:49:41

Ladies thank you so much - brilliant info, so grateful for it! Love Mumsnet grin thanks

11 days and counting confused - will def pop back to update Eliza and will probably think of more stupid questions before then grin

BigRedCheeks Fri 14-Sep-12 10:15:03

Glad to help! Do you know what you are having or have you gone for the surprise option grin

silverangel Fri 14-Sep-12 11:10:09


I took Arnica tablets, no idea if they did anything but thought I'd take them rather than not. I recovered very quickly.

Didn't have trapped wind pain.

No constipation issues.

Hospital gave me paracetamol and diclofenac. I took it every time I was offered it, and went home with three weeks worth. I took it for three weeks on advice of dr who said keep on top of it, don't wait until it hurts. Didn't have any pain.

I had a spinal, have no idea if that is better / worse than an epidural!

Angelico Fri 14-Sep-12 11:19:03

BigRedCheeks as far as we know it's a girl - although people keep adding, "But don't sue us!" lol grin

One question - a lot of you are mentioning Diclofenac but I think it can be quite hard on stomach, at least for me (even Ibuprofen for a few days kills my stomach sad ). Is there an alternative or is it the special coated one that doesn't hurt your tummy?

Heartbeep Fri 14-Sep-12 11:38:32

angelico my cs is scheduled for the same date, thanks for asking these questions!

Where do you get lactulose from, the pharmacy?

It's my 2nd ELCS and I didn't really have any issues with recovery last time but think I might err on the side of caution this time.

I only had paracetamol last time as I was BF & have asthma so my choice was limited. Pain was pretty bad but manageable.

Best of luck...

oscarwilde Fri 14-Sep-12 12:28:22

Hi Angelico - Best of luck !
By all means bring extra painkillers but you really shouldn't take them unless absolutely desperate. Insist on something stronger if what you are given is insufficient. I think it is quite dangerous to start supplementing drugs in hospital and the staff will probably confiscate them if they find you taking them.
I developed anaemia after my first CS so was given iron supplements in hospital. I recommend asking any visitors to bring you some nice juice if they are coming in as the hospital stuff is usually pretty grim and only about 100ml with "breakfast". It helps you absorb the iron and avoid constipation/piles. My MIL brought in a huge beaker of freshly squeezed stuff every morning with some ice-cubes in it and it was fabulous grin.
Didn't have wind either but the aforementioned MIL was bringing in fresh salads and other goodies so I didn't have much in the way of hospital food while I was there.

NellyBluth Fri 14-Sep-12 13:44:52

Heartbeep, you get lactulose from the doctor. We were given it as standard as part of our drugs rounds, and given a massive bottle to take home, but if you don't get given any just ask. You never know if your going to get issues after a cs so its probably best to take it for a few days just in case. Its completely safe, they prescribe it for babies.

NellyTheElephant Fri 14-Sep-12 17:32:20

I have had 3 sections, first emergency with an epidural, 2nd and 3rd planned with a spinal epidural combo (whatever that is).

1. I took arnica, hypericum & calendula (from the Organic Pharmacy - they recomended it for healing post c-section). No idea whether it helped, but i did heal very well and quickly with no issues each time.

2. I had no issues with this.

3. They did ward rounds with pain killers (diclofenac and paracetamol) and give you a load to take home. I took them regularly and had no pain issues. I didn't have tummy issues with the diclofenac so don't know what to say there - ask about it when you go for your pre-op appointment.

4. I was given a bottle of lactulose each time.

5. I don't really know on this, I certainly never had any top ups even if that was a possibility.

I wouldn't worry too much about it all. I had a great experience with both my electives.

The most important thing I would say is to make sure you bring a couple of pillows in from home, makes you more comfortable and useful for propping the baby on when BF.

babybouncer Fri 14-Sep-12 18:43:01

I think most questions have been answered, but I had v painful trapped wind as a shoulder and chest pain. The midwives gave me a 'windy cocktail' which is peppermint tea and some painkiller, I think - it was magic.

freelancegirl Mon 17-Sep-12 11:07:46

A word on the constipation after an elcs 8 weeks ago. The iron tablets and pain killer combo saw me in a&e having an enema to eject something bigger than any baby am sure! Next time if I have a section I will be glugging lactulose in advance smile

The only other thing I would add is I had terrible skin stinging for a few days. And walking slowly without previous abdominal power for few weeks. Other than that, all v good!

freelancegirl Mon 17-Sep-12 11:08:22

Stinging on the scar that is, probably a nerve thing

jellybeans Mon 17-Sep-12 11:15:21

I've had 3 sections, one was ECS and was by far the best.

1. Didn't use arnica.

2.Trapped wind pain - is it common? Yes but usually it is bearable. I had it so severe that you could hear it, hugely distended stomach and I had to have morphine but this is very rare and only happened after my 3rd c section. Other 2 were not so bad.

3. Did you get good pain relief? Yes morphine for first day-and abit extra for wind pain. The paraceteoml etc but it was fine.

4. Senna tablets or lactulose - useful? Didn't have any and was OK.

5. Am probably getting spinal rather than epidural. Is this a good method? I think so as I had 2 by this method and had no problems. 3rd was a GA (crash section).

I would add to get big granny knickers that come up over the scar.
take it easy for first 3 weeks if you can.

Good luck!

Angelico Thu 20-Sep-12 21:19:31

Thanks for all the answers ladies, brilliant help. Hospital bag now stuffed with peppermint capsules and tea, some tea tree oil - and of course bags of dried apricots grin Might take some paracetamol in just in case of delays...

schmee Thu 20-Sep-12 22:18:56

Careful with the peppermint capsules if you are planning to bf as peppermint can reduce supply. Supply may be a little slow to come in after an elective (doesn't mean it's not coming, just that it may take a little longer), so you don't want to do anything to suppress it. Also, the danger of taking your own painkillers is that you might inadvertently take too many - depending on your baby you may not be getting much sleep. You need to find a good way of logging what you've taken if you are topping up on hospital doses. And if, for example, you take paracetamol at 9am you would have to miss out on taking a great one like co-codamol at 12, which would be a shame...

Angelico Thu 20-Sep-12 22:34:46

Schmee will bear both points in mind, thanks smile especially the great drugs one grin

schmee Fri 21-Sep-12 22:03:31

Good luck with it, and congratulations btw.

Angelico Fri 21-Sep-12 22:09:19

Thanks Schmee Can't believe it was 12 days ago I posted this thread, it's now 4 days away (Tues). Where have the days gone?!

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