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Managing on your own with baby - first night after ELCS

(28 Posts)
HaveIThoughtThisThrough Sun 27-Jan-13 15:13:09

Due to a spinal condition I expect to have an ELCS with my first baby (I'm now 4w + 5 after 2 mc's so early days). I understand that my local hospital (Pembury) only has individual en suite rooms which sounds lovely except all visitors have to leave by 8:30pm (until 8am) and I have no experience with newborns at all. Naively, I'd assumed that my DH would be able to stay in an individual room with me but that's not the case.

The thought of being a few hours post-surgery and then to be left in sole charge of a brand new baby overnight with next to no clue what I'm doing and with limited mobility has given me pause for thought. I know medical staff will be around but I imagine it won't be the same as a ward environment.

I was wondering how other mums coped on their own on the first night after EMCS/ELCS, especially those who had a single room or who have given birth at the Pembury (Kent).

Many thanks

TransatlanticCityGirl Fri 15-Feb-13 22:40:29

I had an EMCS, and had no trouble with mobility afterwards. I took it easy because that's what I was told to do. But looking after DD on my own was no issue physically. I could have used some emotional support however.

NellyTheElephant Tue 05-Feb-13 17:35:17

I've had 3 sections, 1st emergency then 2 ELCS. I stayed in 2 nights with 1st and 3rd and 3 nights with 2nd. It really isn't (usually - you always hear the odd horror story) that big a deal, I was never really in any pain. ELCS are usually done early, so you should be feeling fairly OK by 8.30pm when visiting hours are over. After all of mine I was mobile (as in able to walk around) after about 6 hours, after 1st one they took catheter out then and I was able to have a shower unassisted at that point, but by 2nd and 3rd the rules had changed and catheter had to stay in for 12 hrs which was a pain, but I could still walk around with it a bit - enough to get in and out of bed and get the baby. For the first 5 to 6 hours or so you stay on the recovery ward and are very closely monitored and helped. I was then taken to a CS ward - 6 of us who had had either sections or difficult assisted deliveries, meaning I think that more help was on hand. This was the NHS and it's fair to say the nurses were not massively helpful, but they did come (rather grumpily!) when I buzzed to help get DD1 out of the bassinet etc. It is a huge shock that first night alone with a baby - I had no clue what I was meant to be doing, not sure the CS made much difference to that though. I soon realised that getting the baby in and out of the bassinet was way too hard and buzzing constantly was a pain so I kept the babies in bed with me (although I'm not sure that is recommended).

nicelyneurotic Mon 04-Feb-13 11:34:18

If you have a private room they may turn a blind eye and let him stay.

I was in a bit of a state after giving birth and although the hospital had a similar policy they were very nice and let my husband stay in the room as long as he didn't come out/wander around the ward.

I was grateful as couldn't sit up let alone pick up baby so he had to do everything! If not I'm sure you'll get lots of help from the midwives.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 03-Feb-13 13:21:56

Dont know your hospital BUT I wouldn't assume they'll be geared up to give you extra help if you need it beyond the average csection. If you need help cos of your spinal thing (?) then you need to have a good talk with them before & request specific help (like, a list if stuff) & if they can't provide it then you have a case for dh to stay & help.

Sorry not clear whether you need extra help or not so apologies if I got it wrong!

For c sections at least for the first night they tend to do the lifting etc but after that I found at the hospital where I was that they were too short staffed to help. I wish I'd forced the issue as I had a pretty miserable time, and I think it came from not setting up that I'd need extra help before being there.

pmgkt Sun 03-Feb-13 13:08:34

Ask if you will have an electric bed, then you can use that to help you sit up so at least you can put your hand in the cot to help comfort your little one while help comes. Buzz buzz buzz, they are expecting you too. I have had 2 sections and the first night they are always happy to help. By the second night you will a bit more mobile and able to do a little bit. I would make sure that before dp leaves that there is a pile of nappies and clean clothes ready for them so that they aren't having to go through your bags and find things

somethingwittynot Sun 03-Feb-13 12:58:08

I had an emcs at pembury jan 2012. Dp was allowed to stay every night of the three weeks we were in there ( post birth complications)

Ariel24 Fri 01-Feb-13 16:23:42

I had an ELCS with DD last Oct. I had my own room but my husband wasn't allowed to stay with me at night. The first night in hospital wasn't too bad as she was very sleepy, but the second night nearly broke me. She was very grizzly, poor little thing, and I had no clue what to do. I was struggling to breastfeed her, I couldn't move much after the caesarean and had to buzz for the midwives all the time. Most of them were lovely but they were so short staffed they would help me get her latched on then leave. It was awful actually, I was in a right state. I had to keep buzzing them for loads of things for baby, feeds, nappies etc, but I also kept flooding the bed with lochia and had to repeatedly get help for that. I was just desperate for my husband to be there to support me and help with baby.

If I had another baby I'll have another caesarean but I'll discharge myself after one night.

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Tue 29-Jan-13 23:38:32

oh how strange, mine wasn't uncomfortable, just hard to hold whilst I was in the shower/wheeling the baby around in his tank :D

Midwifeandmum Tue 29-Jan-13 20:36:01

You can walk around with a catheter, not very comfortable tho. The catheter is only in because with the spinal/epidural/GA you are unable to get up to the loo. As soon as u can get up and go to loo yourself, they take it out.

Zoe xx

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Tue 29-Jan-13 18:31:27

I had to have a spinal after a 3rd degree tear having my DS at home. When I got to the hospital I had a catheter and was allowed to walk around. Is that not the norm then?

Lozza70 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:37:02

As others have said the hospital will be all geared up to help. You are likely to have a catheter so will definitely not be able to get out of bed. With my 2 CS I just had to buzz when I needed help. That was for everything from lifting the baby when they needed a cuddle, to feeding and changing. The hospital I was in even changed the babies nappy before reswaddling them after a feed. Once you have the first night over and are more mobile you are expected to get out of bed to help your recovery but this be slightly different for you with your condition. Hope this bean sticks for you.

Lozza70 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:36:51

As others have said the hospital will be all geared up to help. You are likely to have a catheter so will definitely not be able to get out of bed. With my 2 CS I just had to buzz when I needed help. That was for everything from lifting the baby when they needed a cuddle, to feeding and changing. The hospital I was in even changed the babies nappy before reswaddling them after a feed. Once you have the first night over and are more mobile you are expected to get out of bed to help your recovery but this be slightly different for you with your condition. Hope this bean sticks for you.

Midwifeandmum Tue 29-Jan-13 17:18:25

It's very scary, i have had two em/sections. But don't panic, the midwives will be on hand to help u anytime. You won't be on your own. I felt that the best way to sleep after my c/s were to sleep almost sitting up. The sorest part is when ur trying to sit up from lying down for a while, it's quite nippy and stings. So try and get a duvet and fold it up and use that behind ur head and back then it's easier to get up. Take it very easy. I took me 45 mins to get out of bed in the hosp as I was lying flat......... i almost weed myself trying to get to toilet lol.

Best of luck
Zoe xx

elizaregina Mon 28-Jan-13 10:30:56

get a v pillow and keep baby on you with it wedged in with pillows. I slept half up and wedged inb with baby next to me. neither of us could move an inch.

WalterandWinifred Sun 27-Jan-13 21:42:23

I'm sure it will be fine. Actually, my last experience at Pembury was a VBAC but my first was an ELCS at the old Pembury. I had a private room then and DH didn't stay so I must have coped somehow! I think I did a bit of the 'pick them up by the babygro like a puppy' manoeuvre when it was just cuddles needed and called the midwives to help feed or change.

noblegiraffe Sun 27-Jan-13 20:17:56

I just had an ELCS after an EMCS first time. The first night I buzzed for someone to change nappies, although I was able to reach over and lift him out myself for feeding (I certainly couldn't do this after my EMCS and I'd had that much earlier in the day). I had a catheter in so wasn't allowed out of bed till that was removed at lunchtime the next day, but I was ready to get up before then. Once it was out I was able to do nappy changes etc myself. Obviously I knew what I was doing but you can ask the staff to help you if not.
Even when I was up I still buzzed for help with feeding, checking latch etc.

HaveIThoughtThisThrough Sun 27-Jan-13 20:09:21

I hope that's still the case WalterandWinifred - we'll covertly pack a sleeping bag and extra pillows. Or I'll hide him under the bed!

Thank you everyone. It sounds like you all coped well and that, on the whole, the nursing staff were supportive and that they respond to being buzzed x

Beatrixpotty Sun 27-Jan-13 18:50:43

Had 2 ELCSs.As others have said,you can buzz anytime.I was encouraged to by the nurses.I had the baby in a cot (well,a plastic box) that clipped onto the side of the bed so I could easily pick them up.I think the first night I had to buzz for someone to raise the bed end every time the baby cried so I could pick them up,I couldn't do it on my own.They even offered to take the babies away for a cuddle both times so I could get some sleep and brought them back to feed.All this was nhs in a 4 bedded bay.They couldn't have been nicer.Post -section patients are put on a different kind of ward as they are post-operative and I think they are more intensively staffed so the nurses expect to help you.They even show you how to change nappies & bath the baby,I hope it is just as good where you are .

WalterandWinifred Sun 27-Jan-13 18:37:28

When I had DS2 at Pembury nearly a a year ago they were positively encouraging Dads to stay over (on the floor, bring your own bedding etc) as they were so overstretched on the Post Natal ward. Certainly don't stress about it because you might well find he can stay, particularly if you don't shout about the fact he's intending to. Good luck!

SizzleSazz Sun 27-Jan-13 16:14:38

As others have said, you can buzz any time for help. One thing which made a massive differerence for me was the midwives swaddling DD with a 'twist' of the material at the front. I could literally grab the twist and hoik her out of the cot. She was only 5.5lbs though so not sure it would work with a much bigger baby.

Congratulations BTW and hope this is a sticky one smile

PinkPepper Sun 27-Jan-13 16:08:41

I had a normal birth but still buzzed several times in night for breastfeeding support, please don't worry, the staff will be ready to help. There were a few Health Care Assistants on the nightshift at my hospital and they are great for helping with the practical stuff

HaveIThoughtThisThrough Sun 27-Jan-13 16:05:29

Thanks everyone. That is all really great advice. I'll be spending the next months learning everything I can about babies - especially changing nappies and breastfeeding techniques etc - so hopefully I won't feel quite as overwhelmed. Either that or I just sleep when I have visitors so I can stay awake all night until they come back wink

Yep, only 4weeks so very early days (trying not to get too excited after the MCs but I can't help it!) x

funkypigeon Sun 27-Jan-13 15:34:56

Since it's an elective section, you should be home after around 36 hours all being well.

With regards to help with the baby due to mobility, we are always happy to help at the hospital I work at (I'm a MW).


chutneypig Sun 27-Jan-13 15:30:40

It's worth double checking before your DH leaves that everything is in place to support you overnight, especially emphasising any additional help needed because of your spinal condition. It's easy for that sort of detail not to get passed on between shift changes.

After my twins were born they left their cribs at the end of my bed where I couldn't reach and the person who had been supposed to arrange help with feeding hadnt bothered. As a result I had to ring the buzzer a lot and was spoken to quite dismissively.

On the plus side I found the first night on the actual ward more stressful as I was aware that my two were keeping others awake.

I'd say the more you can discuss post natal care in advance and ask what support is in place will help enormously.

RooneyMara Sun 27-Jan-13 15:25:53

Oh congratulations, such happy news.

Ok, well, I've not had a CS but the hardest thing I found in hospital was that I couldn't reach the baby very easily. I had an epidural, but mainly it was the inability to get up and stand by the cot to lift him - due to weakened stomach muscles I suppose, as well as SPD - so I ended up putting him on the bed, across it iyswim, and sitting on the end of it, while I waited for the hours to pass so I could be collected and take him home. It was uncomfortable!

I would go and see the hospital and speak to the MWs there - ask what happens, how it can be managed so that you have the baby near enough and someone to help lift him to you for feeding - early hours and days if you intend to breastfeed are really important, as much closeness as possible really helps.

See what they say and hopefully they will be happy to accommodate your needs - I did find people came when I pressed the buzzer, they did want to help. But fwiw I know of a few people who have recently had CS and have been home within a day. So hopefully it'll just be one or two nights for you x

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