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!!!
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!
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