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C section tips/advice

(22 Posts)
Moonwatching Thu 06-Apr-17 11:11:46


I may require a c section and would like to prepare myself for this option.

So, has anyone got some good advice to share or tips to offer? From what to pack in hospital bag to how to aid recovery afterwards?

What painkillers do they give afterwards? I remember having a painkiller after my first (non surgical birth) that was very effective but commonly causes constipation. Think it was co-codamol? After that experience, I'd really rather avoid anything similar!

Did you use any special knickers or just normal cotton big knickers?

Do you wear knickers with maternity pads in whilst catheter is in place? Sorry if this seems really silly question - completely clueless. I've seen people mention nightdresses rather than pj's. Is a long nightdress in stretchy fabric ok? How soon after were you able to get up and use the toilet?

Thanks smile

DuggeeHugs Thu 06-Apr-17 12:29:59

Pretty much a normal hospital bag should be fine. I used disposable knickers in hospital with the maternity pads, then switched to big cotton knickers and maternity pads at home. You don't have knickers on in theatre or until the catheter is out. The catheter was removed as soon as I could feel my legs again and I was properly knickered and walking 5 hours after the birth. That's not to say it wasn't painful though. They gave paracetamol and offered oramorph when it was at it's worst on the first day, but paracetamol was fine as long as I took it on time. No problems with constipation, just keep eating healthily with lots of fibre for a few days.

I wore PJs in hospital last time which was a big mistake - I found bending to take the trousers on and off was painful - I have nightdresses for this time!

I had a summer CS and used maternity pads against the scar for a while after the dressings were off to prevent itchy sweating in the heat. You can either shave the top of your pubic hair yourself before you go in, or the theatre team will do it for you - whichever is easier.

As soon as you're mobile you can use the loo - they give you a bowl and you need to provide 200ml urine before they take the cannula out. I found it helped to drink lots of water and some lucozade not long before they remove the catheter, that way you can get to the loo not long afterwards.

If you have a downstairs loo at home as well as an upstairs, keep both stocked with maternity pads, spare knickers, breast pads and nipple cream as a minimum so you don't have to go up and downstairs too much during the day in the first couple of weeks.

Clothing wise I found maternity joggers and other loose trousers to be most comfortable afterwards - the band on the maternity jeans was just in the wrong place for me to feel comfortable.

Basically, prepare what you can then just try and relax and enjoy the experience. Mine was an EMCS but I still found it amazing! The pain and worst of the discomfort pass within a couple of weeks so give yourself time.

Good luck flowers

DuggeeHugs Thu 06-Apr-17 12:38:43

Oh, and DH got a couple of walking poles out which I used on the stairs for a few days

wineapotamus Thu 06-Apr-17 16:32:52

Take shower gel and shampoo in containers with hook things so you can hang them up. I dropped them in the shower after my first section (emergency) and couldn't pick them up. I'd waited so long for that shower and then couldn't soap up properly. Horrid.
Ps second section (elective) was a dream! So civilised and nowhere near as painful. So don't worry too much! X

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Thu 06-Apr-17 18:21:04

Please don't worry! I was very worried while pregnant about having an ELCS. I ends up going into labour the day of my preop assessment and had a sort of EMCS in the middle of the night. I have to say it was still much better than I expected.

I think previous posters have covered most of the pain relief etc. All I'll say is keep up with the pain relief at home and you'll be fine. I had mine 8 days ago and am far less dependent on them now (ibuprofen and paracetamol). Try to move around but nothing strenuous.

Oh and definitely keep your upstairs and downstairs loo stoked with pads etc like someone else said. Agree about joggers/maternity tops.

I think the current advice is not to shave but let them do it in theatre/just before you go into grater as this reduces risk of infection. I had waxed 5 weeks beforehand and used a trimmer 3 weeks beforehand and they didn't need to do anything (I don't think it needs to be "bare", just trimmed).

I had a horrible tear with my first and compared to that, my c section was amazing, even though I had to labour for a while while I awaited my turn in theatre! All
the best!

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Thu 06-Apr-17 18:24:15

Forgot to add: Nighties for hospital- much easier and hospitals are boiling anyway. I wasn't in long enough to use my own disposable or gigantic cotton knickers (As in a good 3 sizes bigger than normal). The worst of the postpartum bleeding was actually when I was immediately post op ie in recovery or postnatal ward but still numb and with catheter, so no issues with walking around dripping blood.

gloopygloop Thu 06-Apr-17 18:32:00

I got a snuzpod (a bedside crib) to put baby in which meant I didn't have to get up to feed baby as he was right there.

I also made sure I got out every day for a walk, to begin with they were very short.

I also got lots of flannels and used a clean one every day after my shower to dry the wound.

Hope it all goes well good luck!

toffeeboffin Thu 06-Apr-17 23:42:04

Drink lots of water afterwards, as much as you can.

Pillow pressed on tummy when getting up.

Don't bend to pick stuff up off floor.

Wash incision with plain soap and water, air dry... Wear massive knickers.

Don't do too much. A short walk as gloop says is enough.

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Fri 07-Apr-17 08:07:08

I keep thinking of things to add! Peppermint teabags can be helpful as I think many ladies can get trapped wind. The peppermint is supposed to help.

Sandsnake Fri 07-Apr-17 08:19:54

Keep on top of the pain. Accept the pain relief when offered, then hopefully you won't get to the stage of really needing it. I found that this allowed me to totally concentrate on my newborn and establishing BF, as opposed to the fact that I was in pain.

My hospital prescribed Lactulose (stool softener) pre-emptively for constipation - I found that really helped. And yy to peppermint tablets! I was surprised at the severity of the trapped wind - especially the shoulder pain.

Buy a good, supportive v shaped pillow. Bring big, comfy pants that will come up over your scar.

And try not to worry! Agree with other posters here that my experience of an ELCS was wonderful. Calm and very civilized with really well-managed

NormaSmuff Fri 07-Apr-17 08:24:58

the advice i was given is Walk Tall, after the procedure. otherwise you will double up.

ToffeePenny Fri 07-Apr-17 08:58:05

On pain : Ask for the pre-spinal anaesthetic (a small needle to numb the area before they put in the actual epidural).
They also can catheter you after the epidural.
Ask if they leave the epidural in for pain relief afterwards (really good if they do). I had it left in for a day after and then just needed paracetamol (stronger stuff was available).
You don't need to worry about pants immediately afterwards - the catheter will remain in until you are ready to walk to the loo and the nurse will deal with Lochia as they do the checks etc.

Stuff to pack:
Clean-up wipes (for you) as if you won't be able to bathe for at least 48 hours and you may vomit during the section (and any iv lines will make the vomity-gown hard/impossible to remove).
Sports bottles of water (you can drink from them while lying down without spilling and you can leave them next to you in bed - reaching over to the little table and the bed controls is near impossible at the start of recovery)
Peppermint water (after having your insides moved around during the op any trapped wind is utter agony and this gets rid of it within minutes). They will have this available but if it's already with you then you'll get it quicker.
Bed socks/grippy socks (toes can get a bit cold due to the compression stocking you'll have to wear afterwards and changing socks is easier that washing feet more if you step in something)
Food as you'll be given the go ahead to eat at an hour where no food is available anywhere (but avoid fruit early on - it will increase the chance of trapped wind - see above)
Large thermos mug with lid for tea (as managing self, any drips, newborn and polystyrene mug to kitchen and back is impossible)
Comfy pants - get high rise ones without elasticated waistlines (or they'll rub your scar).
Ready to drink formula and disposable bottles - you won't want to make trips to the steriliser.

SpookyPotato Fri 07-Apr-17 09:09:02

My best tip is what has already been mentioned- PEPPERMINT! grinThey don't usually give anything for the wind but it's a big contributor to the pain and inability to walk properly. They pump your abdomen with air after baby is out and plus you can't poo for a while so trapped wind really builds up all round the body. As soon as I got home I took some peppermint capsules, went to the loo and farted A LOT all night, and in the morning I could then walk upright in minimal pain again. I recovered much quicker with my second section due to this!

EdgarAllenPoe Sun 09-Apr-17 19:07:31

Take it slow and steady. 4 days post birth I was finally home and my husband finds me stuck on the kitchen floor because I'd bent down to get something out of the fridge and couldn't get back up so had to roll backwards on to my bum. Not one of my finest moments! I also couldn't step into the shower (in a bath) on my own for a couple of weeks so needed help getting in and out. Eye opening! It felt really bad at the time but I got better amazingly quickly. Functioning well enough 3 weeks post birth to be left on my own with the baby.

And you mine in hospital longer than you think. Wish I'd brought tweezers, my rogue chin hairs were driving me batty!

EdgarAllenPoe Sun 09-Apr-17 19:08:50

Omg spookypotato I'd forgotten about the wind. It feels like farts are happening where they don't usually happen! Thanks for the tip as I'll probably be having a repeat cs.

ElisavetaFartsonira Sun 09-Apr-17 19:33:05

Not sure what you mean by bathe toffee, but I showered about 16 hours after my EMCS, and I got the impression that other women did it sooner. The midwives were very keen for me to get up and walk to the shower and I don't think they would have been happy to leave it 48 hours.

I also did not fart much, but I did hear from others that the peppermint tea was a godsend. I think it just takes more than major surgery to put my bowels out!

Rockinghorsehay Sun 09-Apr-17 19:39:52

I've had 3 c sections and the main items are:
Giant pants, several pairs- big granny ones from m & s, several sizes larger than you need. Your scar is low down and very sore when touched and your tummy gets very, very bloated and painful with trapped wind
Peppermint tea for trapped wind
Rennies, again for above
High waisted leggings x2 in large size
Flip flops or slip on slippers
Maternity pads
Water bottle
Dry shampoo- you may not get to shower for a bit longer than VB
Phone charger
Leave jewellery behind at home if possible
Then all the stuff for the baby-nappies, muslins, vests etc
Good luck!!

DarkestBeforeDawn Sun 09-Apr-17 19:40:04

You have all hit the nail on the head - the trapped wind was so so so painful!! Peppermint tablets were not prescribed at my hospital so bring some in your hospital bag OR buy rennie deflatine which works absolute wonders.

Rockinghorsehay Sun 09-Apr-17 19:42:17

Oh and a couple of long vest tops, large size to wear under
A couple of extra large sized shirts
I liked to feel comfortable but not like I was in nightwear, and these things are easy to feed the baby in. Got 2 shirt dresses from H&M to wear, 2 or 3 sizes larger than normal because you just don't want anything right.

Rockinghorsehay Sun 09-Apr-17 19:44:02


Tortycat Sun 09-Apr-17 19:49:17

I've had 2 (1 emcs and 1 planned) and never had problems with wind - good job as never heard of peppermint stuff!

YY to high pants and over the bump maternity leggings - normal knickers dig in just where the wound will be so avoid.

I was told to shower as soon as I could stand up

Nightie better than Pjs as hospital is so hot

Remind dh to take his phone into theatre to get some pics!!

Coldhandscoldheart Sun 09-Apr-17 19:55:29

Oh, if you have piercings, take them out or replace them with plastic studs. They were a bit cross that I couldn't get one of mine out before emcs. It's so you don't get electrocuted wth the diathermy I believe.

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