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How much help should I expect overnight in hospital after a C-Section?

(151 Posts)
NoseyHelen Fri 01-Aug-08 22:42:32

I'm due my second c-section soon. My memory of the night in hospital with DS is awful. It was 35 degrees, I had a drip in one side and a catheter in the other so I could not reach out to my child. It took forever for the midwives (2 for 23 mothers) to answer the call button and I don't remember my baby's nappy being changed. I do remember one mw wedging lo in a blanket next to me so that I wouldn't press the call button again.

So, what help have other people had - perhaps I'm expecting too much?

How often was your baby changed over night?
How long did it take midwives to come when you called?
Did they insist on putting the strip lighting on everytime they popped in?
Was baby in bed with you or in it's own crib? Is it safe to have baby in bed with you after surgery?
Did they help you have a shower or bath (28 hrs after op, I gave up waiting and did it myself against orders)?

Any other tips would be gratefully received.

chickenmommy Sat 02-Aug-08 10:06:42

I don't have any experiences to share but bumping for you

I'd be very interested to see responses to this - your experience sounds horrendous and I'm hoping it's not the norm shock

meep Sat 02-Aug-08 10:16:06

NoseyHelen - that sounds awful - especially with your fist - it is scary enough to have a new baby AND having just had a C-section without having to deal with rubbish midwives.

My memory is a bit hazy but I do remeber them being very nice to me. I was exhausted but did wake up to hear dd crying. I stupidly got up on my knees on teh bed (still attached to drips) and somehow managed to pick dd up. A MW saw me and I got a firm but gentle telling off by her (quite rightly too - I don't know what I was thinking!) and told to buzz for help.

In answer to your questions:
- I have no idea how often dd's nappy was changed that first night!
- it did sometimes take a few minutes for a MW to arrive - but not too long
- no strip lighting was ever put on in the middle of the night
- dd was in a crib. On night 3 she wouldn't sleep - and I wouldn't let them take her away to give me a rest so a lovely trainee MW sat next to me while dd slept on my chest to make sure she didn't fall off if I nodded off
- I asked to have a shower and I did have to wait a bit. An auxilliary came and helped me - told me what to do with the dressing and stood outside unless I needed help - which I did - she had to help me put my pants back on afterwards blush

I hope your experience second time round is more positive.

GordonBrownKickingHisHeels Sat 02-Aug-08 10:22:21

my midwifes were just lovely. v. motherly and did everything they could to help. they built complicated pillow constructions to help me feed dd and let her sleep beside me. i have no memories about nappies.

Ellbell Sat 02-Aug-08 10:26:33

Oh dear, that doesn't sound like a good experience.

My experience was a bit different as my baby was very small (elective section at 36 weeks due to problems) so needed more care (though she wasn't in SCBU).

My dd needed milk putting down her NGT every three hours. They wanted to take her away to do this so I could sleep, but I wouldn't let them. So (and I can't quite believe that I did this now, but I did!) I set my alarm for 3-hourly intervals, woke up, and buzzed the midwife who came (mostly quite quickly IIRC) and checked that the tube was in the right place and put milk down it for me. (After the first night I also insisted on putting the milk down myself, although a midwife had to come and check the tube, but that first night I was still pretty immobile.) They had to put proper lighting on in order to check the tube (they have to do a thing (?) with litmus paper to check the tube is in the stomach and not ... umm ... somewhere else [dim grasp of human biology emoticon])

Dd was in a crib on a heated pad and was very sleepy so didn't need picking up or anything. I'm pretty certain her nappy wasn't changed during the night.

I think I had a shower on my own the next morning (24 hours after op) as soon as the catheter was taken out. Dh waited outside, but I was on my own. I had to get him to rip the dressing off though, as I was too squeamish to do it myself.

I really hope you have a better experience second time around. Good luck.

kid Sat 02-Aug-08 10:27:24

At the hospital I stayed at, they keep all c-section mums in the beds in front of the bed as they will need the most support.

When I had DD, they were very good. She kept crying so they took her to their desk, which was just a few feet away from my bed and they cared for her that night. They fed and changed her and put her back in her cot when done.
I stayed in hospital for 4 days.

When I had DS (3 years later) it was a different story. When I asked for help, I was ignored. I told the MWs I was in pain, but was told I can't have any medication until the morning. No help when showering, I had to remove my own dressing less than 24hrs after the op. I had to beg them to remove the drip, which they eventually did when I stood by their desk and refused to move!
I went home after 2 days.

purplejennyrose Sat 02-Aug-08 10:30:42

Have just had an elective section for breech baby, 2nd baby. First night in hospital, still with catheter in, the MW wouldn't close the curtain around my bed so she could keep an eye on me, which felt odd but reassuring. (There were 2 other women in the room.)
She gave me a bedside clip on cot (ask if they have these) so I could just pull dd2 to me. I rang bell to ask if she could help me sit up to change dd2, and she asked where my nappy bag was and changed dd2 herself.
I did end up with dd2 next to me in bed as she wanted to feed all night. I just dozed in between (ward was very noisy from other two babies).I felt safe with this and knew someone was keeping an eye.
No strip lights just bedside lights.
No other help but I was on second baby and had bf before so they let me get on with it as the other two mums were struggling.
No help the next day with showering I'm afraid but just took it very slow.
I then transferred to a mw led unit and had a single room. MWs there were fine about being called in the night (but only 9 beds) and even came in without being called when they heard lots of crying!! blush Did help with nappy changes and getting me up to feed. If you have anywhere like this you could transfer to, I'd recommend it.
Are you going back to same hospital? Can you talk to mws there before section and casually ask about how things will be the first night?

purplejennyrose Sat 02-Aug-08 10:36:39

Oh yes, and hospital mw the first morning also helped me put my pants on!! blush she found me sitting on the bed holding them, after a stream of doctors etc kept arriving to talk to me every time I tried to get up!

ipodtherforipoor Sat 02-Aug-08 10:50:07


TheCrackFox Sat 02-Aug-08 16:15:38

I had CS with first and there was fuck all help. Sorry, but it often depends on what hospital and what midwife you end up with.

mumfor1standmaybe2ndtime Sat 02-Aug-08 16:24:58

Sorry to hear about your first experience. It does sound similar to my experience with ds - emergency c section.
My first night I was in a private room with a midwife popping in to feed ds whilst I slept. I couldn't reach him to feed him or help to change him. I have no idea who or how often his nappy was changed. I had my cs at 7.30pm so I guess It was fairly late in the day.
Next night I was made to walk to the ward to find no bed was available for me so they had to fetch the bed I had been in the previous night - complete with blood stained sheets which remained on my bed for 3 nights.

I had no help to look at after ds at all. I had to get up and fetch bottles and change nappies myself, the midwifes were very understaffed and when I did ask for help they were very brief and couldn't stop with me.
I left after 3 nights with a heat rash as the ward was so hot. I wanted to leave sooner.
I am now 15 weeks pg with number 2 and have to decide wether to have another c section, so I do sympathise with you.

Shitehawk Sat 02-Aug-08 16:33:40

No help during the night here at all - in fact, bugger all help during the day, either.

The first night, when I couldn't get out of bed, someone came and took dd from me when she had finished feeding at stupid o'clock, but otherwise nothing at all. Luckily she was very sleepy the first night and didn't wake up again until the morning, when I was helped out of bed. Once I was out of bed, I had to do everything myself.

No midwife or nurse ever changed my baby. They showed dh how to do it when she was born, and it was up to us to deal with it after that.

The midwives came quickly enough when called, but once I was out of bed the following day, they didn't do anything to help. They gave advice when I asked for help, but I was left to do everything myself.

They put the lights on if they came in at night, but they had small lights for overnight use and used those rather than the overhead strip lighting.

My daughter was in a basinet by the bed. I fell asleep feeding her the first night and was told off because it's not safe to sleep with a baby in a high single bed such as they have in hospitals.

I was taken for a shower and the midwife stayed with me while I had it. It was a couple of days after I had dd though.

ajm200 Sat 02-Aug-08 16:38:30

I didn't have a C-Section but I didn't have a good experience in hospital while or after having my son. The midwives are seriously overworked and can't provide the care that mums need so I'm planning to have this baby at home.

I was induced as high risk first time mum but was left for ages on L&D in established labour as the head of midwives told us that they had 'run out of midwives' as they had a rush on. Eventually, they did come back after we pushed the emergency button when our sons heart rate dropped very low, he was on his way out by this point..

I wasn't allowed home the next day as they needed to monitor my BP but they didn't check it at all over the next 12 hours due to staffing levels and only remembered as I was leaving

I don't blame the staff on the ward, they are spread too thin. The Government keep cutting funding for these services and closing/merging maternity wards but the wards are already running above capacity. It is terrible

MissisBoot Sat 02-Aug-08 16:51:02

I was very lucky and had great support from midwives in my local hospital - had an emergency section after 24 hours labour.

They generally came pretty quickly whenever I rang the buzzer - I was in for 4 nights and I think I only changed about 5 nappies the whole time - they were happy to help with the rest. Also took dd to settle her if really crying during the night and helped her when she was coughing up all the mucus - which would have scared the cr*p out of me had I have been alone.

I was in a bay of 6 women - all c-sections - the strip lighting was never on at night - just little lamps.

The hospital had a policy of not allowing you to co-sleep - apparently a baby had fallen out of the bed once - but I can remember a midwife giving dd to me to feed at night and then me waking up 4 hours later with her still with me! DD was in a cot next to the bed.

I had a health care assistant help me get undressed and shuffle me into the shower about 12 hours post op - also got her to help me get my huge knickers on as there was no way I could bend over to pull them up!

kittenloren Sat 02-Aug-08 18:29:51

My MW advised me to ask for a side-room with my DS (second cs) as I am a horribly light sleeper at the best of times, had SPD & was getting really worked up at the prospect of having no sleep at all for 72hrs+ (was anticipating a longer stay and was quite blase about the section itself!)

I definitely got much more rest than I would have had in the main ward, and there was a buzzer for calling MWs but it was often a while before it was answered.

No nappy changes by MWs, DH changed DS before he left on the night and I did it in the night (as of course I got the BIG poo) - good job I had everything to hand as there was no way I could have got out of bed as was still dripped and catheterised.

There was an isolet but I slept with DS in bed with me as it was cosier and easier for night feeds, MW seemed surprised but pleased to see him there the next morning!

I got up and about as soon as possible the next day and showered & went for brek in the dining room - much as it's painful and quite nauseating, I really do think it helps to get up and about as quickly as you're able and just take things steadily.

Couldn't get my DVT stockings off for the shower though - so showered with them on & drip-dried! grin

Very sad to read about some of the experiences on here though - reallly does seem to be the luck of the draw, doesn't it?

AbstractMouse Sat 02-Aug-08 18:45:37

Only read op, that sounds quite bad tbh I used to work in a post-natal ward as a Hca. We generally wouldn't go around and routinely change babies, just on request. We used to go around and help cs ladies have a wash etc and change pads, then it was just answering call bells. Call bells were usually answered within 5 minutes I would think and strip lighting isn't used at night just bedside lamps. Babies were usually in cots but some people felt comfortable co-sleeping, I did it myself after a c-section.

Before breakfast we went around and took out catheters/venflons and helped people to the shower. You are not expecting too much, don't be scared to just keep pressing the call button if you need something.

AbstractMouse Sat 02-Aug-08 18:47:31

Oh yeah forgot about something, ask for a bedside cot if they have them, they attach to the bed and it's much easier to get to the baby.

PortAndLemon Sat 02-Aug-08 19:00:58

3.6 years ago, but...

No one changed baby for us IIRC. The first night DH changed him around 2-3 am then went home and changed him again when he got back at 9ish. I did all nighttime changes on subsequent nights in hospital.
Don't remember exactly how long it took midwives to come when I called, but not long really.
Baby in crib. I would probably feel twitchy about having baby in with me until epidural/spinal had worn off, unless someone were keeping an eye on us.
No one helped with shower or bath (well, I got a bedbath about ten hours after the c-section, I think, but no help with the genuine article).

Did get a single room, though (after initial 12 hours in recovery ward).

Had a VBAC this year that was a whole different kettle of fish... smile

jenniebee Sat 02-Aug-08 19:07:21

I was very lucky, after 40 hour labour emergancy c section at 10 at night later midwifes were amazing. I fed dd for an hour and then they took her off me and made me sleep only coming in to my room once to give me drugs! They then got me up and into the bath and washed me (bit embarassing).I feel very lucky with the way that i was treated but i think it just depends on the staff on the day.Hope your next experience is a much better one than your last.

TuttiFrutti Sat 02-Aug-08 20:28:52

NoseyHelen, I am sad to hear of your experience.

I think it all depends
- which hospital you're in
- how busy they happen to be
- which midwife you happen to get, and what mood she's in

You shouldn't have been left with the newborn baby in your bed just after your surgery IMO. I asked to do this after my second cs, and was told no, it was too dangerous because of the risk of you falling asleep and rolling onto the baby.

I don't think a midwife ever changed my baby's nappy after either cs, although they showed me how to the very first time. Luckily I could manage to do that myself, but if you can't it must be horrible.

All you can do is be prepared mentally for the lack of support, and try to get your dh or a family member to stay with you as much as they can.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sat 02-Aug-08 20:32:04

Had a section 6 weeks ago and the MW's and support staff were fantastic, cam every quickly when buzzed, there was only one who moaned and said, we do have an emergency you know, when I asked for her to get my screaming baby out of the cot and give him to me for me to feed.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sat 02-Aug-08 20:33:04

And yes was helped to have the first shower and they did change DS if asked.

PussinJimmyChoos Sat 02-Aug-08 20:36:00

I can remember asking a nurse to help me sit up so I could b'feed DS as bed wasn't those gadgety push a button and sit you up that some people had and her response - oh no dear, that's not part of our, I had to struggle to sit up....aftercare of a c section is pot luck imo! I was left on my own in the shower, blood on the sheets where I leaked and they forgot to change them and when I told them I found a cockroach in the bathroom, they looked at me as if to say and why the f**k is that my problem and stormed off.....

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Sat 02-Aug-08 20:39:59

on the first night, I slept with ds on my chest. Was told this wasn't a good idea as if I rolled over he'd fall out, but then she put sides of bed up and left us to it. Both of us slept happily, I didn't move a hair and neither did he.

Second night, ds Would Not Be Put Down. Would fall asleep, then wake 5mins after going in his crib beside bed. Spent half the night carting him out to various night staff going, "he's awake again". One of them had the wit to check and then change him - I sure didn't. blush

finally at 3am I gave him to charge nurse and got my head down for nearly three hours, until tea trolley arrived. when I woke he was asleep in crib beside me.

NO other help - not a speck. angry

eandh Sat 02-Aug-08 20:41:58

my experiences were very similar after my elective sections for both dd's

I did nappy changes at night (had electronic bed to help me sit up)

I did call for them to pass me dd and put her back for feeds (dd1 there was a nursery nurse on bay as whole bay was full of woman who had c sections)

with dd2 there were only 7 Mums between 3 wards who were staying in for the night (2 on my ward) lovely lovely sister saw how knackered I was and did all my night feeds for dd2 on the 2nd night (both ff) and just nudged me awake to say that as dd2 unsettled (didnt feed well and had been in scbu the 1st few hours of her life with suspected strep) she'd keep her crib with her and drew my curtain so I could see her (I had bed next to nurse station) also on my 3rd night in hospital she made me a lovely cup of tea around 2am when I was feeding dd2

Never had them in bed with me

Had a small overhead light that they put on

Had shower around 24hours after csection, after dd1 they got me up and sorted, dd2 I was begging as the catheter was almost falling out and I was desperate for a shower so as sson as breakfast was done they let me shower grin (dd1 was visiting that day and I wanted to look like Mummy so put jogging bottoms and tshirt on instead of pj's, washed and dried my hair andput make up on)

Tips - I think I felt 'better' after my 1st section, with dd2 I had alot of trapped wind and a cold (january baby) so everytime I coughed it pulled my stitches

DD1 did not like visiting me in hospital (she was 2.4) and got very upset when she had to leave without me and I wasnt prepared how upset that would make me

Enjoy your time to rest (it was almost back to normal as soon as we got home) with dd1 I had to stay a minimum of 72hours with dd2 they said I could go home less than 48hours after section shock

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