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C-section questions

(11 Posts)
Benjy Wed 15-Jul-09 08:56:25

I am due to have an elective section in a few weeks time and having read some old threads on c-sections, I have some questions:

How many pairs of big knickers did you need? What make is particularly good?

How many nightdresses/pyjamas did you need for the hospital? I will probably be in for 3 nights.

Should I take additional pain relief with me? Is it ok to take paracetamol alongside the medication they give you if they are late dispensing drugs?

Any tips on removing the dressing?

Did you prefer a threaded stitch or staples?

Are baths ok once I'm at home? Or is recovery better with fewer infections if you shower?

When will I be able to lift DD? She will be 13 months and about 22Ib?


heron22 Wed 15-Jul-09 09:10:56

hi, i have had 2 elective sections and here are my answers to your questions

knickers - i bought the triump brand, and was very happy with them. during the first week, i would suggest you get some disposables.

i was in for a week and was breastfeeding. i needed to change my pjs every day.

yes paracetamol is ok to take with the meds they will give you. diclofenac is a top drug. make sure they give it to you.

i did not have any dressing on my scar. i had threaded stitch which was so easily removed on the 5th day.

yes it was ok to have a bath or shower, no difference.

please do not lift your DD for at least a month. to make sure you heal properly. you can cuddle etc.

good luck!

bigcar Wed 15-Jul-09 11:03:47

I bought 2 packs of 4 pairs of knickers, just cheapy asda ones and they were fine.

I had 3 nighties, didn't want pjs rubbing against wound. That was just personal choice some women with cs had pjs and were fine.

Check first, if their medication is paracetamol (it was at my hospital) based then you shouldn't take any yourself. Diclofenac worked well for me too smile

soak dressing well in the shower before trying to remove if it's the really sticky dressing rather than just a bit of tape.

I had a threaded stitch with my first cs removed painlessly on day 5 and disolvable stitches for the second, both were fine.

I've had advice both ways! I chose to shower, but have heard others soak with essential oils (can't remember which ones) and it's supposed to help the healing.

Lifting really depends on how you're feeling, would say definitely not for first couple of weeks at least. It might help now if you could teach her to do things you won't be able to lift her for after the cs, like climbing into her carseat etc.

hth and good luck smile

bigcar Wed 15-Jul-09 11:08:06

Oh, and after shower/bath dry the wound with a hairdrier on a low heat setting, saves any rubbing/irritation from towels and makes sure it is properly dry. Sounds dead glam doesn't it but it does work grin

kitstwins Wed 15-Jul-09 13:41:18

My answers:-

Big knickers are great as the waistbands of them sit well above your scarline. Anything that is vaguely close to the area of your scar can feel really, really uncomfortable. I was very tender around my scar and couldn't bear anything near it. Big knickers were great and the bonus of a giant pack of cheap ones was that if they got disastrously messy from the lochia or a leaking pad you could just chuck them in the bin. I also used disposable knickers for the first couple of days. They're paper and you chuck them out after use and they're also good for circulating air around your scar, which helps with healing. I bought cheapy packs from M&S. I think I bought twenty or so pairs in the end.

I took nightdresses as I don't like pyjamas (I never normally wear anthing in bed) and also the thought of faffing with waistbands post-op was too much. I changed my nightdress every day and had a spare for any leaking episodes, which I didn't actually have.

You can take paracetamol on top of the pain med. My TOP TIP is to be on top of your pain relief. Get it before the previous medication wears off rather than having to chase it as it's much harder to kill pain this way. I had drugs every four hours and three and a half hours before I would ring my buzzer and ask for my medication. I had a grim caesarean and GA so I needed extra pain medication so I'd also say that if you're in pain and the current meds aren't really touching the sides then ask for extra. They have lots of different sorts that they can offer you and some people need stronger painkillers. Some caesareans are harder than others and some people react to the surgery and healing in different ways. If it hurts, don't be "brave" and struggle on. Far better to get some extra painkillers and enjoy your time with your baby.

My midwife made me remove the dressing the day after. I think as a psychological trick really as she wouldn't do it for me (although I begged her as I was terrified of ripping open). I think she wanted to show me that my scar wasn't something to be scared off and wouldn't burst open like a horror film. In the end I took it off after my shower - soaked the sticky bandage with soapy water and inched it off when it was damp. It didn't hurt, but because it was an adhesive bandage and stuck to the skin I went slowly. My husband helped.

I had a threaded stitch which I'm really pleased with as I've a very tidy, neat scar. They pulled it out on day 4 or 5 (can't remember) and it didn't hurt, although again I was in a complete panic about it.

Baths are fine and can be quite nice when you're tired and a bit strung out post-birth. Put some tea tree oil or lavender oil in the bath as these are antiseptic and antifungal (tea tree oil is better but you can mix both - say six or seven drops of tea tree and two or three of lavender). Avoid harshly scented soaps or bubble baths, etc. Dry your wound really carefully as damp conditions can encourage infection. My midwife encouraged me to use a hairdryer on a cold setting to dry it but my consultant went berserk when I told him as he basically said that I'd be blasting the gunk and fluff from the hairdryer filter into my scar and it was much better to use a clean flannel or towel to dry it and give it some 'air time' as often as I could. I did this - avoided the hairdryer and lay with my tummy exposed for half an hour here and there - and never got an infection in spite of having a haematoma behind my scar (blood clot - great breeding ground for infection apparently!).

I wouldn't lift anything for a good few weeks. You'll know when it feels right but I'd be surprised if you could do much before four weeks. Although the scar and underlying muscles/uterus are superficially healed after three weeks it's only surface healing and the area is still very tender and weak and so straining the area should be avoided.

I had a rubbish, complicated caesarean (quite a rare combination of events so don't worry) and still felt absolutely crap and poleaxed at 3 weeks post-op. I literally struggled to get to the end of my road. However, literally one morning I woke up at 3 1/2 weeks and felt like a different person. Presumably everything had just finally knitted together. I do remember it being literally overnight though and quite odd. I'd been an old lady the night before and then the next day I was around 80% my old self. Continuing with the percentages, I felt 90% at 4 weeks post op and then 100% 6 weeks post op. By 12 weeks post op I started running again and things felt absolutely fine.

Good luck. My two top tips are to take all the pain meds you need and also to take some Andrex moist loo roll (the loo wipes you can get in the supermarket). They're an absolute godsend for post birth loo trips when you haven't got the energy or stomach muscles for complicated clear-up jobs. There's a lot of lochia and gunk post birth and these things really helped clean me up with minimal effort.

HOpe this all helps.

meep Wed 15-Jul-09 13:50:19

bigcar I saw on another thread on here that you should not dry your scar with a hairdryer as it blasts all sorts of dirt etc into the wound.

big knickers - buy cheap and black - 2 packs - you will be wearing them once home as well.

As well as PJs I also took in stretchy black trousers/leggings for wearing during the day. But you need something fresh each day due to heat of hospital and hormonal sweating (lovely!)

Part of the pain relief I got in hospital was paracetomal. If they are late ring your buzzer.

In my hospital they get you into the shower as soon as you can to take the dressing off. Aim shower directly at it and slowly peel it off. It doesn't hurt - the thought of it is worse.

I had a threaded stitch both times - was also in a panic when they took it out but you don't feel a thing!

Baths are fine if you have the time to have one with a newborn grin!

I would lift when you feel ready. My dd was bout 20mo when dd2 arrived and I avoided lifting for about 2 weeks and thereafter only did it when I really had to.

Good luck!

Sunshinemummy Wed 15-Jul-09 14:01:08

Kinckers - I bought two packs of Asda cheap ones. They weren't big but had such a soft waist band they didn't irritate my scar at all.

Nightwear - I took two nightdresses. If you're planning to breastfeed it's handy to have ones that button up the front.

Meds - I didn't take any additional meds and didn't need them either.

Dressing - I think a midwife took mine off. I don't remember it hurting too much. Water always helps though.

Stitches - Again I'm not sure on this one but mine were disolvable (I've had two CS, one EMCS and one elective) so didn't need removing.

Baths - I think I had them fairly quickly. I got really constipated when I came home after the second one and baths helped.

Lifting - DS was a little older (2.5) so he didn't need carrying as much, but when he wanted a cuddle I would either sit down or get on the floor. I was lifting things after about a week though with no problems.

MrsHappy Wed 15-Jul-09 21:12:09

Knickers - I had 4 pairs of random giant granny pants from M&S. They were fine.

I would get 3 nighties/pjs ready. I sweat a lot during night feeds! Just take 1 with you and get your DH to bring more the next day. Get up and dressed in the day as it will help you feel normal again.

No to additional pain relief. Some of the things they give you may well have paracetomol in and you don't want to OD.

Take your dressing off in the shower. It won't be as bad as you fear, honestly!

Don't know re staples. I've only had a continuous stitch.

Baths are fine. I've had abdominal surgery a couple of times and they always tell me to wait 48 hours before going in the bath, so by the time you get out of the hospital it should be fine. But make sure you don't use soap/shampoo in the bath as that can hurt.

I'd wait at least couple of weeks before lifting a child of that weight.


bodiddly Wed 15-Jul-09 21:24:22

I wouldn't bother with the paracetamol to be honest - they gave me voltarol suppositories for the first 2 days which although they sound grim are the fastest way for your body to absorb the medicine. The woman in the bed next to me had already had 3 cs and asked for extra drugs and for them to take the baby to the nursery for the first night - she was far more forceful in getting what she wanted whereas I didnt really even have a clue what planet I was on! Don't be afraid to ask for help ... noone is really going to offer otherwise!

bodiddly Wed 15-Jul-09 21:26:01

As far as lifting etc is concerned don't do it even if you feel like it - the less you do the better. I know quite a few people that thought they felt better so started doing stuff and they then had problems and it took them longer to recover long term.

Benjy Thu 16-Jul-09 12:50:43

Thank you for your replies. I feel more prepared now!

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