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Stupid C Section Questions I'm too embarrassed to ask my m/w!

(25 Posts)
sleepysox Sat 12-Sep-09 19:22:23

I've now done a bit of research into C sections, but I still have a few questions, if you don't mind.

1. How soon after can you have a bath?

2. Can you get the scar wet?

3. Will the scar be covered with melonin or similar?

4. How easy is it to breastfeed afterwards?

5.Will I have to feed on my side due to a sore scar?

6. Will they shave me before hand?blush

7. Someone once told me you had to removed all toe nail varnish before- is this right?

8. Is it painful when they put the catheter in? Is the tube really small enough to put in the urethra? Will they numb the area first?

I know they sound dumb questions, but most websites seem to skim over the practicalities.

Thanks

nickschick Sat 12-Sep-09 19:28:01

've now done a bit of research into C sections, but I still have a few questions, if you don't mind.

*ive had 3 !!!! and heres the answers to the best of my knowledge,

1. How soon after can you have a bath?,I waited until I was at home (day 3) because I didnt like the thought of a stranger being in before me and worried silly.

2. Can you get the scar wet?

yes

3. Will the scar be covered with melonin or similar?

after the op they covered it with a huge plaster thing then the next day they peeled it off

4. How easy is it to breastfeed afterwards?

I only breastfed ds1 but its as easy as you can make it,obviously its harder to move but just ask for help.

5.Will I have to feed on my side due to a sore scar?

they just encouraged you to feed whatever way suited you best

6. Will they shave me before hand?blush

Yes the nurse told me to have a shower and a wash with some special anti bac stuff then they shave you - its no big deal but you could do it beforehand if you were nimble enough with a baby in ya belly!!!

7. Someone once told me you had to removed all toe nail varnish before- is this right?

8. Is it painful when they put the catheter in? Is the tube really small enough to put in the urethra? Will they numb the area first?

its not painful its a weird feeling initially if they do it right then you feel nothing at all but when they dd mine awkwardly i felt like i was weeiing the whole time but its easy enough to put right if you feel uncomfortable.

I know they sound dumb questions, but most websites seem to skim over the practicalities.

*not dumb at all in fact 3 times now ive been amazed at how heavily i bled after when id assumed it would be minimal.

good luck xx

Thanks

MrsHappy Sat 12-Sep-09 19:28:28

1. I was allowed a bath on going home (3 days after the op) but don't put soap/shampoo into the water as that can irritate the wound. Ask your doctor when you are discharged.

2. yes

3. Don't know what that is!

4. Relatively easy. I had to cover my wound with a pillow because babies like to kick exactly on the cut! If you can feed lying down that is a good move I think.

5. Not need to, but it can be easy and nice.

6. They take off the top inch or so of your pubic hair. You could do it yourself before you go in to avoid the dry-bic-on-the-operating-table-experience.

7. Depends on the hospital but you may as well.

8. Not if you have your epidural first (which I would expect).

nickschick Sat 12-Sep-09 19:28:40

yes you do have to remove toe nail varnish

Wilts Sat 12-Sep-09 19:29:56

I used a V pillow and the 'rugby ball' hold to breastfeed Ds1 after my section, which made it much easier for me.

ShowOfHands Sat 12-Sep-09 19:30:01

Agreed.

And yes no nail varnish as they need to check the colour of your fingertips/nails to make sure you're all fine and dandy.

Didn't feel the catheter tbh!

ShowOfHands Sat 12-Sep-09 19:30:44

Oh and I exclusively bfed for 7 months, still feeding at 2.4. Deffo rugby hold here until my tummy felt better.

sleepysox Sat 12-Sep-09 20:52:38

Thanks for all your replies.

I'll definietly try and have a shave before I go in grin.

carrielou2007 Sat 12-Sep-09 21:45:36

I managed to miss my ecs as they were arguing about my toenail polish - I have gel set by UV light that will not come off just with nail polish remover. They kept on and one about it whilst waiting for bloods from top of dd's head results then decided they had no time so got out the salad spoons and scissors insted grin

I've been asking my neighbour very similar questions as she had a section 3weeks ago and doing the whole should I this time.

Will mark this thread with interest!!!!!

5inthebed Sat 12-Sep-09 21:54:18

I've had both emergency and elective but can't remember the emergency one well. Will try answer as best I can.

1. I would suggest a shower for the first few days as sitting/bending is quite painful

2. Yes you can get the scar wet, but make sure you dry it well.

3. Not sure what Melonin is.

4. Breastfeeding is better with the baby either on a V shaped cushion or holding like arugby ball

5. You can still feed sitting up. Being on your side might be more uncomfortable.

6. If you're having an elective, they will ask you to shave yourself beforehand. If an emergency one, they shave you if not already done.

7. They will remove your nail polish if you have any on.

8. You can't feel the catheter going in as you'll be numb from the bump down. Doesn't hurt coming out either.

Hope this all helps, and sorry if I've repeated anything.

Sycamoretreeisvile Sat 12-Sep-09 21:56:57

Sleepysox - don't worry about shaving - honestly, the mw do it in a heart beat and you don't know how low to go, and you probably won't be able to do it well enough with your baby in the way an all that.

They put what's called a pressure bandage on your scar. It's so tough it almost feels like plaster...it's secure to have it.

You can have a shower straight away but they say try not to get it wet day one if you can help it.

No, the catheter does not hurt AT ALL. It's just a mildly strange sensation.

BF'ing will be tougher if you have a heavy baby - mine were both around 10lbs. Have your DH/DP on hand and insist you get your baby on the breast within half an hour of coming out of theatre.

You will be being monitored and will have a big cuff on your arm which is inflated and deflating. Whilst it inflates, you will not be able to hold your baby properly so have your partner on hand to take the weight. I'm so glad I did this with DS as DD had been emergency c-seciton and so much went wrong the BF'ing just never worked out.

I don't think it would be comfy to BF on your side with a fresh c-scar.

You need either a v cushion or feeding cushion.

Oh, and take your own pillow with you smile wink

Good luck.

Sycamoretreeisvile Sat 12-Sep-09 21:59:53

Hospital shaved me for both emergency and for elective sections, so I guess it differs from hospital to hospital - bottom line is just please don't worry it smile

Chynah Sun 13-Sep-09 14:22:05

1. How soon after can you have a bath?
I did showers but had first one the next morning.

2. Can you get the scar wet?
I used to let the water runover scar then pat dry.

3. Will the scar be covered with melonin or similar?
May have some sort of dressing to begin with - this was removed next morning and then nothing.

4. How easy is it to breastfeed afterwards?
Fine - shouldn't be a problem but get a good cusion.
5.Will I have to feed on my side due to a sore scar?
No feed anyway you like just put a cushion over your scar.

6. Will they shave me before hand?
Best off shaving yourself or getting hubby to do it - you dont need to do it all just the top few cms.

7. Someone once told me you had to removed all toe nail varnish before- is this right?
They look at your toenails as a guide to your oxygen levels in theatre therefore they dont like polish on.
8. Is it painful when they put the catheter in? Is the tube really small enough to put in the urethra? Will they numb the area first?
You will probably have had the spinal first so wont feel a thing.

llandb Wed 16-Sep-09 14:52:58

They didn't remove my toe nail varnish before ECS (unsure whether they forgot or didn't have time!) - it's possible that because it was a low-key or close-to-my-own-flesh-tone colour they didn't notice it. The recovery ward Dr was surprised that it was there; it took her a while to spot it - she went looking because apparently it interfered with the pulse measuring thingy that was clipped on my toe, so they had to clip it on my hand instead, which was a PITA for eating

Also strongly recommend taking a cup/bottle you can drink from while lying down, and slippers you can walk into without having to bend down and use your hands (for when you need the loo/have to get your own food during the time in between removing the catheter and letting you go home)

Good luck!

Catitainahatita Thu 17-Sep-09 00:00:47

I think all points have been covered here.
I'd just add, from experience, that post c-section the most comfy way to bf, with or wihout a cushion, is in a hard backed chair. It'll keep you supported during the whole thing, so no sagging on the wound. Plus, getting up from a hard chair is easier than a soft one.
Only for a week or so mind, after that it's comfy chairs all the way....
For this reason, I wouldn't recommend trying to feed lying down, unless you have Dp or someone on hand or call if you need to get up or move. You can't sit up holding the baby..... it would hurt a lot, to say the least.

Oh and, I would go for showers rather than baths in the first couple of days. I wouldn't fancy trying get out of the bath, tbh. It's a long way up!

sandcastles Thu 17-Sep-09 03:30:12

You have to remove all nail varnish as the colour of the skin underneath your nails is a good indicator of your oxygen levels.

nooka Thu 17-Sep-09 05:42:22

I'd shave before hand if you can - it's only a little bit off the top. I remember feeling rather humiliated when I was shaved, in full view of everyone and with a dry BIC type razor. Small beer compared with what lots of people experience mind, but it did stick in my mind.

As others have said baths are difficult logistically until your tummy has healed up a bit, because getting up pulls on your abdomen. I'd recommend getting some lavender oil though, I used it to soothe both my scar and my nipples (and it's a very relaxing smell). I used calendular cream on my nipples too, which seemed to help avoid problems (or I was just lucky, who knows).

I only had a cuff on during the operation, and didn't find breastfeeding too difficult afterwards, but the v-shaped cushions are excellent (also make sure you go in with one of two for you - hospital beds are not comfy)

smallone Thu 17-Sep-09 09:28:38

I'd had an emcs after a long labour.

1. How soon after can you have a bath?
- had bed bath within hours (sounds horrible but it was so nice to feel clean and nurses very nice and let you do bits yourself) Then showered next day. Didn't have a bath for about a week coz was difficult to climb in and out.

2. Can you get the scar wet?
- Yes was told to wet the dressing in the shower the next day and peel it off. The sooner it comes off the faster it heals apparently.

3. Will the scar be covered with melonin or similar?
- a very sticky thick white plaster

4. How easy is it to breastfeed afterwards?
- feeding itself wasn't uncomfortable but it was difficult to reach over and pick dd up. I worked out a method of raising the bed to the same height as her cot and sort of sliding her across. MW's or visitors will help.

5.Will I have to feed on my side due to a sore scar?
- I didn't but its handy to learn as many positions from the mw's while you're in hosp.

6. Will they shave me before hand?
- they didn't shave me, I had trimmed the hair short before hand with clippers and where they cut was about 1cm above my pubic hair line, so there was no chance of hair being in the way. Don't know if they would have done more if it hadn't been an emcs.

7. Someone once told me you had to removed all toe nail varnish before- is this right?
- you need a pulse/blood ox meter on either fingers, toes or ear. Nail varnish stops it working properly.

8. Is it painful when they put the catheter in? Is the tube really small enough to put in the urethra? Will they numb the area first?
- They put my catheter in while the spinal was taking hold, didn't realise what they were doing til afterwards, I hated having it in once the feeling had come back but it was just weird rather than uncomfortable. Didn't hurt to come out either.

manitz Sun 20-Sep-09 09:26:38

hi, everyone seems to ahve answered your q's thought i would add a couple of things i noticed. i have had two cs and first one was elective, they expected me to have shaved beforehand so she did it quickly with a dry bic. i had pubes in my first baby's first clothes for ever afterwards. didn't make for good photos. i would take slipons that you can wear over support stockings as i took flip flops but you can't get them between your toes. also huge pants the biggest m&s pillowcase type size 22 was great. i took my biggest pants at the time and they cut right into the scar.

finally bf was fine but with my elective cs dd didn't latch on well and was my first so no idea how to get her latched on. didn't realise she only needed a teaspoon of colostrum so with ds i hand expressed and cup fed until his latch improved. i believe that with the elective my milk didn't really come in so the first few feeds would have been vital. babies were really sleepy compared to vaginal births cos of the drugs. also is difficult to get them out of the cot and into bed with a scar i found so once out i tended to keep them on my chest rather than do lots of awkward lifting.
first hossy i got lactulose but second i didn't and i now have a small rectal prolapse because of straining when muscles are weak imo. i would ask them what their policy is as going to the loo is quite a stumbling block initially and a bit of lactulose helps, think your bowels go on strike after your innards have been handled. wind is an issue and painful also so take peppermint tea too, have been told peppermint oil more effective.

on a more positive and fragrant note. i have extremely pleasant memories of my cs's which were much better than a 3rd degree tear and subsequent surgery in my vbac. if it's elective you aren't even tired which is a massive plus. oh also going up and down stairs was tricky with no1, i got two changing areas so i only did it once a day.

LeonieSoSleepy Sun 20-Sep-09 09:36:09

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LeonieSoSleepy Sun 20-Sep-09 09:39:12

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sleepysox Mon 21-Sep-09 11:19:15

Thanks for all these additional replies.
I'll investigate buying some lactulose over the counter I think grin

I had already bought a 'Thrupenny bits'nursing cushion that was recommended on MN somewhere, so I'll pack it into my hosp bag.

Bought some peppermint tea the other day and some arnica, so I think I'm all set now.

Thanks for all your advice. I'm feeling much more positive now that i have some idea of what it's going to be like afterwards.

cheesesarnie Mon 21-Sep-09 11:21:39

everyones answered your questions but i just wanted to say goodlucksmile

jo1rich Tue 22-Sep-09 11:22:57

having my 3rd c-section next thurs. My biggest fear 2nd time around was being catheterised before my spinal - spinal went in 1st so I didn't feel a thing - yay. Also, I'm allowed toenail varnish but not fingernail varnish - not that it's particularly easy to paint toenails anymore, with what feels like a medicine ball attached to my front.
The one thing I didn't consider 1st time around was the vaginal loss afterwards - naiveley assumed that as baby came out of sunroof that everything else did to - didn't occur that other stuff would come out from downstairs - so you will still need industrial pads and either dispo pants or just cheap cotton knickers you don't mind throwing away.
Re - shaving - if you can do it - do it yourself - maintaining bikini line at this stage is a bit of a hit or miss affair in my experience.
You will be absolutely fine - just don't try and do to much afterwards and don't be frightened to ask your visitors to help - be it to make a brew or to change a nappy, just ask.
The one thing I will say is that I do not feel that I have missed out on anything or feel any less of a woman not having delivered 'naturally', it was the best decision for myself and my children.
Good luck x

sleepysox Tue 22-Sep-09 16:05:07

Thanks jo1rich, cheese sarnie and everyone else.

I feel grateful to be having a C section, as my son is way too big to be delivered naturally. I'm glad they're not making me be induced. My perineum hasn't recovered from DS1!!!

Thanks for all your support. I don't know what I'd do without MN atm tbh.

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