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Packed for natural delivery - now being booked for C Section. What do I need or need to know now.

(27 Posts)
missnevermind Sun 26-Jun-11 14:22:38

That's it really, this is DC4 the others have been (almost) straight forward natural births. This one is going to be a planned section due mainly to being a feet first breach, but with other complications, which are nothing on their own but it all adds up.

So bags have been packed for straightforward birth.
What do I need to pack extra? Swap for other things? What happens about a shower and skin to skin?
That sort of thing.

mum2JRC Sun 26-Jun-11 14:55:41

Had Emergency C-sections for both mine so packed for vaginal delivery both times!
You will be in a couple of days so pack extra clothes for you and baby. Lots more nappies and pads for you in the bag.
Big disposable knickers that will go over your wound as otherwise it rubs on your scar.
I showered within 24 hours both times. They did one of those spray plasters on my wound so it is waterproof. 2nd time I had a drain in two and could still shower.
Skin to skin not a problem. I did it as soon as I was back from theatre to get BF going.

Keep up with the regular analgesia and try to not do too much once home which i think might be hard if you have 3 other children at home

Hope it all goes well smile

PrinceHumperdink Sun 26-Jun-11 14:57:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Sun 26-Jun-11 15:03:35

Skin to skin happens once you get into recovery, although speak to the midwife who will be with you about what is possible in theatre while they are stitching you up.
DS2 was wrapped and then brought to me so he could sniff me, and then DH cuddled him next to my face for half an hour. DS2 was tucked into bed with me to be wheeled out of theatre.

Take nighties not pjs. Easier for while your catheter is still in, and you may find bending difficult so better to have things that go on and off over your head at least to start with.

Take your painkillers. Once it starts to hurt it is hard to get it under control again.

Do as little as possible for at least a week. My Mum (and Dad) ran my house and DH looked after me and DS1, and I looked after DS2. It worked very well.

I was showered within 12 hours, mainly because I was starving, ate too quickly and vomited all over myself, DS2, my bed etc etc. It felt amazing once I had done it - ask for help getting there if you need it. Someone can come in with you to pass you things and help you with a fresh pad and knickers if you need it.

Good luck smile I was terrified (had EMCS with DS1 but was so out of it I had no idea what was going on really) but it went really well and it was an enjoyable birth experience.

PegPolkadot Sun 26-Jun-11 15:07:34

Take a pillow for the journey home. Place it between your tummy and the lap belt.

Enraha Sun 26-Jun-11 15:17:25

I would't bother with disposable knickers, they are very uncomfortable and scratchy. Just buy a big pack of black granny knickers which will be helpful over next six weeks in any case. Truly grotty ones can be binned blush. Nice shower gel and flip flops. I had a pre-birth and post-birth bag to cater for the very different halves of the stay. I was in for 3 days. ear plugs. Camera to keep with you.

mumblebum Sun 26-Jun-11 15:19:27

The main thing is that you'll be staying in longer so just need more of everything. Take a couple of binbags to send washing home in. Take paper and pen so you can write lists for people to bring stuff in for you.

The most important thing is not to overdo things once you get out. You need to rest and recover.

Wormshuffler Sun 26-Jun-11 15:28:15

Use the bed up and down buttons if working
Ring the bell to get the baby passed to you.
A couple of flannels, for the post op itchiness
Something for wind (google this the wind pain is nasty).
Slip on shoes to go home in, you wont be able to get down to do them up.

missnevermind Sun 26-Jun-11 16:37:29

Thanks everybody.
This is the sort of thing I need to know!

Not speaking to consultant until Wednesday, so anything you can tell me is more than I already know!

missnevermind Sun 26-Jun-11 16:41:37

I read somewhere that the tena lady pant were worth it?
I am a big girl so having trouble finding BIG pants that are even bigger for comfort might be difficult. I will have to squeeze in a trip to M&S or Evans this week.

mumblebum Sun 26-Jun-11 16:58:20

Don't bother with paper pants. Get some cheap granny knickers that pull up well over the scar.

My wound got infected after my cs and then the MW then advised me to wash it well with the shower, give it a good blast at least once a day and not be afraid of it, so don't worry about washing it. I wish I'd known that from the start I was being very careful of it.

sprinkles77 Sun 26-Jun-11 17:02:43

agree with big pants, not disposeables, something that will come way above your scar. in at least 2 sizes bigger than normal (you will have some swelling after). Also clothes to wear that don't irritate the scar: loose dress or loose maternity trousers. Dressing gown for the ward. Ask for skin to skin to happen in theatre, before they take you down.... DS was on my chest under my gown while they were stitching me up. Magical! Lots of sanitary towels: ones with wings for your pants, ones without to stick under the waist band of your pants to take the pressure off the scar and to soak up any ooze once the dressing is off (a bit of ooze is OK, its the tissue fluid draining). Phone charger. ear plugs. I got visitors to bring me food cos hospital food so shit... sarnies and cold things.

AJH2007 Sun 26-Jun-11 17:42:36

All good tips - there is also a great thread over in Childbirth called "if you are having a caesarean" - definitely worth checking out. Am a first timer booked for ELCS next week unless breech baby can be turned in the meantime.

Panzee Sun 26-Jun-11 17:48:38

Skin-to-skin didn't occur to me at the time but when the midwife brought him round for a quick look before the weighing and checks she touched him to my cheek. smile

InvaderZim Sun 26-Jun-11 20:34:40

I was really tender after my EMCS and I would say dresses or nighties, ones you can BF in if you are planning on it! Trousers are still kind of bothersome to my scar 8 months later. sigh

missnevermind Mon 27-Jun-11 07:32:37

Ok. So I have a nightshirt for straight after delivery and 2 nightdresses for the ward.
I have packed Arnica.
I can only wear my sandals at the moment so I have my slip on shoes (no bending)
Shopping list, something for the wind, more knickers (feel as though I am obsessed ).

Anything else?

How long did you all stay in?

lizandlulu Mon 27-Jun-11 11:08:53

missnevermind try bon marche for big pants. i am 18-20 (or was!) and got some from there. they go up to about 24-26 i think.

missnevermind Mon 27-Jun-11 16:46:52

Thanks Lizandlulu I ended up in Evans but they had a sale on so I had a couple of packs of 24-26s. I am usually a 20 so I hope I made the right decision.
I also treated myself to a beautiful long jersey dressing gown in Marks and some new perfume.
So that's the essentials covered wink

HappyAsASandboy Mon 27-Jun-11 18:45:16

I was astounded by how effective peppermint tea was for the wind after my section. I was begging the midwife for pain releif, but I'd already had all I was allowed. She brought me peppermint tea. I was spectacularly unimpressed, but drank it cos it tasted good. When she popped back 20 mins later and asked how I was, I wondered why she was checking as I'd forgotten I had been so sore!

I'd pack baby wipes for you. Good for wiping itchy bits, hot bits, dry bits, wet bits .... so many uses!

And a sports cap bottle to drink from in a semi reclining position. And undiluted squash to make up with water while you're there. The jug on your table will get warm and horrid quickly as they keep the wards at about 300 degrees.

Pillows. I had 3 of my own in the end, plus two fromthe hospital. They help prop you comfortably, and can stay in the car until you want them.

Also a notebook and pen. I found it hard to remember things and so DH would write in it when he was coming back, and I could write things I wanted him to bring as I thought of them, and could write questions for midwives etc.

I was in Wed am for planned section at 9.30, and left at 4.30 on Friday afternoon.

Good luck :-)

PrincessJenga Mon 27-Jun-11 19:00:27

I've never had a C-Section, but I did have similar abdominal surgery last year and my only advice is do not, under any circumstances, let anyone make you laugh for at least a week! Warn your DH now! Believe me, you do not want a fit of the giggles.

I have friends who swear by a 'cesarean belt', a kind of protective thing you wear over the scar that meant they didn't worry about being kicked by other children and helped them be able to hold baby without worrying about the scars. Example here

missnevermind Mon 27-Jun-11 19:48:22

Remembered to pick up the pepermint tea too!

OneHelluvaBroad Mon 27-Jun-11 19:56:35

Re: skin-to-skin

Some hospitals are more progressive than others on this, but speak to the consultant and if it is important to you, get him/her to make a note of your wishes in your maternity notes. Midwives and other HPs will be loathe to go against the directions of the consultant.

I was able to have skin-to-skin almost immediately after my second elective section. They whisked baby away for a couple of minutes (but within my line of sight) to give her a quick check, then straight back to me and on to my chest (with DH next to me to keep me steady, as felt a bit wobbly!).

Then lots of skin-to-skin and breastfeeding as soon as we were in recovery (30 mins after birth, roughly).

I only have an emergency section to compare it to, but my elective was lovely - a bit daunting being in theatre and had a few tears and nerves just before they got started, but honestly, it was great after that - pain free, serene, lovely. best day of my life grin

I second enormous, cotton pants and loose comfy clothes (I had huge PJ bottoms that came right up over my tum, and a button down nightie over the top to breastfeed in). Also peppermint tea (that wind thing is weird...I thought I was having a heart attack!), and find out what your hospital's policy is on pain relief. Recovery after my second section was a lot better because they took pain relief seriously and offered co-codomol 4 hours and an option of morphine for the first 36 hours (some people hate it, but I bloody loved the stuff!).

Good luck - very exciting!

OneHelluvaBroad Mon 27-Jun-11 19:57:46

p.s. I was in for 48 hours on the nose after my second section, so not long at all, really. You don't need to pack your kitchen sink, honestly!

Catsycat Mon 27-Jun-11 20:31:56

I had two emergency CS with my two DC.

I'm a size 18 (normally, when not pregnant), and found Tesco "Full Briefs" aka granny knickers, very generous and came up very high over the belly, totally missing the scar, even with a giant maternity pad. Really, don't go the paper knicker route. Cheap cotton knickers are not much more than buying disposables, and I never needed to throw any away, just blitzed them in the wash!

Remember something nice and loose and fitting above the scar for going home in too.

Ask the consultant if they can swab out as much blood as possible during the op - they didn't at Cheltenham, and there was a big gush when I stood up which was a bit horrible (happened for all the CS girls on the ward!!!). At Warwick they did swab it out, and it was much more manageable!

I had skin to skin while being stitched - tell them if you want this in case they aren't progressive, or don't realise you want it.

Talk to the consultant about pain relief - at Cheltenham I had codeine. I was in agony. At Warwick, they gave oral morphine and I had so little pain, I was out of recovery at 1pm, walking down to the day room to make tea at 10pm. I was a bit worried about morphine, but honestly it didn't have any noticeable effect except the pain relief. Had lunch right after recovery as I was starving and felt loads better! (Had a light salad). Ask for help if you are in pain - don't be brave!!!

To change the baby's nappies, I used my electric bed to lift the baby so I didn't need to bend.

I showered next day - and OMG how much better does that make you feel!! I used tea tree shower gel (you can get this from Holland and Barratt) as I was completely paranoid about infections! I was told this can put babies off BF, but DD1 didn't BF, DD2 did - I don't think it made a difference.

Don't fear the scar. I had to take off my dressing in the shower both times. The water make it easier to take off. I just kind of didn't look, as I'm very squeamish! They cut through your nerves during the op, so just pat it very gently dry after washing and you will hardly feel a thing! After a couple of months the scar is nothing major, after a year it is just a faint silver line.

If you feel too poorly to get out of bed to get your baby etc, don't feel bad about ringing the bell for the midwife, even if you have to keep doing it. I found a kind of roll onto my side, and push up, then lower the bed made getting up more manageable.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll do fine.

WhipMeIndiana Mon 27-Jun-11 20:40:35

I had a planned section, very smooth and relaxing, afterwards I immediately sat up and bf, everyone v polite, went up to ward, stuck in bed till spinal wears off and catheter taken out then up and about, moderate/strong pain in first few hours, MWs v busy so had to wait sometimes for pain relief, also frustrating couldnt pick baby up/ move to check if baby hot/cold etc.

glad I took some nice carton juice to drink, and choc to munch; and wish Id taken a longer nightie, mine was a bit short <thanks matalan sale> loads of other peoples DH/DP everywhere the whole time, obv. and it just seems a bit harder to stay dignified.

compared to my 'natural' birth it was far far better- good luck!

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