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C-section. Help please!(23 Posts)
I have just been told today that I am likely to need a c-section. What happens during an elective c-section? Does anyone feel like sharing their experiences of what they are like?
Dd was a planned section but then became an emergency one so quite rushed. But they wheeled me into theatre and out the epidural in. I remember it being absolutely freezing in there and you are only wearing the delightful gown and stockings. When the lay you down they start pretty much straight away. It feels like lots of pushing and pressing on your chest, lots of tugging as well. And that's pretty much it. If u aren't squeamish look up at the lights in the ceiling, you can see what they are doing in the stainless steel bits I love a bit of gore!
Dh is at your head end and if I remember rightly he went with dd while I was stitched up and then into recovery.
They did the first cut at 11.27pm and she was out at 11.28pm! It was all on the board
Only downside is because you've had surgery there's no tea or toast only sips of water.
Was able to breast feed straight away, just needed help getting her to me.
Ds was a forceps delivery before that and her delivery and my recovery was so much easier.
Good luck and congratulations
I had a planned section last time, this was the procedure -
I saw a consultant a couple of days beforehand and got a couple of pills I had to take the night before (can't remember what for, routine stuff). We were first on the operating schedule so had to be at the hospital for about 7.30am I think, but this was great as there was no waiting around. I had to get changed into a gown, and DP got a gown to put on too. Then he had to stay in a side room while I was taken through to be given the epidural. For some reason they don't let partners into the theatre until this bit is done. Administering the epidural was uncomfortable because you have to kind of hunch forward for ages while they fiddle around with your back and it's a weird position, but once this is done it's much more relaxed. There are quite a few people in the room, but they should explain who they all are. They screen what they're doing with a sheet, and will hand you the baby straight away.
Both my c sections, emergency and planned, were very calm and unstressful in themselves. The main thing I remember is feeling very spaced out by the medication for quite a while afterwards. They discovered a serious health issue with DS2 once he was born (nothing to do with the cesarean) and I remember feeling weirdly distant from what was going on for quite a while. With DS1 though I breastfed immediately and recovered quickly.
Just doing bedtime so this'll have to be quick but mine were both very relaxed civilsed experiences. No screaming, great drugs and a much easier recovery than I expected.
I had to go to hospital for about 7am. Nil by mouth from midnight the night before except for water to take the ranitidine with at 6am (antacid, can't remember why you have to take it). There is an elective list and they triage that and decide what order you will go in but emergency sections will go in ahead where necessary.
Then you wait, you get given a gown and fitted for dvt socks. You have a canula put in your hand and when you're ready you walk to theatre. I got v anxious and my blood pressure dropped and I felt like I was going to faint so was wheeled up and lay on my side in theatre for the epidural.
Once the anasthetic was working the surgical team ran through some sort of fact checking spiel that they have to go through then got started. Op quite straightforward, no pain but you can feel pressure and movement. Cs babies don't always cry immediately. DS2 didn't and the midwife was going to me 'he's fine he's fine he's fine' until I could see him/he was crying.
Lost a bit of blood so felt pretty yucky afterwards and looked a bit grey the next 12 hrs or so but they did give me some of my own blood back and some saline, I think. I mentioned that I felt a bit sick after and they gave me an anti sickness jab which worked immediately. Was glad I did as another poor woman came in after me who felt sick and then started being sick - best to avoid after surgery I think. I didn't feel like this with myfirst CS though.
Forgot to say you'll have a catheter put in in thr operating theatre I think. They like to try and get them out quite quickly afterwards as it's better for you to start moving sooner. I had to do the first few wees into a cardboard pot so they can check output but that might not be the same everywhere.
My hospital gave instructions about how to shave beforehand. But these things differ from place to place I think.
Sorry for the essay! Hope it helps! Good luck!
Each hospital has its own procedures and you should ask the consultant about beforehand so you don't have any nasty surprises. In my local hospital (that was 9 years ago so might have changed) they wizzed my Ds2 to another room to weigh and change him (whilst I was being stitched up) whereas in the different hospital where I had ds1 (11 years ago) they dressed him in the surgery room so he was in my sight the entire time, this was much better than with DS2. DH went with him and took lots of pictures.
Thank you for the experiences. This is reassuring. Does anyone else have experience of breastfeeding after a section as this is something I still really want to do? Even if the rest of the birth plan goes out the window!
I bf after my forst EMCS and my second ELCS. First time round my milk took longer to come in and my son had a tongue tie, so it was very hard but we persevered for 19 months. Second time has been much easier and milk supply seems more stable.
Hello! I breastfed after my section no problem (despite dire warnings from my Nct teacher that I probably would have difficukty). I wanted to be skin to skin with my son after he was born but felt too sick after the op so my husband held the baby instead. I was able to see him from the position I was lying in. So it was about 45 mins while they stitched me up (flew by) and then into recovery room where the midwife lay my son on me. He started rooting straight away which was great & I had no problems feeding. Until my scar was healed I fed him in the rugby ball hold. Good luck! I had my section last year, it was a great experience.
Really hope I don't have any problems feeding then. Fingers firmly crossed for that. Just wondering my physio has given me a tubigrip thing for SPD. Would I be able to wear that after the birth as support for the scar? Or is it too tight and close fitting? Don't want to risk infection.
I had a planned section for DD1. I was gutted to not get a chance at a natural labour but we talked through some of the things we wanted in advance; own music, lowering the screen to see the moment of birth, skin to skin right away for my partner. The theatres staff were really supportive and encouraging. My partner was with me during the spinal block insertion but unfortunately I had a reaction to it and it ended up as a crash section. It took them just 4 minutes to get the baby out
and a lot longer to sew me up again after . DP was happily snuggling the new baby the whole time next to my head.
Feeding was a bit tricky as it took my milk forever to come in but I think that's because DD and I were both in a funny kind of physical shock with the whole thing. She was 38 weeks but I think she'd have happily cooked for a few more weeks. If I end up with a planned section again this time I'm going to start trying to express in the days leading up to the op to see if that helps things along.
Recovery for me was super quick and I was up and walking within 24 hours, discharged after 2 nights and doing short walks outside within days. My tip would be to take your painkillers very regularly for the first 3-4 days so that you stay on top of the pain as if you let them lapse thinking you are fine it creeps up on you and hurts like mad.
Oh and get some of those cheap light cotton supermarket grannie pants that come up to your waist so that the scar is protected but not rubbed.
As for the tubigrip - I had a brace for a similar problem during the pregnancy. I was told not to wear it for the first 48 hours post-op as during that time I'd be mostly in bed and therefore not needing the protective support. Then I was told to wear it if it helped with walking but to put a clean maternity pad (the really thick ones) along the length of the incision under my granny pants to stop any rubbing. The maternity pads aren't sterile but as long as you change them frequently and don't wear your tubigrip for extended periods it should be fine. Physios are generally quite keen for you to ditch all support belts as soon as poss so that you regain your core muscle strength which does more to help your hips/back in the long run.
1. As someone has said already, put a pad along the scar.
2. I bought a set of washable hospital knickers from JoJo Maman.
3. Some people have problems with trapped wind (I didn't) so take medication for it.
4. Take the painkillers. There are no medals for martyrdom after major surgery. I breastfed in recovery and then for a year. Just take the pills. It hurts otherwise. Feeding was no problem at all. I was a bit woozy so got DH to video me when the lactation consultants came along. So woozy that when I was discharged two of them came to say bye and I asked DH who they were. He looked at me in amazement and said, 'they were squeezing your boobs 36 hours ago. Do you not remember them at all?' Nope.
5. Do the very very minimum if you can. I just lay in bed, fed, went to the loo, ate, drank and fed again. I healed much quicker as a result. Have as much support as you can for the first month. I was fully healed with no twinges by day 21 but all this depends on how much you rest.
Most people have covered the basics but I was due for an ELCS, went into labour and so had an EMCS but wasn't an 'emergency' per se. Very relaxed and friendly.
You can ask for the screen to be lowered, I didn't.
You can ask for your partner to cut the cord. I didn't- DH is a medic and he said to me 'it's not a cake!' It helped that he's seen plenty of c-sections in his time.
Oh I had skin to skin in theatre. The epidural made my hand shake a lot. This is quite common but it passed.
Hi, my experiences similar to artioo2 but dh stayed for epidural. I had no probs breast feeding, milk came in after about 5 days.
Don't panic. Lots of good advice here. I had a lovely birth experience with ELCS. In case it helps, here is my experience.
I took ranitidine night before and in morning (they will give you instructions), this is just to prevent you being sick during epidural. No food after midnight, no water after 6am for me. Got dressed in compression stockings and gown, they told me to leave knickers behind as sometimes they go missing?!! DH had to change into scrubs over his clothes. He took camera and iPod in pocket. Walked into theatre with DH. In theatre they put iPod on for us, we had prepared a playlist. Had to curl into ball for epidural, didn't hurt at all. If you want skin to skin in theatre make sure you tell consultant, and especially tell anaesthetist when you go into theatre. My DH knew he had to ensure this happened! My DH stayed with me throughout, including during epidural. I found doing 'birthing breathing' helped me calm down when I felt a bit anxious when I first went in. C-sec itself felt bit odd, no pain, it felt like my legs were up in the air but they weren't (apparently common feeling!). They didn't tell me much apart from 'what's the next song, the baby will be born in a minute!' I could talk to anaesthetist if I needed to. They lifted baby up so we could see her, then midwife checked her over and cleaned her up (DH was right by her and cut cord), he took a video of her and they weighed and measured her. They put hat on her then laid her on my chest for skin to skin (anaesthetist helped me pull my gown down so baby could go on my boobs), they put blanket over her for warmth. I don't know how long I held her, but then they gave her to DH who snuggled her in a blanket, they stayed right next to me. DH did skin to skin with her in recovery (wore a shirt he could open easily, she had nappy on by that point). I breastfed her in recovery and milk came in on day 3 so please try not to worry about ELCS affecting feeding - plenty of people with vaginal births have problems feeding and plenty of people with ELCS don't have problems. You don't know what will happen to you so don't stress about it.
Baby stayed with us the entire time.
They put catheter and canula in hand in in theatre and removed it next day.
Was given injection in thigh (to do with blood clotting), but my incision bled by next day so consultant said no more injections and it was fine after that.
Some people get shoulder pain from trapped wind, a good remedy is to take peppermint capsules for this (from health food shop), peppermint tea is good too. This also helps with abdominal pain from wind.
Pain wise I was in a fair bit of pain on second day, had codeine, ibuprofen and paracetamol in hospital (I have a feeling they may have changed guidance now on whether you can have codeine due to BF, but I was given it in 2014). Got up on second day after catheter out. Had shower etc. Needed help to dry my legs as hard to bend!
Left hospital on 3rd day. Was a bit uncomfortable moving around for first couple of weeks but definitely by week 3 was able to push pram, manage on my own etc. DH was on paternity leave so able to help. I wore a c section support belt (can't remember the brand) which made me feel more secure.
Kept taking peppermint and painkillers at home (not the codeine) regularly.
Midwife took stitches out at home on day 5, didn't hurt.
Scar looked pretty good. Unfortunately mine is a keloid scar (raised and bumpy due to the way my skin scars), but well hidden in a bikini. Gets a bit itchy sometimes. Most people's fade into thin pink line. It's a good idea to start massaging scar (eg with bio oil) once you're a few weeks post birth. For second ELCS they've said they will inject steroids so scar heals better.
Bear in mind recovery from vaginal birth can also be painful and take a few weeks, so there's no guarantee of quick recovery with any childbirth!
Clothes wise I got 5 pack of black cotton granny pants from supermarket and wore them as they come up high. I had to cut the waistband with scissors to make them comfy! In hosp I wore those (once catheter out) plus front opening cotton nighties. Maternity wear was comfy for first few weeks.
I bled very little so just used normal sanitary pads after first few days as didn't need the maternity pads (I gather this varies wildly between women though).
Things that helped - change table to change baby at waist height rather than bending down, avoiding doing stairs too many times a day, I focused on baby and DH looked after the house and us (I'd recommend that regardless of delivery method!), air scar every day to help it heal, avoid anything rubbing on scar. I took arnica tablets as heard they helped with internal bruising, no idea if they had any effect!
Apologies for the essay of a post. I found my NCT class gave no useful info on c-sections so this may help others. Good luck.
Thread hijacking just to ask, will I be able to wear a bra or do I have to be naked underneath the gown?
Honestly I can't remember. But I am pretty sure you can.
Yeah I had my bra on.
Bfd on the operating table! Took one of the crescent shaped bf pillows in and that was ace as it helps you take the pressure off the scar.
Our hospital is big on hygiene. We both had to wash the night before and morning of, sleep on clean bedsheets the night before and wear all clean clothes in to hospital.
Overall it was fine.
Lots has been said already, so just a few additional tips:
- skin on skin straight away helps bonding and BFing
- buy granny knickers from Primark about 2 sizes too big as disposable maternity pants alternative - nice cotton instead of horrid plastic and you won't mind binning them
- ask for laxatives or movicol or something if you can't go; you don't want it to build up and try and push rock hard poo out with a sore post section tummy!
- at home, have a baby changing mat and nappies downstairs under the sofa, as you don't want to go up and down a bazillion times a day for nappy changes
- rest as much as you can, honestly! I found that the less active I was in the first week, the quicker the recovery was and felt.
Hi thanks for all these tips and advice. I am booked in now for an elective section so will have a good read through all this. Still hoping baby might turn head down and allow for a natural birth but perhaps that's wishful thinking. I'm glad to hear some positive stories of sections though.
Great section here OP - if you do need one go with confidence, it can be a really positive experience.
I devoured two rounds of sandwiches and tea soon afterwards though and was still starving! I did genuinely want DH to get me a Dominoes but he wouldn't, I think he thought it was the morphine talking but to this day I'm a little bit disappointed!!
I didn't wear my bra, didn't ask to either though. Personally I wouldn't because it would make the skin to skin tricky.
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