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planned c-section questions

(50 Posts)
seven201 Thu 26-May-16 12:48:37


I've just been told that I will be having a c-section in 2-3 weeks (38-39 weeks) due a number of reasons. In case this affects the answers to my first q it's because my blood pressure has gone up (had pre existing high bp), my kidney function isn't great (again already had problems before pregnancy but it's got worse) and the baby is breech (they won't try and turn her due to my bp).

I have some questions if that's ok...

how long do they generally keep you and baby in after a section (assuming no complications)?

How many pairs of big pants do I need? I bought 5...

Do they leave the catheter in for a while? I'm usually a pj's girl so trying to work out if I need to buy some nighties.

Any hospital bag tips?

Any other general tips?

Thanks in advance! X

Drmum123 Thu 26-May-16 13:42:35


I have had three sections.

If no complications they usually say 2 days, but some hospitals will let you go at 24 hours if you are doing really well. However, if you have BP/ kidney issues, this may not be possible. I would probably take another pack of pants. I buy massive white granny pants in multiplies from supermarket, a size or 2 up from normal. 5 will be more than fine for 2 days but just in case ( not something you want to run out of. Catheter out in 12- 24 hours depending on how quickly you feel you can get up. I am usually a pj girl too but I take nighties for post section. No rubbing the scar that way. Also easier to get on and off. I have a few front opening ones as good for breast feeding. Hospital bag wise remember that after section someone else may be rooting through it for you ( partner, midwife etc) as you can't move for a while. So take two different bags - one for you and one for baby, and make sure they aren't overfilled - this way you can easily direct people to what you need. I also take handbag with snacks, kindle, phone charger etc that I can keep close to me, so while incapacitated I don't have to constantly be asking for things! Ummm can't think of anything else.......

KP86 Thu 26-May-16 13:56:02

Black undies not white! If you are there for a long time DP can take dirty clothes home and wash/bring back so don't worry too much about running out.

I had catheter for around 18 hours but only because nobody took it out! No undies or pants bottoms under the sheets for the first day, they just had me sitting on one of the blue pads for the blood.

Take lots of maternity pads without wings. Heaps easier to double up if needed.

Can't answer how long you'll be in hospital for, I didn't have my DS in the UK.

About 8-10 nappies per day for your baby, but again, DP can always bring more in. Lots of those terry towelling squares for catching vomit from your new addition.

Drink bottle to keep beside your bed. Easy one-handed snacks for the first few days, including some dried fruit or prune juice to help things move along.

Drmum123 Thu 26-May-16 14:07:44 pants do make more sense I suppose! I just bought really cheap and chucked away!

seven201 Thu 26-May-16 14:08:10

Thanks both, really helpful. Right, I need to order some nighties and get more big pants!

CodyKing Thu 26-May-16 14:18:30

Do ask for the barrier to be down if you want to watch - and do ask for the baby to be passed straight to you - otherwise they are whisked away to be cleaned and weighed etc

seven201 Thu 26-May-16 14:30:57

Don't think I want the barrier down! But yes I will be asking for a bit of skin to skin if they let me smile

CodyKing Thu 26-May-16 14:34:24

That's ok then! You can watch in the lights!

Dildals Thu 26-May-16 14:38:46

They didn't allow the barrier down for my ELCS, but did give me skin to skin in theatre. Skin to skin is a bit weird after a CS, for some reason they seem to be unable to create a space on your chest and the baby ends up being draped around your neck like a scarf. Baby then screams in your ear. Not quite the idyllic situation I imagined.

Take some earplugs for the PN ward.

I had my CS first thing in the morning, no risk factors, and I had asked for a swift discharge. My thoughts were that I would recover better at home than in a noisy PN ward. The discharge paper work takes quite a bit of time so if you want this (and it's OK with your health) then flag it well in advance. My catheter was out the next morning after CS. I honestly can't remember what I wore .. (I don't think it was much, I was going for the continental look I think.) I definitely didn't have nighties though. I think I wore a pair of loose running shorts and a t shirt. (I gave birth on a hot day though)

Paulat2112 Thu 26-May-16 14:49:09

Both my planned sections i stayed in two nights. Buy another big pack of pants, and a few sizes bigger than you usually wear as you wont want anything rubbing. Primark sell them quite cheaply. All three times I had my catheter in until the next morning, I wore nighties for quite a few weeks, as I didn't want anything touching my scar. When I went out I wore leggings or dresses/skirts. If you are taking slippers take ones that your feet can just slide into so you dont have to bend down. May also be worth taking some mint tea tebags in with you are a lot of people get air trapped in their tummy afterwards and the tea can help that. Think you can get a box for £1 out the supermarket. smile

bluishskies Thu 26-May-16 15:00:09

I've had 2 sections. First was unplanned and I was in for 36 hours. Second was planned and I was out in 24. My advice is to always take the painkillers so that you can get up and start moving as soon as possible. You will be sore so move slowly but do make yourself get up. My catheter was removed both times as soon as the epidural wore off because I told the midwives I wanted to go shower.

Yyyy to more black big pants. I wore primark pj bottoms that were baggy and didn't rub against my scar.

Take it as easy as possible when you get home. After you shower, let your scar air dry. Also, ask the midwives to show you how to get out of bed properly. I found the better I looked after myself, the quicker I recovered.

Good luck!

BurningGubbins Thu 26-May-16 15:08:34

Sounds like everyone has covered the main stuff, though I would add comfy, high-waisted trousers for wearing out and about in the first few weeks. My maternity trousers rubbed on my scar and nothing else fitted.
After my first section I was walking around after 12 hours, this time they didn't get around to taking the catheter out until well into the next day, which delayed my discharge. They need to do a few tests on the baby before you go, though they can be done in the community if necessary.

seven201 Thu 26-May-16 15:40:29

Thanks all, this is really helpful

CarrotVan Thu 26-May-16 17:11:11

I had an EMCS - baby out at 4am on the Saturday , up to postnatal ward about 7am, catheter out about 5pm, out of hospital on Monday morning.

I strongly recommend taking a pack of Deflatine or peppermint oil capsules. The post section trapped wind was the most painful thing I've ever hard, including 40 hours of back to back labour.

I had cheap big pants from Primark and some cheap nighties.

seven201 Thu 26-May-16 17:25:16

I have never heard of peppermint oil capsules! I could do with some of them now!

Kpo58 Thu 26-May-16 17:26:19

Make sure that your massive pants don't have any non print detailing. I had some with a thread pattern detail on the front of mine and they rubbed like anything.

I think that I just wore a hospital gown (no pants!) until the morning after my C-Section. shock

Also don't forget to bring something to tie your hair back with for the operating theatre.

If you have a travel baby changing mat, consider bringing it as you will most likely be changing your baby's nappy on your bed or in their cot and there may be unexpected projectile widdling...

KP86 Thu 26-May-16 19:20:28

Agree about the trapped wind! It was awful.

allegretto Thu 26-May-16 19:27:21

I wore pjs after the first day - the scar is low down so it didn't rub. I had my twins at 8am and catheter taken out at 2pm. I also had no pain relief on the first day due to a mix up, so speak up if it hurts.

Aus26 Thu 26-May-16 19:28:15

Bendy straws to help with drinking are quite useful in the first couple of days when bending at the waist and getting up and down is a bit slow and painful.

trilbydoll Thu 26-May-16 19:31:02

You can wear PJs with a catheter in if they're baggy shorts smile

I only stayed one night after dd2 but should have stayed another. But it was busy and understaffed and I just wanted to go home.

seven201 Thu 26-May-16 19:40:23

Great tips, thank you.

Zaurak Thu 26-May-16 19:49:49

Depends on how you feel. I gave birth Monday morning and was home Friday night.
Our hospital provided terribly sexy disposable pants but I think I got through quite a few. More than 5 at any rate
Catheter in for 24 hours (I was pretty immobile and requested it stay in a few hours longer. )
Big nightie that's long and buttons up the front would be my advice - plus crocs or similar that you can wear on ward and in shower.
Hospital bag - I used barely anything (hospital supplied nappies, pads etc) but a breastfeeding pillow was a godsend. Small toiletry kit with nice toiletries was good, with a hook so you can hang it in the shower. Phone, Chargers, camera, I took a book (oh the naïveté!) but didn't have time to read it of course. Would be good if you have to wait pre section. A big muslin blanket thing for the baby. A stretchy sling would have been good too - kiddo did not sleep in the fish tank cot like all the other babies, but demanded to be held ;)

Before your section, wash the night before including your hair. Sleep on clean bedsheets, wash the morning of the section before you go in. Wear clean clothes - don't shave or epilate. This should reduce the chances of infection. Wash as soon as you can, keep the wound clean and any hint of infection get it seen to.

The painkillers they give you are shite. Do not be afraid of requesting more. Peppermint oil is good, as is a mild laxative - the first post section poo can be scary.

allegretto Thu 26-May-16 20:47:47

I had to shave but didnt do it low enough so dr dry shaved me - really itchy! I should have taken a book as I had nothing to do post section as babies were in nicu. I ended up blow drying and styling my hair and putting on make up! I never even do this normally!

Idontknowwhoiam Thu 26-May-16 20:55:32

I had my 2nd planned section last week. I had my ds at 11.30am on Friday and came home 4pm on Sunday.
I took 5 big pants and wore 2 in hospital. Been washing them at home cos you'll need them for a while. 5 has been ok.
Defo nighties, they tend to remove the catheter after 12 hours but that's if you cam get up and about to pee!
I also had a drain in and that didn't get removed for 24 hours and could be longer depending how much fluid it collevts

Just know that an elective section is a pretty peaceful procedure and I healed way better after my elective last time than the first section which was emergency.

Good luck to you and your little one!

cmereiwantcha Thu 26-May-16 21:00:48

I've had two. Last one elective. I was in for five days but I was anaemic in pregnancy and needed blood transfusions afterwards. Most of the other women on the ward were out within 2-3 days.

You may be kept waiting around on the day if there's an emergency (I got there at 7 and was down to theatre at 3pm..) so take a good book!

All advice on this thread is spot on. I recommend syrup of figs to get things moving in the poo department and a drinking bottle with a straw for when you can't sit up after the surgery. I also used infacare as shower cream post surgery. Good luck!

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