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When you are told by your doctor that you have to have a C-Section it can be very overwhelming – especially for first-time moms. This is why it’s important to prepare for a planned c-section.
As a mom who’s had two c-section deliveries, I can tell you that the difference in being prepared for a c-section is literally lifesaving.
For my first baby, I had completely planned to have an all-natural birth without any medication. However, my baby, on the other hand, had other ideas. After being overdue and then induced, my body labor was still not progressing so we had to go in for a c-section.
Since I had never been in surgery before I was completely terrified and of course unprepared. Thankfully my baby was born healthy and I had no complications.
Four short years later, I became pregnant with my second baby and was planning to have a VBAC which is a (Vaginal Birth After C-Section), however, my baby was in an awkward sideways position and it was decided that it would be safer for me to have another c-section rather than moving him.
And with this birth being a scheduled c-section, I was able to better prepare myself for the surgery.
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What is a Planned C-Section?
First of all, if you are not sure what a c-section is let me go over a few details.
A c-section or cesarean is when an incision is made into the mother’s lower abdomen and also the uterus to go in and get the newborn baby out. It is a relatively routine procedure but can come with several complications.
C-Sections are performed in a few different ways.
- There are unplanned c-sections that many times occur when labor has not progressed and the baby needs assistance being born with some medical intervention.
- Secondly, there are emergency c-sections where there is something very wrong with either the mother or the unborn baby and they have to get the baby out right away.
- And lastly, there are scheduled or planned c-sections which is where you have a set date set up for your c-section delivery due to preexisting considerations.
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Reasons You May Need A C-Section
Why would I need a c-section? There are several reasons that your doctor may decide that a c-section birth may be the safest way to have your baby. Here are a few:
- having multiple babies at once
- having a previous c-section
- preterm labor
- problems with the mother’s or baby’s health
- failed induction
- a low lying placenta
- high blood pressure in pregnancy called pre-eclampsia
- your baby is in the breech position (feet first)
- infections such as genital herpes that may put you or your baby at risk
- labor is not progressing naturally
- excessive vaginal bleeding during labor
- if your baby is not getting enough nutrients or oxygen
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Preparing For A C-Section
How can I prepare for a planned c-section?
There are a few different ways to get yourself prepared for your scheduled c-section. First of all, you need to create your birth plan. Now even though you are having a c-section birth, you can still have few preferences to make your delivery experience better.
So in your birth plan, you can include a few things such as:
- who you would like to be present in the room with you. Of course, when you are having a c-section most hospitals only allow you to have one person in the O.R. (Operation Room)
- if you would like to have skin to skin contact with your baby right after birth (this is where your baby is put on your chest and you can start bonding right away)
- what visitors will you allow at the hospital after birth
- whether you plan to breastfeed or formula feed your baby
- if you have a boy will you be circumcising him
Packing For A C-Section
Last-minute Checklist Before C-Section
What do I need to do the night before my scheduled c-section?
There are a few things to make sure to have done the night before your planned c-section so that you are prepared for the surgery. Making a quick checklist helped me a ton with this.
- packed last minute items in my hospital bag such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, cell phone chargers and etc.
- prepared quick freezer meals
- delegated the care of my other children or pets
- prepared home for baby
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Recovering From A C-Section
Once your c-section is over, you then have to get ready to recover.
Most doctors advice c-section moms not to lift anything heavier than their baby or do anything strenuous for 6 weeks after their c-section.
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Wound Care After C-Section
Before leaving the hospital your nurse will give you some instructions on how to care for your c-section incision such as keeping it clean and dry and wearing clothes that do not rub against it.
So if you are a busy mom then your first question may be, “How long does a c-section take to heal?”
And honestly it takes several months for a c-section incision to mostly heal, but usually after 6-8 weeks postpartum your doctor will see you again for your postpartum checkup to give you the clear to resume normal activity cautiously.
Honestly, everyone’s recovery times are different depending on their amount of rest and how well they take care of their body postpartum.
After a few months, you will notice that your incision will heal into a scar that may still be tender or numb for a while. Of course, if you ever have any intense pain from your c-section scar be sure to contact your doctor.
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Emotions After a C-Section
As far as how you will feel emotionally after a c-section, I have felt both completely depressed and satisfied after a c-section. I believe that having an unplanned c-section can be a bit overwhelming on top of already having your hormones going whacky from childbirth.
And that is okay. But talk with your doctor and be honest about how you are feeling just in case you are suffering from postpartum depression.
Once I had my second c-section, I had already been prepared for what to expect and I was just happy that my baby was healthy. I think being prepared ahead of time is what really helped me the second time around.
Intimacy After a C-Section Recovery
Of course, when you get the green light to resume normal activities after having a c-section delivery, one of the biggest and most long-awaited things is becoming intimate with your partner again.
And even with a c-section birth intimacy can be painful make sure that you take your time and use these helpful tips for sex after a c-section delivery.
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