So, you’re getting close to the magical moment of labour… congratulations!
As your baby is ready for arrival, your doctor may have to deliver him or her by Caesarean section – so chances are you will find yourself googling about it during the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
Our article “C-section Questions – All the things you didn’t know you needed to know” will help you with all the answers you might not find anywhere else!
WHAT IS A C-SECTION?
Also known a C-section, a Caesarean Section is a surgical procedure that might become necessary if the baby is large or descending breech; the cervix is not opening enough; or there are health complications with either the baby or mother.
According to NHS:
“Most caesareans are carried out under spinal or epidural anaesthetic.
This mean you’ll be awake, but the lower part of your body is numbed so you will not feel any pain.
During the procedure:
- A screen is placed across your body so you cannot see what’s being done – the doctors and nurses will let you know what’s happening
- A cut about 10 to 20cm long will usually be made across your lower tummy and womb so your baby can be delivered
- You may feel some tugging and pulling during the procedure
- You and your birth partner will be able to see and hold your baby as soon as they have been delivered if they’re well – a baby born by emergency caesarean because of foetal distress may be taken straight to a paediatrician for resuscitation”
C-SECTION QUESTIONS ANSWERED: THE FEAR
Having a C-section can be scary – whether it’s planned or an emergency, it’s still likely not what you envisaged when you first got pregnant.
It’s perfectly ok to be scared, and your health professional will be able to put you at ease and help dispel any fears.
If there’s time to plan the procedure, your midwife or doctor will make time to discuss the benefits and risks of a caesarean.
You can also talk to friends and family about any concerns, and there are numerous support groups on social media where you can talk to others who have been through it – or are going to go through it and understand what you are feeling.
Some women feel like they are failing at the first hurdle and while it’s totally normal to feel this way, if you do feel like this, you MUST remember that you are not failing in any way at all!
Also… don’t forget you are NOT alone, around 1 in 4 pregnant women in the UK has a caesarean birth!
Since C-section is major abdominal surgery, it requires a greater recovery time than a vaginal labour, but BOTH are bringing your baby into the world, so neither is a better or worse way for you.
Both are whatever way is best and safest for both you and your baby at the time of their birth.
You may notice I refer to ‘vaginal birth’ as opposed to ‘natural birth’; this is because I strongly believe that opting for the safest delivery method IS the natural thing to do.
Nature has allowed us to evolve to have the skills and tools for medical intervention in labour, if it’s so required, making us very lucky to have the option.
As mentioned, a c-section is major abdominal surgery.
The incision will be made through layers of skin and muscle and the subsequent ‘rummaging around’ (which has been likened to a tugging and pulling feeling or the sensation of someone ‘washing up’ in your lower stomach. This can cause terrible indigestion/heartburn!
While this is something your healthcare provider might not warn you about… heads up! Try to have indigestion tablets and mints available to suck on following the op!
C sections are relatively quick!
Generally, for a section your baby will be out of your womb, been checked over and handed to you, in less than 1 hour, often around 40 minutes!
It generally takes longer to stitch you back up than to get your baby out.
C-SECTION QUESTIONS ANSWERED: THE RESTRICTION
For some heading for a C section, the idea they won’t be able to move easily afterwards is a worry.
It takes a while for the epidural to wear off, so your lower body will still be numb for a good 4-5 hours afterwards and you won’t be able to get out of bed until it does.
To cater to this, you’ll be in a private hospital room, with your baby’s crib placed right next to you, for ease of picking them up – and encouraged to call for assistance should it be needed.
So, bonding with your baby and being able to feed and comfort them will still be perfectly possible for you.
C-SECTION QUESTIONS ANSWERED: GETTING UP
Once your epidural has worn off, you will be encouraged to get up and gently move around as soon as possible.
Although years ago, it was thought it was better to have strict bed rest for days afterwards, research in the last 15 years shows that it’s good to move and get up, if you don’t overdo it.
It helps promote healing and prevents blood clots.
Following a c-section, you can typically expect a stay of 2-4 days in hospital, depending on what support is in place at home for you and your new baby.
Once home, you should take things steady for at least 6 weeks – the good news is certain chores, like laundry and hoovering should be avoided – and who doesn’t love a good excuse to avoid housework?
You’ll be able to go for short, gentle walks with your baby and do light household duties.
You won’t be able to drive for 6 weeks, so a lot of people arrange home deliveries of groceries to get them through this period.
C-SECTION QUESTIONS ANSWERED: YOUR BODY IS AMAZING!
Making a baby.
Carrying it safely for 9 months.
The things you’ve given up or restricted during your pregnancy – all for the sake of this brand-new little person who you are soon to meet, and love beyond all comprehension.
However, they arrive in the world – you are amazing – never forget that!
Natalie Moss Photography – based in Woking – specialises in newborn, baby, and maternity photography for families in and around Surrey.
Want to know more about Newborn Photoshoots? Visit www.nataliemossphotography.co.uk/newbornphotography
And why not adding a specialist Maternity Session? Visit www.nataliemossphotography.co.uk/surrey-maternity-photographer