As seen in Home Grown – Parenting in the North
C-sections are getting a lot of publicity lately and with it we’ve seen a rise in the percentage of c-sections being performed in Canada. In recent statistics, Canada is seen to have almost 25% of women receiving a c-section to birth their babies. These statistics are not as frightening as they should be to most women. In the U.S., the statistics are closer to 1 in every 3 women receiving a c-section, however in the U.S. women have the ability to elect a c-section instead of having a natural birth. They call it Designer Birth, what a wonderful name for such an un-wonderful procedure. As you may know, many of the stars have done it, such as Victoria Beckham “To Posh to push” and Britney Spears.
If you do end up requiring a c-section, here is some information that may help you prepare for every situation. Please talk to your doctor about all the concerns that you may have.
Getting a breech baby to turn is easier than it sounds for some; here are two natural, proven methods to get your little peanut to do the 180:
Pelvic Tilts are common and most women know about these, these are more effective when done on the stairs (use the lower stairs and have your partner help you)
Moxibustion is a form of acupuncture. By lighting a moxi stick and holding it to your baby toe, this causes your uterus to contract helping baby turn.
Here are some reasons that you will or may need a c-section:
Hard Indicators. These are indicators that a C-Section is most likely unavoidable.
Health Problems of the mother including but not limited to:
Placenta Previa or Placenta Abruption
Active genital herpes and/or HIV/AIDS
Soft Indicators. These are indicators that a c-section may be ordered, but not necessarily needed.
Repeat C-Section – This is the #1 reason for c-sections, however in most cases you do not need a repeat c-section.
Failure to progress
Preparing for a C-Section
There are many reasons that you could know that you are going to have a c-section. What you need to understand when going in for a c-section is that it is a major abdominal surgery. It is not to be taken lightly. You will need more emotional and physical support than a woman who is having a natural birth.
WHAT TO PACK IN THAT BAG.
When you go in for a c-section you are required to stay anywhere from 3-5 days, therefore you will need a lot more in your suitcase. Also, different hospitals have different rules, some will have an area for your husband/partner/support person to stay the night, while others do not allow anyone to stay past visiting hours. If your hospital does allow for a support person to stay the night, then remember to pack some extras for them too.
Lots of underwear – Look for the granny panties that are tight and come right up to your rib cage with a good hold. This will hold your stomach in place after the c-section and will help you feel a little more mobile. This is not the time for those sexy little panties.
Clothing – Choose clothing that is loose in the waist. Pack a few of your husband’s shirts and sweatpants. Your incision will likely bleed for a few days, so pack things that you don’t mind getting stained.
Books – Bring something that you will enjoy reading while baby sleeps. Even though you may not find the time to read, having the option is comfort enough.
Nursing Bras & Breast Pads – Bring a few. Who knows when your milk will come in, and you don’t have a washing machine to wash the ones you have. Get inexpensive sleeping nursing bras at Walmart, these are great for the first few days and slide aside easily. Pack half a box of breast pads.
Slippers and Bath Robe – Bring a cozy robe and a comfortable pair of slippers that slip on and off quickly.
A nice going home Outfit – Pack something nice but comfortable. Remember baggy is key.
Everyone recovers differently; some may take a few weeks, while others may take a few months. Have your partner do research and find ways that they can help you recover. Recovery with a c-section is more difficult than a natural birth by far, but there are so many things that you can do to make your recovery easier.
Hire A Postpartum Doula. A postpartum doula will help you with your little daily routines, you need to discuss with her what she is willing and not willing to do to help you after your baby is born. Some postpartum Doulas will cook meals, tidy house, help you with breastfeeding and run errands for you.
Deal With Your Pain. Take the pain medications that the nurses give you, usually Tylenol 3’s. Remember to keep up with the dosage that the doctor has prescribed so that you will be taking them before the pain comes back. You will not win an award for not taking the pain medications, there is a time and place for medication and this is it. Being a new mom with all the hormones and emotional changed is hard enough, there is no need to have to deal with unnecessary pain.
Stool Softeners And Fibre. Back in the day, you could not leave the hospital until you had had your first bowel movement. Now most hospitals will let you leave sooner. Most women admit to holding in that bowel movement because they are afraid to push, afraid that their incision will come apart, or simply because it hurts too much. Your incision will not come apart.
Let That Gas Go! This really is a big one, as a lot of the pain you get when you are in recovery is from gas from the air that got trapped inside you. This gas will come out, and it really can hurt when trapped inside. Don’t be afraid of farting either.
Drink Lots Of Water.
Light Exercise. Such as walking and even lifting your own baby. Don’t try to get rid of your “baby weight” right away, it’s not worth tearing or hurting yourself; the weight will come off when it’s good and ready.
Breastfeed. Breastfeeding has many great benefits, not only for your baby but also for you. When your baby nurses, it helps shrink your uterus, it also helps you lose that “baby weight”. Unlike a mother who has given birth vaginally, you will not be able to do as much with yourself to lose the weight, so breastfeeding can be even more beneficial for you.
Eat Yogurt And Take Probiotics. When you have a c-section you are given antibiotics, this may make you more susceptible to a yeast infection in you, and thrush and a yeast infection in your baby. Getting your daily dose of probiotics will help prevent the over growth of the candida bacteria in your and your baby’s system. Also, ask your local pharmacy or naturopath about probiotics for your baby.
Sleep. We’ve all heard ‘sleep when baby is sleeping’, however when you have had a c-section, the pain may be too much to handle sleep. Use pillows to prop you to an incline to help you sleep. Also, ask for help to get baby to you when it is time to feed. Every time you get up to retrieve baby yourself, you’re causing pain and making it harder to fall back to sleep.
If you have had a c-section, your risk of postpartum depression is higher. Please review symptom of postpartum depression with your partner after the baby is born. Ask your partner to get you help if you display any of the symptoms.
Now that you’ve had a c-section will you have to have another? Studies are proving that VBAC (Vaginal birth after Cesarian Section) may be a better option. Watch for next month’s article featuring VBAC Births.