The kind of birth you are hoping for, you cannot avoid the possibility of Cesarean delivery. Even if it was unexpected or expected, a C-section does not have to be an entirely negative experience. A cesarean section is the surgical delivery of a new-born. One incision in the mother’s uterus and another in the abdomen is done in this procedure.

It is a standard procedure as 20% of the babies in the world are delivered with Cesarean surgery Generally, C-sections are avoided before 39 weeks of pregnancy so that the child can get enough time to mature in the womb. However, sometimes, due to complications, C-section must be performed before completion of 39 weeks of pregnancy.

C-section is generally done when complexities from pregnancy make it difficult for the traditional vaginal birth or put the child or the mother in danger. Seldom C-sections are outlined early in the pregnancy, but mostly they are performed when difficulties arise during labour.

There are many reasons for C-section delivery, for example, the baby has developmental conditions, it is a breech birth in which the baby is coming out feet first, baby’s head is too big for the birth canal. Mother has health problems, such as high blood pressure or unstable heart disease, early pregnancy complications, previous C-section delivery. Mom has active genital herpes that is transferred to the infant, obstacles with the umbilical cord, problems with the placenta, such as placental abruption or placenta previa reduced oxygen supply to the baby, the baby shoulder comes out first as in transverse labour or stalled labour. So, there can be any reason out of the ones above stated for the cesarean delivery of the baby.

Though C-section is becoming a prevalent delivery type, it is still a significant surgery that has risks for both the mother and the child. The chances of a cesarean delivery are, blood clots, bleeding, breathing problems in the child, especially if the surgery is done before 39 weeks of pregnancy, infection, elevated risks for future pregnancies, higher recovery time compared to normal birth, chances of surgical injury to other organs, injury to the child during surgery, etc. You should discuss with your doctor about your birthing possibilities before your due date. Your doctor will also be able to conclude if you or your baby are exhibiting any indications of complications that might necessitate a C-section delivery.

If you and your doctor have decided that a C-section is the best choice for you and your baby, you can get a complete set of instructions from your doctor about what you can do to reduce your chances of complexities and have a successful cesarean delivery.

Prenatal appointments include many check-ups, which involves blood tests and other tests to know your health for the risk of a C-section delivery. Your blood type is recorded by your doctor in case you require a blood transmission in the surgery. Though blood transfusions are seldom required during a C-section, your doctor should be prepared for any risks during the cesarean surgery. Even if you are not hoping to have a cesarean delivery, you should always be ready for the surprises. At prenatal meetings with your doctor, you can discuss your chances of having a C-section and what you can do to reduce them. Make sure to get answers to all your questions and try to understand what could happen if you must have an emergency cesarean delivery before your due date. Try to arrange an extra help around the house since a C-section takes extra time to recover from than vaginal birth. Apart from you recovering from surgery, your new infant will need some additional attention as well.

You will have to stay in the hospital for about three to four days so that you can recover from your surgery, so plan for it. Your abdomen will be cleansed, and you will be prepared for getting intravenous (IV) fluids before the surgery. This enables doctors to deliver fluids and any medications you may require. A catheter will also put to make sure your bladder is empty during the operation.

There are three types of anaesthesia are given to delivering mothers including spinal block, epidural and general anaesthesia. Spinal block anaesthesia is administered directly into the sac that circles the spinal cord, which numb the lower part of your body. Epidural anaesthesia is given in both vaginal and cesarean deliveries. It is delivered into the lower side of the back outside the sac of the spinal cord. And general anaesthesia is the anaesthesia which puts you into a painless sleep, and it is usually used in emergency situations. After making sure that you are properly medicated and numbed, an incision will be made by your doctor just above the pubic hairline. Typically, the incision is horizontal across the pelvis. The scar, after some time, usually is coverable, even, in a bikini. The incision may be vertical in some situations.

Once the surgery has been made, and the uterus of the mother is exposed, an incision will be made into the uterus. The area around your abdomen will be guarded during the procedure so you can’t see the process. Your new-born will be removed from your uterus after the second cut is made in your womb. Your doctor will first clear the nose and mouth of the baby from fluids and clip and cut the umbilical cord. The baby is in the arms of the nurse, and they will make your baby ready to be put into your arms. Meanwhile, your uterus is repaired with dissolving stitches, and your abdominal incision is closed with sutures.

You and your baby will stay in the clinic for about three to four days after the surgery. Just after surgery, the mother remains on an IV. This lets the modified levels of pain medicines to be administered into your bloodstream when the effect of the anaesthesia wears off. You should get up and walk around in this time, and it will help in preventing the blood clots and constipation. You will be taught by a nurse or doctor how to place your baby for breastfeeding, so there is no added pain from the C-section cut space.

Take it easy and take full rest, especially for the first weeks. A mother should drink plenty of fluids to replace the fluid lost during your surgery. Use correct posture to support your belly. Don’t have sex for four to six weeks after the surgery. If you encounter symptoms of postpartum depression, for example, severe mood swings or unusual fatigue, seek help immediately in that case. Take pain medications as needed and as prescribed by your doctor.

Call your doctor or visit the clinic if you are experiencing breast pain along with a fever or pain when urinating or having foul-smelling vaginal discharge or bleeding with large clots. There are also some signs of infection such as fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, swelling, redness, or discharge from the incision; In this case, call your doctor immediately.

Add some extra items in your bag when you’re packing your hospital bag, in case you have an unexpected cesarean delivery. You can pack cranberry juice; it is assumed to decrease the chance of a post-catheterization urinary tract infection; you can also bring chewing gum or molasses to stimulate notably stubborn bowel function after the surgery. At home, prepare already for diapering supplies, a breastfeeding pillow, snacks and water, and your cell phone all within easy reach. You can also wear a postpartum support belt, and it helps in lowering the pressure on your abdominal muscles. Minimize your stair climbing if you live in a two-story house, by keeping essential stuff on both the floors. Don’t drive for minimum two weeks after your C section. Take all the painkillers and pain medication your doctor prescribes, also take them on time. Don’t wait to make your medicines until you start hurting or the pain becomes intolerable. Your abdomen will feel sore because of the surgery and the skin and nerves in the surgery area will require time to recover. Avoid any strenuous physical activity like lifting heavy objects, etc. until a few weeks after the surgery. Once you are free from the pain, you will get more rest and exercise.

Hopefully, if you do end up having your baby through a C-section, you will look back on your operation as part of the fantastic and unpredictable experience of giving birth. Do not feel let down if you don’t have had the vaginal delivery as there is not only one definite way to have a baby.

About the author

Sara T. Loving

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