The cesarean rate in our country (and many others) is undoubtedly too high. Normalizing birth, talking about women’s choices, sharing stories and educating ourselves will help reduce the amount of surgical births.
With that said, there are times when a cesarean section is necessary to save the mother and/or baby’s life. This is when obstetrics is a blessing. When a mother finds herself needing a cesarean section, especially when not planning one, she may be scared and not know what to expect. Cesarean sections, even when necessary, are major surgery. It is what it is.
The cesarean birth experience does not always have to be traumatic. There are things a woman and her family can do to prepare for ahead of time or they can do after the surgery, even if it was not previously prepared for. Here are some tips and information on what will help a mother and her baby heal and bond after a c-section.
- Wait until as close to ‘due date‘ as possible or until your body starts very early labor.
- Have meals prepared and frozen or meals brought in by family or church members.
- Buy and use a belly band for your incision.
- Talk to your doctor about what kind of incision they are doing. Horizontal is best if possible.
- Talk to your doctor about what kind of suturing they will do (double layer is usually wanted for a VBAC).
- Be adamant about one arm being unrestrained so you can touch your baby after s(he) is born.
- As long as baby is healthy, ask for skin to skin and breastfeeding immediately after surgery!
- Get up and move around as soon as possible. It’s hard, but you can do it with support.
- Do not overdo it. This can lead to complications. Rest, nurse and bond with your baby.
- Take your pain medicine at first to preempt the pain and wean yourself off as you can. Also, talk to your doctor about different pain med options.
- Wearing a sanitary pad across your incision will help your clothes from rubbing against it.
- Eat foods that soften your bowels and keep you regular (stool softener if needed).
- Careful when sneezing, laughing and coughing.
- Do NOT feel like a failure. You are a mother and just created a beautiful life!
- Watch this video of a ‘natural’ cesarean. Meaning there are things you can do to make the experience as family centered as possible! Talk about this with your doctor!