In 2009, about 33% of American women gave birth via cesarean section according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are a number of reasons why a woman may have this procedure instead of a traditional vaginal birth.
If you are aware that you are having a cesarean section , it is a good idea to prepare for the big day beforehand. Knowing the date and time you’ll be giving birth can be useful for making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips to use in the weeks before the time comes.
Prepare for the hospital stay
After the surgery, you’ll be staying at the hospital anywhere between 2-3days. Pack a bag with comfortable clothes you’ll want to wear during that time. Avoid tight waistbands and bring sweatshirts or sweaters and warm socks. Also pack personal items like deodorant, soap and a hair brush. Be sure to bring your driver’s license or other picture ID, insurance information and any paperwork the hospital asked you to fill out beforehand.
Follow the hospitals preoperative procedures
Your doctor will most likely want to run tests to check for medical issues that could affect the surgery. These can include blood tests and urine samples, and may also include tests on the baby if the C-section is a result of a complication or health risk. You’ll most likely also be asked to meet with an anesthetist to discuss anesthesia options.
Know the procedure you’ll be having
Research the C-section procedure and talk to your doctor beforehand to prepare yourself. That way, you’ll feel less nervous when the time comes. Ask whether or not your partner is allowed to be in the room with you, and what your hospital’s norms are. Make sure to plan for the post-op, as well, when the doctor will briefly take the baby away to be weighed and measured. When you have an idea of what’s ahead for you, the experience will be less frightening.
Plan for nursing your newborn
For many mothers, the first nursing experience is very important. If you plan to nurse, make sure to talk to your doctor about the hospital’s procedure on nursing, so that you can build an appropriate plan together. It’s also a good idea to research the best way to nurse, so that you’ll be prepared when the time comes.
Plan for recovery
Giving birth requires recovery no matter what, but undergoing a C-section involves a longer healing process. In addition to dealing with the usual postpartum effects, you’ll be recovering from major abdominal surgery. Your doctor will probably prescribe pain medication; make sure to tell the nurse or doctor if you feel an unusual amount of pain or discomfort. In the weeks following the birth, treat your body gently and kindly and follow the doctor’s orders for caring for the incision.
Ask for Help
After a C-section, you’ll not only be recovering from surgery, you’ll also have a newborn that requires constant care. Your significant other may not be able to take time away from work, so get someone who can help you care for your child during your recovery. Whether you have family that can stay with you, a good friend or neighbor, or a community organization, someone should be on hand to help you with your child as well as with any complications you may have.
Still have questions about getting a c-section? Contact the Orlando OB GYN team at Contemporary Women’s Care at 407-478-OBGY (6249) and schedule your appointment today!