If you have planned a C-section or if you end up with an emergency procedure, there may well be a few things that no one tells you beforehand that you should know.
Here are 10 hidden truths about C-sections:
- There are a lot of people involved in a C-section, so the theatre may feel a little crowded. Your obstetrician will have an assistant to help during the operation. There is also a scrub nurse, floor nurses, a midwife to “catch” the baby, an anaesthetist and a paediatrician.
- You won’t feel any pain during the procedure, but you may feel some forceful tugging from time to time, particularly if your baby has been in the breech position (bum first) and is positioned up under your ribcage.
- You may shiver uncontrollably during and after the procedure. This can be partly due to the theatre being cold, but it is also a side-effect of the spinal anesthetic and the large amounts of adrenaline surging through your body. It will wear off after an hour or two post-procedure.
- It may be a vaginal bypass, but there is still some business that goes on down south. Don’t be surprised when a nurse or two pays you a visit for a wash and go. Before you know it, you will be spread-eagled while strangers discuss your blood loss.
- On that note, you may not realise that you will also experience vaginal bleeding. Just because the baby has not passed through the birth canal doesn’t mean you won’t still bleed vaginally, and it can last on and off for up to six weeks post-delivery.
- Coughing, sneezing and laughing can make you feel like your insides will fall out. Your abdominal muscles are weak and have separated during pregnancy. It can take a while for them to strengthen and function well after birth. Making use of some of the great support bands on the market can help with this.
- You may be surprised at just how quickly the nurses attempt to get you moving around. Although it can feel like torture, it is necessary to get the blood pumping to prevent clots from forming.
- Your “mum tum” can lasts for a few weeks to months after birth – in fact, who are we kidding, it can even make a guest appearance at your baby’s first birthday.
- You can get constipated after a C-section. After having someone digging around in your abdomen together with the sluggish effects of the painkillers, you may need to request some treatment to help soften the stools and help you go to the loo. Any straining can cause discomfort post-procedure.
- You may experience numbness on your scar for many months after the surgery.