Nov 05 , 2018
A cesarean section, more commonly known as a C-section is an alternative to natural childbirth. It involves surgery, where the surgeon cuts into the belly to remove the child. This is done in the case of complications, or if the baby is turned in an unnatural birthing position.
No matter the reason behind the cesarean, there are some very unexpected things that happen that no one tells the expecting mom. So, as a woman that has undergone a C-section very recently, I will share the glory (read gory) details about C-section that you will not hear beforehand.
It is surgery, so anesthesia is a must
The anesthesia for a C-section is usually in the form of a spinal block. And this type blocks any sensation from your belly downwards. So while you will not feel any pain, there might be some slight sensations of tugging as the doctors go in to remove the baby and the placenta.
Another thing about a spinal block is that you are awake and you get to hear the doctors talking. It is their job to deliver your baby, but you can’t prevent them from having a conversation. This may be a little uncomfortable, especially if you can see a reflection of your insides in the operating room lights.
In some rare cases, as was mine, I was given a total anesthesia and went completely under. This is the somewhat different situation as the healing process is a little more difficult. But no matter which one you are given, both are unpleasant, but fortunately, end with you having a baby.
Bleeding is also a must
If you think vaginal bleeding only occurs with women having a natural birth, think again. It happens to all women, no matter the delivery method. The wall of the uterus needs to shed the lining that was accumulated and to heal the place where the placenta was detached. This is also prompted by hormones that change after the delivery of the baby. In most cases, the bleeding is light and stops after about six weeks, which is unpleasant but is nothing to worry about.
Beware of the food you eat after a C-section
Seeing that your belly has been cut, you will have trouble defecating. So to help this, stick to more liquid foods, eat a lot of probiotic foods, nothing starchy and heavy, and take some stool softeners with your food. Also, water! This way you will be able to go more easily and avoid constipation that will put a strain on your wound. And physical activity – well light walks so the bowels will be motivated to work more easily.
Well, it does not hurt while you are on the operating table, but after – it hurts. A lot. After the anesthesia wears off, you will feel the incision and the stitches. Women with C-sections should not lift anything heavy in the first six weeks, and that includes the baby (if it is on the bigger side). And to properly heal, the woman with a C-section needs more care and attention as the body needs more time to adjust the hormones and start properly lactating.
Gas pains all over your body
After the surgery, you will be asked to move as early as possible. This is important for the blood flow and to avoid clots from forming. Also, since the stomach is empty, you will feel gas forming. But the bowels are lazy at this time, and the gas will press on the diaphragm and cause pains in your back and even shoulders. Don’t be shy and pass the gas and the pains should go away soon.
Avoid comedies for a while
The incision in the belly will hurt for a while. And it will hurt especially bad when you try to cough or sneeze. Seeing as both these activities involve the stomach muscles, you can put a pillow on your belly to help with the pain. Another activity that involves the muscles on this part of the body is heavy laughing. So stay away from comedies that will make you laugh hard for a while. The muscles in the belly should heal in about few weeks, so you will feel better in time.
The baby weight won’t shed itself. But seeing that you had major surgery, you should start off easy. Take walks to move your muscles and help your body heal faster. With movement, the bowels get moved and this helps with digestion and alleviating the annoying gas pains. After a couple of weeks you can move to some more demanding moves, and on your six weeks checkup, your gynecologist should clear you for different kinds of activities.
The scar is a proof of what you have withstood
The scar from the incision will be gross at first. And it will show. As your body gets back into shape, the scar will be less prominent and will fade quite a lot, just like any other surgery scar. Ask your doctor for some scar-fading cream after the skin has completely healed, usually after the first six weeks. And after a couple of years, the scar will be a reminder of what you have endured bringing to life your wonderful little boy or girl.