How to Prepare for a c Section

Normally, when you are preparing for delivery of your child, you are not thinking that you will have a cesarean section. You are thinking of having your significant other beside you while you work together to birth your child. Instead, you are in an operating room awaiting surgery instead of what is considered the natural process. Even though only 15% to 20% of all U.S. babies are born by cesarean section it can still happen. There are a few factors you need to consider when you are having a cesarean section, if it is scheduled, or if it is an emergency.

If the c-section is scheduled, then it is important to find a childbirth class that is geared toward a cesarean birth. This will help you know what is going to happen during delivery of your baby and help you to be able to relax while the procedure is happening. If it is an emergency surgery, then the only way to be prepared is the same way as if it was scheduled, review the information for what happens during a c-section and what your body is going through afterwards.

The steps for a cesarean birth are listed below to help you better understand what you will be going through:

 Medication will be given to dry the saliva in your mouth and secretions in your upper airway. You might also be given an antacid because you can become nauseous from the anesthesia.

 Your lower stomach will be washed and possible shaved, if needed.
 A catheter will be placed in your bladder. This will help to keep it empty and to help reduce the chance of injury.  You will get an IV in your hand or arm to allow medicines to be administered.  You will be given an anesthetic. This could be an epidural or a spinal but sometimes anesthesia is administered.  Your stomach will be rewashed with an antiseptic solution, and a drape put into place.

 An incision will be made in the wall of your stomach and then into the wall of your uterus. You will normally get a bikini cut if possible to make so you can still where the low-cut  jeans or bikini.

 The amniotic sac will be opened, and the liquid allowed to drain out.
 Your baby will be eased out; you might feel a slight tugging or feeling of pressure.

 The baby’s nose and mouth will be cleaned out, and the umbilical cord clamped and cut.

 You will be stitched up and taken to the recovery room.

There are complications that can occur as the result of a cesarean section which includes infections, excessive blood loss, blood clots, bowel or bladder injuries or problems from the anesthesia. It is important to remember that it takes longer to recover from a cesarean birth versus a vaginal birth, after all you went through surgery. It also might help if you place a pillow over the incision when you are holding your baby.

This will help alleviate any discomfort from pressure on the incision. There are cases where women who have had some cesarean section will be destined to have others, but this isn’t always the case. Just because you have had one cesarean section doesn’t mean that you have to have all of your children in this manner. It all depends on the circumstances of the child and your size, i.e. your pelvis is too small or the baby is too big. Depending on the cause of the first cesarean the success rate of a vaginal birth afterwards is up to 80%. Remember to talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you have, they are knowledgeable about the subject and can assist you with what you need.