Women can give birth in two ways. The first one is the natural process, which is the vaginal delivery, and the other one is through a cesarean section or C-Section as it is typically called. The method of giving birth to your child usually depends on the baby’s presentation, most of the time, vaginal delivery is preferred. However, some women opt to undergo cesarean section because of various reasons.
Giving birth through cesarean section requires you to go under the knife. Although giving birth requires preparation, c-section demands a bit more work than you need arrange prior to your due date.
What Is a Cesarean Section?
The method of delivery through a cesarean section requires a surgical incision that can go vertically or horizontally against your abdomen. Cesarean section is usually scheduled ahead of time depending on you and your physician’s agreement. On some unforeseen circumstances, emergency c-section is done if there is a complication present before you give birth.
Are There Any Specific Preparations That I Need to Do to Have a C-Section?
Just like the normal vaginal delivery, preparation is key when you will be undergoing a c-section. It might just require a little more preparation and effort to ensure that you get everything covered.
- Talk to your obstetrician about what method of delivery is best for your condition. However, you can always verbalize to your physician if you would like to give birth via c-section as early as your second visit.
- During pregnancy, it is best if you watch your weight and eat only the prescribed number of calories to avoid gaining so much weight. Excess calories turn into fats and women are said to be at higher risk of complications if they are overweight.
- Before your due date, make sure to pack everything you need in a bag. Essentials for your newborn such as clothing, diapers, and other things that can help you and your baby’s hospital as comfortable as possible.
Preparation should start as early as possible. Keep a list of all the things that you need and the questions you want to ask your doctor as you would not forget anything and you can be at ease.
How Is a Cesarean Section Done?
A c-section starts with the healthcare team preparing you for surgery. After you are prepared and transported to the operating room, you will be oriented by the staff and induction of anesthesia may already begin. After the anesthesia has taken its effect, the area for incision will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
Your obstetrician will then cut through your abdomen in either a small horizontal incision (called a ‘bikini cut’) or a vertical line that runs through the middle of your tummy. The doctor will cut further to the skin until he or she reaches your uterus.
When the doctor has finally reaches your uterus, he or she will then make a small cut on it in order to allow the baby to pass through.
After ensuring that there are no complications present and that everything is in order, your doctor will then start stitching you up layer-by-layer.
What Happens After the Baby Is Pulled from My Uterus?
After your baby has been pulled out of your uterus, the healthcare team will then let you see your child before ultimately cutting the cord and performing the first step in newborn care. Your baby may be examined by the pediatrician and administered the necessary newborn medications such as vitamin K.
How Long Would It Take for Me To Fully Recover?
Immediately after the procedure, you will be transported to a recovery room and will be monitored until your vital signs return to normal and you show no signs of unforeseen complications.
Usually, your doctor would advise you to stay within the hospital premises until the third day after your operation. Your doctor, obstetrician and pediatrician, would normally advise you to start breastfeeding. Medicines to relieve pain and IV fluids to rehydrate you after losing some blood during the operation.
It would also be best to start walking as soon as tolerated (usually a day after the operation). This is to help speed up your bowel recovery and also to prevent blood clots. A good walk after giving birth also boosts your circulation which evenly distributes the nutrients throughout your body and wound healing is hastened too. You can also expect for an abdominal binder to be applied on your abdomen to help secure the stitches.
After your c-section, it is best to keep track and watch your diet. Eat foods rich in protein to help your wound heal faster. Also, expect that you will be needing help and assistance from your partner in performing activities of daily living such as bathing and standing up. It is also best to drink plenty of liquids (more water) to prevent constipation, which can put strain on your incision site.
You should also watch out for signs and symptoms of infection as this should prompt you to seek medical help immediately. Among the signs and symptoms that you should watch out for are:
- Redness, warmth, swelling, and discharge present on the incision site.
- Worsening pain.
- Foul smelling discharge from the vagina or incision site.
- Difficulty in urinating (burning sensation, urge to pee frequently)
Your scar from undergoing a c-section should be completely healed at least six weeks after delivery. Any abnormal or unforeseen circumstances should warrant you to consult medical help as soon as possible.
Author: Patricia Magno RN