Cesarean section tips

For about a week now I’ve been thinking about my cesarean section (c-section) for Baby Shark. I had such a great experience with Tristan (you can read about his birth story here) because my gynae had me so well mentally prepared that I thought I’d share some of my tips here.

Having suffered from an anxiety disorder for many years I was really concerned about the actual c-section day. I didn’t want any surprises; I wanted to know everything that was going to happen, who would be in the theatre, etc. So my gynae sat me down and gave me some amazing tips.

Note: I am not a medical professional and this is just some personal tips. It must never take the advise or guidance from your medical doctors. If you are squeamish read with caution as there are some graphic details below. 

Tips for moms

  • You are just a number on a theatre list for all the staff. You’re not special to them. It might be the biggest day in your life but it’s just another day at work for the staff.
  • When being wheeled through from maternity to pre-op & theatre, they will instruct you to lie down. If you prefer sitting up tell them. You don’t have to lie down. I felt more in control sitting on the bed.
  • Shave! Yes, before you go to hospital shave your pubic area very well and quite low. If you don’t they will shave you in theatre which isn’t great. PS you’ll need your husbands help for this one!
  • Dignity, leave it at the hospital door when you arrive. Things have to be done and if you’re precious about it you’ll not know what to do with yourself. The first 24 hours are the “worst”, once you’re able to get out of bed you can take care of yourself and no longer require the nurses assistance for personal matters.
  • Your anaesthetist & paediatrician will visit you in your room before theatre. If you haven’t met them before spend some time talking to them about yourself or your fears / concerns, etc so when you arrive in theatre it’s not a bunch of strangers
  • Everyone has an assistant in theatre, that includes you! They are gynae & assistant, scrub nurse & theatre nurse, paed & mid-wife, anaethetist plus assistant. You & your assistant – your husband 🙂
  • The spinal block injection is not sore; you lean right forward and they rub cold alcohol to clean & sterilize the area on your back and it literally feels like a tiny prick and then you lie down and it’s go time.

Tips for dads

  • You’re going to be separated from your wife while she goes to pre-op; you have to get your sexy scrubs on. Remember to give her a kiss and hug. Being separated from you is big; you’re her biggest supporter
  • Remove all your jewellery (earrings, wedding bands, etc). Leave them at home preferably. You can’t wear them in theatre.
  • When she gets the spinal block she needs you to support her as she leans right forward. Let her rest her head on her shoulder during this time.
  • During the procedure you will sit next to her head. Hold her hand, Smile at her, give her a kiss, your lives are about to change!

What next?

Ok so baby has been born and you’ve been shown your little bundle over the screen, it’s now time for the paed to take baby and do all the standard tests. Don’t worry, baby isn’t going far. These tests are done in the room just meters from your head so you can see baby the whole time. During this time your team is stitching you up so baby can be given back to you for plenty of skin-to-skin time. You will also be transferred back onto a ward bed before being wheeled through to recovery. To be honest I can’t remember how long I stayed in recovery, but think it was about 30 minutes. We just chilled and met each other properly. Hubby is with you all the time so you 3 can really just be together with no interruptions. Baby might try crawling to your breast to latch but not common as they usually have a full tummy already.

Back in your room

Remember, you’ve had a spinal block which takes time to wear off so you won’t be allowed out of your bed for around 20 hours, so basically the next day. The catheter remains in until then so don’t stress about needing to get up for the loo. You won’t be getting much to eat because you can’t get up to use the toilet; I can’t remember if I was hungry or not nor what I ate but the staff will take great care of you. I did make sure I had some flavoured waters with me though.

First shower

So its day 2 and the catheter has been removed, you’re allowed to stand up and go for a much needed shower. Now some people experience the following and some don’t; I didn’t but I had been prewarned about it. As you’ve been lying horizontal for 20-odd hours and this is the first time you’re standing up, you might have a heavy rush of blood exiting your body following the c-section. If you don’t know about it you might get a massive fright; but it’s normal to get it so don’t worry. You’re not bleeding out or anything. It’s just the body’s way of getting rid of the pooled blood. Ok, gross part over!

One more thing; with the second (or third, etc) c-sections, the procedure takes a little longer as they have to cut through the scar tissue from the previous operation.

I hope this has helped you (or someone you know) be better prepared for a c-section. Wednesday 5 June 2019 can’t come soon enough! I’m prepared for my second c-section and trust in all my doctors to take care of both myself & Baby Shark.

Much love xxx

6 thoughts on “Cesarean section tips

  1. Simone says:

    Good luck with the last few days before Baby Shark arrives! Every c-section I had was different, but it helps to be more prepared as well as the confidence that comes with knowing what to expect and what you’re allowed to say/feel/do/be! Take it as it comes, and we can’t wait to see the photos!

    • Suburban Cape Town Mom says:

      Thanks for the message Simone! It totally helps to know what’s coming. Keep an eye on our Instagram feed for updates x

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