The truths about having a c-section

The truths about having a c-section

It’s c-section awareness month and I have been thinking back to my c-section just under 21 months ago. Going overdue, being induced and then failing to progress were in my opinion the classic cases that led to my c-section. I received the best care from the staff at the hospital before, during and after, and I don’t regret the experience. Myself and my baby were safe, which is the most important priority. As it’s c-section awareness month I wanted to share a few truths about c-sections from my perspective and my experience. 

They are common

Unfortunately more than you think. 1 in every 3 births is via c-section, which is a huge statistic and one that needs to be brought down. In my NCT group 4 out of 7 of us had a c-section which is more than 50%. If you’re reading this please don’t be scared by this fact, as this will vary between different groups of people.

Nobody wants one

True, unless it’s planned or for medical reasons. I was a huge believer in having a water birth in the birth centre at my local hospital. In reality how many people get to the birth centre? Not many in my experience. Having a c-section was something I was really afraid of, however it happened and it was the only way that my baby would be delivered safely. I don’t look back at the experience with regret or sadness, although that could be because a lot of time has passed.

It’s major surgery

This is something I was told repeatedly by the doctors and midwives at the hospital. It is major surgery through many layers of skin involving many stitches. Being a new Mum, with the pressures to care for a newborn and still continue to maintain some level of normal life, you need to rest as much as you can afterwards, and lean on others for support.

They are a relief

At the end of my 60-hour induced labour being informed that we could go for a c-section or wait another 4-hours to see what happens, was a relief. I was just glad that it would be over soon and that I would be able to meet my baby. I think that my husband who had slept in a chair for 3 days was also relieved that it would be soon be over too.

The first walk

Within 24 hours of having your c-section you will be made to get up from your bed and walk. I was really nervous about this, and it literally felt that I was being torn in two. I remember shuffling around the ward and having a really painful shower. However the more your walk and move around the easier it gets.

Recovery is painful

Rest, rest, rest, and take the painkillers. As we have c-sections when we are awake do we see them as not major surgery? We then have a million things to do afterwards meaning we tend to over-do it. I know that I did. It took me about two to three weeks before I felt that I could walk properly, and then another 6 weeks before I started to feel nearly 80%, so take it easy.

Breastfeeding is hard

I think that everyone will have different opinions on this, and it’s hard anyway without having had a c-section. I remember for the first few weeks I could barely lift my daughter, as I had completely lost my core strength and muscles. This made feeding really difficult to the point where I was so close to giving up. However investing in a My Brest Friend feeding pillow was life-changing.

Injections

I had to inject myself for 10 days after my c-section with Clexane each side of my belly button to avoid any blood clots. I remember being quite nervous about doing this, as I never had to inject myself before. If you’re worried about it, or can’t stand needles then get someone else to do it.

Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you will need it. Ask family and friends to help you as much as possible with your baby, but also ask them to help you round the house, and cook you dinner. I couldn’t lift anything for weeks, and I really appreciated my Mum cleaning our bathroom twice.

It does fade

My daughter is 21-months old, and my scar is now a thin pink faded line. It was only the other day I realised that it had really faded. It’s something that will be there forever, but that’s my battle scar for having a baby.

Everyone who has had a c-section will have had a different experience, different birth story, differing opinions and a different recovery. I think that my recovery was harder and longer due to the 60-hour induced labour, and I know people who have had an easier or harder recovery. However your baby is born, a c-section is still childbirth, it can be planned or it can be an emergency, they happen for a reason, and will have saved many lives. Also they may seem scary, and the thought may be scary, but they are actually ok.

Was your child born via c-section? I would love to hear from you.

Claire x

4 Comments

  1. Carol Cameleon April 24, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Wow, 60 hours?! That’s a looong time CLaire. My section was planned due to a low placenta but I ended with an emergency at 37+1 in any case. Despite the associated trauma, mine was a very positive experience, probably helped becuase i was clued up on them because I was booked in for a planned. i was fit beforehand and found the recovery okay (yes painful of course, but okay). As you say, everyone’s experience and circs are different and I see sections as a very positive form of childbirth! A really insightful post. Some women are not so lucky to have a healthy baby afterwards…
    Carol Cameleon recently posted…Time for a dose of happiness in #HighlightsofHappy blog linky #40 ~ because life’s for the good stuffMy Profile

  2. Hayley @ Mission Mindfulness April 25, 2017 / 7:51 am

    I totally agree about asking for help. I didn’t wig my first and set my recovery back whereas with my second c-sec I was much more disciplined about not doing too much X too quickly and the recovery was a much smoother one. Posts like these are great – busting some myths about c sections is really needed. Xx

  3. Mamma_B September 9, 2017 / 5:23 pm

    A really well balanced account of a C-Section. I get really frustrated with the scare mongering that goes on about sections. Yes it’s major surgery and yes it isn’t ideal or particularly pleasant, but if it gets both mum and baby through the ordeal safely, to me it is completely worthwhile. I’ve spoken to pregnant friends who are physically fearful of having a section, like it’s the absolute worst thing that can happen during a birth. Only it’s not as dramatic as people make out. Mine was an emergency section and I still found it so much more relaxed and calm than people lead you to believe sometimes. We have the added advantage over here of the fabulous teams at the NHS who get us through these surgeries in the safest possible ways. Thank you for sharing such a fairly balanced account, it’s a refreshing read!!!

    • The Pramshed September 9, 2017 / 6:49 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and for you comment. I was really scared about having a section, however it happened that way. They are so common but they are for the best for the mum and the baby. Our NHS is such a fantastic resource, and I was treated in the best way and care afterwards. Yes the recovery is hard, but you get through it day by day, hour by hour x

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