I can’t say that I learned much from the prenatal classes that we took before we had our first child. I can definitely say that the focus was on vaginal birth and there was little emphasis on c-sections.
When I went into labor, my birth plan went out the window. I didn’t dilate and consequently, my son’s heart rate plummeted. Within 15 minutes of receiving the news, I had an emergency c-section. I am grateful that my son is healthy is beautiful. I just wish someone had told me a thing or two before hand about c-sections.
For all you soon-to-be moms out there, this is for you! I am not trying to scare you. I am trying to prepare you. Some women actually prefer c-sections.
1. A c-section (Cesarean section) is major surgery. You will need time to heal. Your incision will need about 8 weeks to fully heal. So be careful, don’t overexert, or lift really heavy things.
2. With major surgery comes major drugs. I was given morphine. What this means, don’t expect to function the first couple days after you deliver. I highly recommend that your spouse, partner or other support stay with you to help you manage your newborn.
3. Your milk production will be delayed. Apparently with major surgery and drugs, your milk production will be delayed. I had a hard time breastfeeding and again no one told me that with a c-section your milk will come in later than with a vaginal birth. Don’t feel defeated – keep to it if you can.
4. You will need to wear big granny panties for a while. Unfortunately, you can’t wear your normal cute and low cut briefs after a c-section because it will irritate your incision. I had to send my mom out to buy me underwear because again, no one told me. The best brand that I recommend to get the job done is Fruit of the Loom.
5. It takes at least 2 years for your incision to fully heal. Generally, obstetricians recommend waiting to get pregnant 2 years after your c-section. If you do wait, obstetricians are more likely to encourage you to try V-BAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section). We waited and I was able to successfully deliver my second child by VBAC.
Although my experience was unpleasant, it was well worth it. I know now that being prepared for a C-section (or learning more about it) would have made things a little easier for me.
Just think that although you may feel discomfort during and after your cesarean section, you now have a beautiful addition to your family.