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Moms-Query_-Elective-Caesareans-How-To-Recover-Afterwards

Moms Query: Elective Caesareans & How To Recover Afterwards

Moms might choose to give birth via Elective Caesarean for a number of reasons; sometimes following an emergency c-section during previous pregnancies.

But how do planned Caesareans differ from their more stressful counterparts? This was the subject of a recent Moms Query on Facebook, which was answered with a great range of birth stories, and some top tips for recovery for the following weeks and months.

"I had an emergency section 4 years ago and I'm booked in for a planned one for my second four weeks. Just want to know if many people had any complications from planned one? Can babies most of time be handed to mom for skin to skin contact, or would most babies need time in NICU? Had emergency section first time as my daughter swallowed meconium. Thank you."

Real Moms' Birth Stories

Lee-Ann: Elective is just lovely and calm. You can ask for skin to skin. I fed her immediately… she was placed in an incubator next to us on her belly to clear her lungs, and it was worth it as her lungs are somewhat stronger for it I would say. 

Fíona: I had a planned section, but due to him not crying for what seemed like ages, he had to be whisked off to NICU; so I missed out on skin to skin, but at least he was fine and with me the following day. I was shown him very briefly before they took him to be checked & I got a kiss. Apart from that, it was calm, apart from me who seemed to cry the whole time! Best of luck, I’m sure it will all be fine.

Margaret: Elective is so easy compared to an emergency! Not that any kind of section is 'easy'! Ask for skin on skin, I did on my last baby ... they cleaned him up first and weighed him etc! Because of the position I was in (and my baby was huge) he had to go to daddy very quickly, because he was sliding off me! As for your recovery, take the painkillers when due. Even if you feel fine, take them! And enjoy your baby!!

Jacqui: I had a planned section in January, and I asked for a gentle section: There was music playing, a lot of conversation, I got to see baby being born, and got skin to skin straight away, for ages. While that was happening I was being sewn and looked after, so by the time my husband brought the baby to recovery I was only a few minutes behind them (first baby I was nearly an hour.) The planned was such a different experience and recovery was so much easier, but take any pain relief given!

Siobhain: Had 2 planned sections, very relaxed: You have time to get your head around what's happening so I think that helps. I had skin to skin both times when baby was born, although second time after I was fixed up there was no bed space in recovery, so daddy had baby for 20mins while I had to wait; but it was grand.

Dee: I had a planned section 15 weeks ago and an emergency section 20 months ago in CUMH. Planned was a lovely experience: Calm, and the nurses in Theatre were outstanding …they turned up the music and sang! Had skin to skin and breastfed my little girl, and no time spent in NICU thank god. Best of luck.

Sarah: [You can request] skin to skin, and have the drape lowered to see her being lifted up (your bump hides everything that needs to be hidden!) Just ask for it all in advance with your team, and again in surgery in case they forget.

Moms' Tips for Recovery

Siobhan: All I can say after a section, is take it as easy as possible. I know that’s hard with two other children, but don’t do anything like hoovering, and lifting anything you don’t need too. Avoid bending as much as possible. You’ll think stuff needs doing in your house: It doesn’t. And don’t be tempted to drive. But do try and get gentle walks in, up and down the corridor, then a little outside when you get home.

Dervla: In hospital take all the drugs, and get moving as soon as possible! I only needed paracetamol when I got home, and only for the first two days. Haven’t needed them since! Keep the section clean and dry: You can’t put soap on it, just let it run down tummy. Take all help offered, order frozen dinners from the local supermarket or get your other half to get some prepared meals from butchers. We have a cleaner come once a week, and that really helps with housework. If visitors come to the house, stay in PJs ... It reminds them you’ve had surgery, and they won’t outstay their welcome! Don’t lift anything too heavy, mind yourself and best of luck! I was really surprised with how it all went! 

Andrea: Witch hazel is great in the bath.

Siobhain: After the section get up, get moving in the hospital, take all the painkillers they give you, do as little as possible when you do get home i.e housework. Arnica tablets are great for internal healing.

Sarah: I had my third section, and even with a 6-year-old and 2.5-year-old, recovery was ok: Little things help like getting down low to hug toddler so you don't have to lift. Also, I found babywearing fantastic as I had hands free, and baby was well up over the wound. Obviously, listen to your body, and don't do too much as it's easy to overdo it at times!!
Tip I used on all three: Fold one of the maternity pads in half (long ways) lift your little bump and put pad against wound - held in place with your pants - it helps keep wound dry I would change the pad a couple of times a day (more if anything on it) just helped keep the area dry from sweat etc, so lesser chance of infection.

Do you have any memories of a caesarean you'd like to share, or top tips for recovery? We'd love to hear.

Once you have had about 3 months recovery, you might enjoy certain Pilates exercises.


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