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What I Wish I Would Have Known Before Having A C-Section

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

A Cesarean delivery (C-section) is a major abdominal surgery. The procedure typically occurs when a vaginal birth is not the safest option for mom or baby. The doctor must cut through skin, fat, the stomach and uterus before reaching the baby. After the baby is safely out and mom is stitched up, mom has to heal and care for her newborn.


Photo of a Mom during C-section operation

Some people actually believe that a c-section is the easy way out. PSA: When it comes to delivering a baby, THERE IS NO EASY WAY OUT.

April is C-Section awareness month. The awareness campaign promotes greater education of cesareans to help women make informed decisions for themselves and for their baby. Nearly one third of women deliver via c-section (Weiss, 2021).


Knowing how to prepare for a C-section, whether planned or unplanned, can empower you to advocate for yourself and aid you in recovery.


Bonsie spoke with five moms about their C-section to provide you with information, advice and support. In each of these experiences the c-section was unplanned.


Haley:


“I had to have a C-section because every time I had a contraction my baby’s heart rate dropped. The doctor and nurses were concerned and said I needed a C-section immediately. I told them to get her out and we were quickly prepped for surgery.


Other than feeling odd with the bright lights and white room, it felt like it went so fast. The only thing I didn’t expect was that I was uncontrollably shaking for a portion of it…and I could only feel my arms…but the nurses and doctors were so kind and caring. They talked my husband and me through everything and put me at ease."


"My advice is to get up and start moving as soon as they let you. The nurses will assist you! This helped me to feel back to normal sooner."

"I also didn’t take pain pills. They offered them, but I only took Naproxen. It hurt but I didn’t feel like it was horrible pain. Express at all times how you’re feeling to the staff regarding your pain and needs. They will help! And take all the hospital undies they provide…they are amazing and so comfortable for your incision!”


Kelly:


“I had an emergency C-section because my baby’s heartbeat was inconsistent.


I wish I would’ve known that I wasn’t able to walk until after the anesthesia wore off. Because it was unplanned, I hadn’t grasped that reality. The bigger issue was that I wasn’t able to attend to Collins, my daughter. Every time she cried to be fed or changed, I couldn’t respond quickly. I felt really helpless. I didn’t realize how much pain there would actually be afterwards! They give you good pain drugs for a reason.


It also took my milk a while to come in, which made it hard to feed Collins the way I wanted. I nursed right away, but realized after the first day that she wasn’t really getting anything, so she was fussy because she was so hungry.


I hadn’t wanted or planned to have a C-section, so I didn’t do ANY research about it. I wish I would have had a general understanding of what happened before, during and after.”


Caroline:


“I had a C-section because I pushed for almost three hours and my pelvic bone wouldn’t expand enough to deliver my baby. The doctor came in because things weren’t progressing and immediately called for a c-section.


I wish I would have known how the medication was going to affect me. I was so out of it during the first couple of weeks, which made it difficult to care for my newborn. With my second child I had a scheduled C-section and didn’t take the pain medication. Recovery was much better the second time around.”


Mallory:


“I was induced at 39 weeks. I labored for 30 hours and FINALLY reached a ten. We pushed for three hours. Between vomiting and pure exhaustion, I was done and expressed this to my nurse. My doctor looked at my previous sono and determined my baby’s belly was a lot bigger than her shoulders. Because her shoulders were not progressing, she felt the best route was a C-section. We knew my baby was on the bigger side because of my last sono going into induction. (Being IVF, we had a lot of sonos to monitor our baby.)"


"I wish I could have known to be more vocal and to ask for my doctor sooner. We knew my baby was big, but the nurse did not know this information, so I wish we would have said it sooner. For future babies we will just plan for a c-section.”

Anna:


I had a C-section because of a birth injury that happened during the birth of my first born called shoulder dystocia. During birth his shoulders got stuck, which resulted in him breaking his collarbone and his humerus as the doctor pulled him out. He is okay now, but it was medically recommended that I have a c-section my second time around so we wouldn’t risk it happening again.


I wish I would’ve known the stigma that can be associated with having a C-section. I had no idea that there were people out there who thought a c-section was the “easy way out.” Even the doctor who prepped me to go into my c-section approached me with an attitude, asking what I was getting a C-section for."


"What if not getting a C-section meant risking my baby’s well being, or even life? As a mom, you make the decision to sacrifice your body to do what’s best for your baby. And it’s an easy decision.”

Thank you to the BRAVE C-section mamas who shared their story with us!







Sources:

Weiss, R. (2021, January 27). Cesarean Section Procedure, Step by Step. VeryWell Family


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