C-section ? Don’t Be Caught Off Guard

“Recent research shows that c-sections today account for almost 30% of all births. If you’re an expectant mom, you may want to think about that.

Most c-sections are planned due to medical conditions, some c-sections are even a choice women make to avoid childbirth pain, however many occur in the wake of complications during labor, and these are the c-sections that catch moms off guard.

For a mom planning a vaginal birth it can be a mental and often emotional shock to know that your birth expectations won’t be met. Instead you’ll be confronted with anesthesia, catheters, surgery, a longer hospital stay and a host of potential complications.

Without careful thought and planning, you are left with your doctor and hospital staff making decisions for you that can leave you feeling out of control and emotionally compromised.

But whether a c-section is expected or unexpected, you still need to be prepared.

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Statistics show that women suffer a lesser degree of emotional stress and depression from having a c-section if they are prepared for the process by fully understanding why it is needed and take part in the decisions being made.

You may be thinking that it’s easy to plan for something you expect to happen, but how do you plan for something you don’t expect?

“”Expect the unexpected””, as they say and plan accordingly.

Regardless of whether you expect to have a c-section or it comes as a surprise, be prepared! That means understanding the risks, familiarizing yourself with the procedures, knowing your options and giving careful thought to what you want most for you and your baby. If problems should occur, be familiar with what they are and be ready for how you will respond to them.

Let’s take a look at why c-sections occur in the first place.

Planned c-sections typically occur because of things like breech birth, carrying multiple babies, having had a previous Cesarean, age, obesity and other medical conditions that clearly dictate a surgical birth.

For healthy moms that don’t expect a c-section, things like failure of labor to progress, fetal distress or baby isn’t able to successfully pass through the birth canal can also require a c-section.

So how do you effectively prepare?

You’ve probably heard women say that they didn’t feel their c-section was really necessary or that doctors are often too quick to perform c-sections due to convenience or avoidance of legal issues. This may or may not be true in many cases however; wouldn’t you want to be sure that your c-section was the best choice for you?

Making clear decisions and immediate choices are a lot harder while flat on your back in labor. This is why keeping yourself informed, and having a plan for what may occur is so important. The last thing you want is you doctor and/or hospital staff making decisions for you. This is your baby’s birth and it should be as you would like it.

No matter how you expect the birth of your baby to go, take the time to go over possible complications, understand the choices and be ready emotionally and physically.

Here are some things you should think about and work into your plan:

The anesthesia
There are basically 3 types of anesthesia, spinal, epidural and General. Spinal and Epidural are regional anesthesias which mean they numb a region of your body. In the case of a c-section the region is roughly from the waist down. A general anesthesia puts you completely under. Most c-sections use a spinal or epidural. In case a c-section should occur you should have an idea for which one you would prefer.

The urinary catheter
You will be administered a catheter before surgery. Make sure it gets inserted after your anesthesia as inserting a catheter may ‘smart’ a bit.

Where does your baby go after the birth?
Ask your doctor or the hospital about having your baby rest on your stomach after it’s born. Otherwise your baby is often whisked away and never brought back until you are in recovery.

Discuss pain relief with your doctor
Being as pain free as possible is important to your recovery, it also helps get breastfeeding off to a good start. Your milk may be slow to come in so it’s important to get the process going as soon as possible. Staying on top of your pain at all times is important.

How do you envision your delivery to be?
Most hospitals will allow your partner with you in delivery but some hospitals will allow other family members as well. Check with your hospital and doctor to find out what their procedures are and plan according. Also don’t forget to think about pictures and/or videos.

Your Recovery
Hospital recovery takes about 3-4 days. You will be slow and tired for the first few days, but stay focused on moving about as quickly as you can, and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.

Keep in mind that your recovery at home may not be as easy as it was in the hospital. Make sure your home is set up for convenience before leaving for the hospital. Have childcare for older children taken care of, plan meals and household chores so that you are free to concentrate on other baby related things. Work in a modest exercise plan that keeps your energy up and get as much rest as possible while staying focused on yourself and your baby.”

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