C-sections

I am expecting our 2nd child and the plan (for now at least) is to have an elective c-section at 34 weeks (this is based on medical advice, not through choice). We had a few problems last time resulting in an emergency c-section so hoping to avoid that this time around!

Although it is a bit of a worry, it has been easier having more notice and therefore time to plan this time. With this in mind I would appreciate any suggestions for things to prepare in advance to make it easier - I have been batch cooking and freezing meals ready for DH while I am in hospital and for the first week I am out, I will also been making sure there is plenty of clean washing etc. I have also prepared a fund ready for DH to buy some more baby clothes etc after it's born (we don't know the sex which isn't a problem but because we don't know how small it will be I have only bought one pack of baby gros for now) as well as food etc.

I also wondered for those of you who have had c-sections if there is anything I can do to try and get back on my feet a bit quicker. Obviously I can't rush things and it is better to take it easy but last time I didn't have my catheter (sorry if tmi) out for about 5 days despite asking and because it was my first child I didn't know that this should have been done a lot sooner. I was also never sure how soon I could/should be out of bed and walking. All being well, I am hoping to be going home after about 3 days, rather than the 8 it was last time. Any advice on what you did after the op to help your recovery along would be hugely appreciated.
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  • The key to a good recovery is good nutrition, make sure you keep your iron levels up, they should be checked at 28 weeks so if you have been prescribed iron tablets make sure you take them, lots of green leafy too, brocolli, spinach, kale etc.

    First couple of days after just gentle pottering about, don't do too much and keep on top of the pain relief, drink plenty of water, keep hydrated especially if you are expressing. 34 weeks is very early for an elective section, if this is because of your health then maybe make an extended appointment with your midwife to discuss things you can do. If it's for the baby's health then hope you both do well xx
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  • Fizzy11
    Fizzy11 Posts: 135
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    Hindsight is a great thing so seeing as my elective C sect was 30 years ago my advice is don't be a perfectionist. Accept that you will be exhausted but you & your older child is the priority. Sorry to new baby & partner but the baby is happy whoever feeds/changes them & OH should be mature enough not to be priority. Accept help from friends or family. Limit the visitors. Personally I would have a new DVD for older child for the first day you cope completely alone.
    I hope everything goes well.
  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346
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    Having had exactly the same, planned section after an emergency, I would say that recovery from the planned is much better than after the emergency!

    You won't feel as bruised and battered, partly because you'll not have recovered 100% of feeling from the last section and partly because the whole experience is a lot calmer, they won't need to pull you around to get the baby out, they'll take their time, make the incision slowly, lift baby out slowly and sew you up slowly.

    I would say get up and about as soon as you can, little and often is the key, obviosly only at your own pace. The more time you spend sitting still, the harder it is to get going.

    Oh, and a planned section is so incredibly different, mine was a wonderful experience, I'm so glad I did it, I was finding the thought of it all going wrong again so incredibly frightening and stressful, it was the best choice I could have made.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • nonnatus
    nonnatus Posts: 1,458 Forumite
    /\ /\ /\ /\ - What Peachy said :D

    My first was an emergency section and horrendous.

    A year later, a planned section was sooooo very different. A great experience and a much speedier recovery time.

    Relax and let yourself be looked after.

    (and Congratulations!)
  • toffifee
    toffifee Posts: 237
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    I second getting up early and moving around little and often. I had my second c-section at 3am and had the catheter out and was in the shower the next evening (mainly because the nurse wanted to give me a bed bath!).

    When you get home, keep a pillow handy at all times so you can protect the scar when your eldest wants a cuddle.
  • MrsSippi
    MrsSippi Posts: 287 Forumite
    Thanks for all the positive replies. I would be interested to see how different it is having an elective section as opposed to an emergency. A few people have told me it is much easier but I suppose I can't really understand how because the end result (to myself at least) I am expecting to be the same. Having said that if all goes to plan it will be a huge relief to not have the worry I had last time. Pleased to hear that the recovery time is quicker too.

    It's helpful to know that I can be up and moving (albeit gently) a lot sooner than I was last time. I wasn't well during the op last time and was too weak to walk for the first couple of days so couldn't have faced it but after then I did ask a few times about having the catheter removed and having a walk (or hobble!) about but none of the nursing staff did this so I assumed it was too soon. Now obviously I know that this isn't the case.

    DH is very supportive and will help a lot with our daughter and said he is more than happy to do the bulk of the night feeds etc at first which is good. I have also bought a special c-section belt for afterwards which is supposed to aid the healing process and protect the scar area.
  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346
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    I'm assuming the elective section is so the baby can be born before you become ill this time? So you'll be in 100% better shape than last time and your poor body won't have had the shock of that whole horrible experience.

    With my emergency I didn't see my babies for 2 days, they were in SCBU, I was on the ward and they wouldn't let me get out of bed, not even into a wheelchair, to go see them. The SCBU nurses brought them up to me in the end.

    With my elective, she was born at 11am, I was sat up in a chair by the evening after a nap in the afternoon. I'm not going to pretend it wasn't sore, it was, but nowhere near as totally debilitating as the previous.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • Janepig
    Janepig Posts: 16,780 Forumite
    As far as being up and about goes, both of mine were born at around midnight (one at 11.30pm, one at 12.30am) and both times I was instructed to be up and in the shower at around 9am the following morning (catheter removed before then). I was moved down to the main ward from the small four bed recovery ward soon after and I requested a side room so I had my own bathroom (I was charged a small amount for this when I had DD, got it for free when I had DS).

    With DS he was born at 35 weeks and although I was always going to have a C-section, the hospital decided to play silly beggars, possibly because it was Christmas Day, and kept me waiting and waiting so it turned out to be more of an emergency section than a planned one. However, I had a bit of a shock because I was all geared up to go home after three days, only to be told that I would have to stay in hospital until DS would have been 36 weeks. Hospital policy. So that may be worth checking.

    I have to say though I had no problems with recovery from either of my c-sections, I was up and about quite quickly. I'm quite small though so it's possible that the painkillers I was given had a stronger effect on me, plus I'm told that hospital co-codamol have more codeine in them so that might have something to do with it (not sure if that's a myth). They were making me sleepy though so I stopped taking them early on.

    Jx
    And it looks like we made it once again
    Yes it looks like we made it to the end
  • I feel like this might not be of much use but I had to have an emergency c-section too but I recovered almost instantly (I had a weirdly easy pregnancy too though). The only thing that has really stuck in my mind was being told off for not having big knickers (wasn't expecting a c-section at all) but I'm sure you already though of that. I know I also had a problem passing urine after my catheter was removed but that was because I just forgot to drink water, the nurse warned me that I could have a problem if it wasn't a lack of fluids though so make sure you're drinking plenty of water. They also made sure I took pain relief at regular intervals even though I didn't feel like I needed it, that way I didn't need to risk experience pain before they could get to me again.

    Other than that I guess I moved around quite a lot once the anaesthetic wore off and my catheter was out (approx. 10 hours after surgery) which could have possibly aided my recovery. No one actually told me just how much you aren't supposed to move post c-section, so I was running up and down the stairs and going for long uphill walks with the buggy as soon as I was out (hills weren't by choice, there are hills everywhere here). I think not knowing how much I was supposed to restrict myself helped as I just went along with whatever I felt comfortable with. Of course, don't try to do too much but if you think "I'm not supposed to do X until Y weeks" when you are capable then you are possibly making things harder for yourself. The only time I felt any pain was when I was laughing or coughing, more general movement didn't really hurt at all. But I completely acknowledge that my whole maternity seems much easier than it should be.

    I also stopped taking my hospital prescribed pain killers a week earlier than recommended because I knew I didn't need them. I'm quite big but I don't really ever take pain killers unless it's unbearable so that might account for something.

    Good luck with everything!
    Apologies for any typos, my phone can't handle the forums.
  • wendz86
    wendz86 Posts: 7,171
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    I had an emcs (baby born at 11.35pm) and catheter removed next day. I would say take it easy as much as possible but walking around as soon as you can will probably help. I was home after 3 days and only had to stay that long as my daughter was on antibiotics.
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