A cesarean section is sometimes planned in advance. If you await a planned c-section, it's a good idea to find out about c-section procedures and the type of aftercare you will need. Some timely preparations for your newborn's arrival can help provide a positive birth experience and a smooth recovery.
C-Section Support Plan
For a planned C-section, it's likely that you will receive
regional anesthetic, which numbs the area below the waistline. Regional
anesthesia allows you to remain conscious so that you can see your newborn
immediately after delivery, provided there are no complications. Arrange for at
least one supportive person, such as your husband or partner, to accompany you
on the day of surgery. It's best to check with your health care provider if you
would like your birth partner to remain with you during delivery as hospital
regulations can vary.
C-Section Birth Plan
Create a birth plan with the help of your birth partner and your
doctor at least a few months before your surgery date. This gives you a chance
to mention any special requests you might have in good time for the birth. You
could ask that your birth partner cut the newborn's cord. It's best to keep
your birth plan simple and flexible to let your obstetrician and medical team
prioritize health and safety issues above other concerns. If you plan to
breastfeed, you could also find out about the likely amount of recovery time
needed between your surgery and the time of your newborn's first feed.
It's normal to experience heavy bleeding after a C-section, and
therefore hospitals usually provide extra-absorbent menstrual pads for you to
use. However, you might prefer to take along and use your own high-absorbency
menstrual pads if you think they are more comfortable. If you plan to
breastfeed your newborn, pack a small, foam cushion or a folded bath towel into
your hospital bag for you to use as a "tummy pillow". A tummy pillow
is helpful when you are lying on one side to breastfeed your baby as you can
place it between the bed and your abdomen to help support and protect your
C-Section Aftercare Plan
Typically, moms stay in the hospital for two to four days after
a cesarean section. Once home, try to rest as much as you can, and avoid
lifting anything heavier than your newborn. Don't turn down offers of help.
Although a C-section is minor surgery, it's still surgery, and your body needs
time to heal. Before you head to the hospital, stock your larder, fridge and
freezer with a range of nutritious foods so you don't have to worry about meals
your first few days home from the hospital.