Over 13 years ago I had a natural birth with my first son. I was induced due to pre-eclampsia at 36 weeks, it was a 4 hour labour and extremely intense with no build up at all. I was 19, pretty scared and it was too late to have any pain relief. The gas and air made me feel sick so I refused it! I was being monitored constantly so was unable to move around and birthed on my back. If I knew then what I knew now I would have refused this as I suffered many back issues after this.
Baby Tyler First Born
So when I fell pregnant with my surprise identical twins I was pretty panicked by the thought of having a natural birth with them. How was I going to manage to get two out?! Also they said they would induce them at 36 weeks due to them being identical and the risks that go with that. So I was going to have to experience an induction labour all over again.
I chatted to my consultant as the time got nearer and explained my fears, my on going back issues and he suggested that I had them by a Cesarean section. I had also done my research into Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) which can happen during labour. So I felt so much happier and relaxed knowing that it would be a calm birth, with no risk to damaging my back any further or the risks with the babies.
My little ladies didn’t want to wait until 36 weeks for a planned caesarean section, they wanted to arrive earlier and after a couple of attempts to stop (with success) this time they weren’t being stopped. It was 33 weeks on the dot and they were arriving!
First Family Photo 2 days after the twins were born
So as it is National Caesarean section month I thought I would reach out to the Mummy Blogger world and see what their top Caesarean section tips are. Wow did they come up with some! I hope this helps any pregnant Mums out there who have a section planned, possibility they might have one or Mums who have just had a baby by Caesarean section and didn’t know what to expect or to help them.
41 Tips For A Caesarean Section Birth
- A non spill sports cap water bottle to have in bed with you is essential. You need to stay well hydrated and the last thing you will want to do is keep reaching for the hospital cup on the table which is always out of reach.
- Limit your trips up the stairs. Have a changing mat downstairs with a basket full of all the nappy changing essentials.
- High waisted knickers, granny pants, M&S ones are the best! Honestly – if you’re 12-14- don’t just go up a size – go up about 5 sizes!
- Take a dressing gown, a nightie and a dress for coming home in.
- Keep on top of pain killers even when you feel comfortable and don’t think you need them
- Get mobile as soon as you can and get up out of bed. Don’t push yourself though and take small steps each day. Lying there and not walking hurts far more.
- Swing you legs round when lying down before getting up
- Ask for help and don’t expect you have to do it all. Whether it be someone taking a bit of washing away to do for you or putting things away when they come to visit. Let people do your shopping and cleaning don’t be proud about it all, you will struggle to do very much and you don’t want to over do it and set yourself back.
- Ignore anyone who tells you a c section is the easy option!
- Have comfortable trousers to wear for afterwards – ideally something without a waistband and seamless that will dig in.
- Remember you can call the hospital or your GP for advice
- Stack up on the hospital’s maxi pads. You need them because you will need maxi pads to help while you deal with lochia (the bleeding that continues after birth)
- Be prepared for the worst ever constipation, and feeling like your insides are falling out the first time you get up.
- Stock up on prune juice & lactulose to help with the first poo!
- Try to avoid eating gassy foods or those that cause constipation. The pain that builds up in the lower abdomen if you do the first week or so after the op can be utterly unbearable!
- Windeze tablets, senokot, orange juice and peppermint tea for the trapped wind. Peppermint water in hospital helps so much with trapped wind, and having peppermint cordial and tea at home can really help too.
- Attach extra large sanity pads to the inside of your knickers over where your stitches are. Sticking the sticky part to your knickers to keep it in place. It stops your waistband and clothes rubbing or use a rolled up muslin.
- Roll up a hand towel and press across your incision line when you need to poo! It stops it feeling like everything is about to open up and fall out!
- When you get home a side sleeper cot which attaches to the side of your bed is a godsend
- Be POSITIVE it’s all about the baby not whether you have a natural birth or not
- I found it really helpful to sit on extra cushions on the sofa as getting up and down was hard
- Use lots of pillows after to sleep as upright as you can. Not only does this make it easier getting up but reduces the risk that you’ll turn over in your sleep and pull on your stitches!
- If for any reason you need to be put to sleep then make sure you ask for pictures to be taken with you and baby for when you wake up.
- Use a sponge or flannel and if you have a bit of overhang make sure you dry out the area thoroughly after a shower.
- Have a gentle C section! Oh. And ask for/pay for a private side room. We were able to do this in Swindon. Being calm and quiet really helps with bonding and recovery.
- When the nurses make you get out of bed to walk to the bathroom, don’t be alarmed if you leave a path of blood behind (it was a like a murder scene, scared me half to death!)
- Once in the shower, don’t turn the heat up too much … the combination of a headrush having been laying down for ages, combined with the heat/steam, made me faint!!
- Take waterwipes wipes with you . As you will have to stay in and may not feel like trying to have a shower . At least you can freshen yourself up with wipes
- Be fit and healthy before falling pregnant. I really believe keeping fit before and during pregnancy helped strengthen my body because apart from a little back ache when I would change N leaning over, I had no issues with it (aside from needing to work out a painfree way of getting out of bed)
- If you’re having a scheduled section as I did for my first because he was breech them take the opportunity to stock your cupboards up with an online shop for when you come home! My second baby was a VBAC and came early by surprise and we had nothing in and had to stop in at the pub on the way home for a Sunday roast!
- Take an extra pillow into hospital to put across your tummy. I felt like my insides were going to fall out when I laughed/coughed but the pillow made me feel more “secure”.
- Be aware that you may struggle to lay down in your bed at home after coming out of hospital (too high/low) so be prepared with extra pillows and a little step to make getting in and out of bed that little easier! (Just remember it’s there!)
- The one thing I needed to hear after my emergency c section was that I would feel more comfortable and able to walk within a week. I had no ideas on that first day how long I would be so immobile. I had visions of being stuck on my back and rolling around for 6 weeks. When it’s so unexpected it can be a shock.
- Don’t listen to the opinion of anyone who hasn’t had a c-section. My own sister told me she’d rather give birth out of her arse, 1 hour before my c-section (my baby couldn’t wait any longer to be born). It was really unhelpful!
- Not to look in anything shiny above you in theatre unless you want to see the birth.
- Or if you do then ask to be able to see more
- Be prepared for a Punch and Judy style introduction to your child as it’s lifted over the screen for you to see; try and keep a sense of humor!
- Arnica tablets help with the bruising
- Take a zinc supplement during pregnancy. Zinc is fantastic for skin health and healing.
- Lots of lavender baths and just be gentle on yourself and know that the difficulty in the beginning will pass and you will get back to your active self soon enough, even if it feels like you will never get there.
- If it’s a planned C-section. Take probiotics and give your new baby, ‘baby safe’ probiotics as C-sections can increase the risk of allergies
Many thanks to all these wonderful bloggers who shared their tips for this post. I hope they are super helpful to you
Cups Of Charlotte – The Coastal Mummy – Lycra Window – Pass The Prosecco Please – Whinge Whinge Wine – A Journey To A Lifetime – Nomipalony – The Mummy Toolbox – Mummy and The Chunks – The Incidental Parent – Something About Baby – Emmys Mummy – Nature Mums – All About A Mummy – Baby Budgeting – Living Life Our Way – How To Survive Motherhood – Arepops – Georgina Clarke – Blue Bear Wood – Beauties and the bibs – Inspire Gratitude Manifest – Pack The PJ’s – Emma Reed – Bubbablue and Me – Not My First Rodeo – Twinderelmo – A Slummy Mummy – Me and B Make Tea – Katy Kicker – Virtually All Sorts – Our Altered Life – Absolutely Prabulous – Just Around The River Bend – Thrifty Mum – Susan K Mann – Time and Pence – Buckets Of Tea – Glasgow With Kids – Team Stein Mummy – My Parenting Journey – The Lupie Mummy