7 ways to plan for an unplanned c-section

7 ways to plan for an unplanned c-section

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When I was preparing for the birth of my first son, I wanted to plan ahead as much as possible. I don't know why I narrowed in on that specifically, but I did.

When the time came however, after 26 hours of labor which included 3 hours of pushing, I ended up with a cesarean section. I had been successful in avoiding Pitocin until the very end of active labor, but a c-section? I had NOT planned on that!

The fact is in the United States, more than 1/3 of women will give birth via cesarean. The way I see it is, it's better to be informed than surprised.

So as you prepare to give birth, here are a few things to keep in mind that will help ease the transition after a c-section.

1) Make a back-up Birth Plan. It's a good idea to have a c-section paragraph in your birth plan, "just in case." If nothing else, you will have to read up a little bit on the possibilities and know your answer before you are asked to fill out 14 forms and sign and date here (and here and here) between contractions. Just sayin'.

2) Buy new underwear! Don't go for anything even remotely feminine either. If you end up with a scar it will be right where most bikini underwear sit and even a lot of the maternity styles. I thought I would just continue to wear my maternity undies but it was not meant to be. Trust me, you want the ones that come all the way up to your belly button. We had to stop at a drug store on the way home from the hospital because I had nothing. Save yourself the trouble and grab some ahead of time - just don't open them so you can take them back if you need to. And get the black ones. Because if you have to look like Nacho Libre at least you can be sleek about it!

3) Skip the super maxis. When I was planning for my birth I had the witch hazel and the king sized maxi pads and thought I was totally prepared for the postpartum 'down there care'.However, something I learned post-op was that while there is still post birth bleeding, it's not nearly as much, so those 4-inch thick pads are just an uncomfortable nuisance! Grab a pack of regular overnights and sleep easy.

4) Your bed is your life. Anyone who has had a c-section will tell you that getting up and down is one of the hardest parts of the healing process. Keep your bedside neat and have your spouse or a friend gather everything you might need so you can get up as little as possible those first few days. You'll want bottles of water, snacks, books, your laptop and if you are nursing, a nursing pillow. And if you can score a tv, bonus!

5) Take the drugs. You just had major abdominal surgery. Now is not the time to be a martyr. Even if you plan to breastfeed, there are pain killers that you can take. If it would help to research that now, go right ahead! Making decisions when you are healing and exhausted from learning how to take care of a newborn is a bad idea.

6) Accept help. Regardless of how your baby is brought into this world, you will need all the help you can get. Your friends want to help you so tell them what you need and let them do ANYTHING they're willing to do. One day you can return the favor.

7) Let it go. If you are like me and had dreams of vaginal birth, it can be a startling emotional burden to deal with the loss of your dream. Even if in the end "everyone is healthy." It matters. And the change happens so fast that often, women are left with strange emotions they never considered. Talk to someone, allow a grieving period for the things that didn't go your way. And then look down at that beautiful baby and rejoice in the life you are starting together.

Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.

Watch the video: Preventing a C-Section. 3 MIDWIFE TIPS TO DECREASE YOUR RISK (November 2022).

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