Planning on having a cesarean section? Here’s what you need to know about preparing for it.
So you are having a baby? Congratulations!
Preparing for the arrival of a new baby is an amazing thing. You are full of excited anticipation and a million questions.
For those who decide to be surprised, you are wondering, ‘Is the baby a boy or a girl?’, ‘Who will he look like?’, ‘How big will it be?’, ‘What type of parent will I be?’, ‘Will the baby be gentle or fussy?’
Loads of questions!
Another of those questions to answer is your chosen mode of birth. You can either have a spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD) or an elective Cesarean Section (CS).
If your choice is a CS, then you need to be aware of the following:
Sounds obvious, right? I know.
However, I have discovered that if you have not had an experience with surgery before, it can come as something of a shock.
When you have surgery, no matter how mild, there will be a period of recovery. That was what I didn’t fully grasp and I would that you do not make the same mistake.
Cesarean Section is surgery and you will need to recover from it. You will need lots of rest to fully recover. If you have had experience with surgery but not CS, then this article is for you too.
You are bringing home a new baby after the cesarean section
You are bringing home a newborn – a baby who would need you for everything except the air it will breathe.
Are you getting my drift yet? No? Not to worry, you will.
The baby will need you irrespective of your need to rest. You will be needed for feeding, diaper duty, bathing, cradling, cuddling and any other need your baby can think up. This brings us to the next thing you need to consider.
Have a great support system
This cannot be overemphasized. You need a support system that is tailored to your unique needs. Understand me very well on this. It is normal to have people flocking around you when you have a new baby especially in our part of the world. However, you need people around you who understand that you have a long recovery process ahead of you and that you need all the help you can get to recover in good time. Recovering from the Cesarean Section is quite different from recovering from Vaginal Delivery – it takes longer.
Get sanitary pads
Don’t be lulled into thinking that because you are having CS, you won’t need them. Lochia comes either way – it’s just lighter and dries up quickly.
You can express your milk and get your support system to feed your baby while you take some much-needed rest. This also prevents your breast from getting engorged with milk. Trust me, you don’t want to add an engorged breast to the stuff you have to deal with.
Make arrangements for feeding
Your support system will be very helpful in this regard. When going for a Cesarean, you are expected to lay off food and water for at least twelve hours prior to surgery. After surgery, you still won’t be able to eat or drink for at least another twelve hours. That makes a total of at least twenty-four without food or water. In addition, you won’t be able to take solids for a couple of days after. Your diet will consist solely of fluids and light meals such as broths.
Babysitting arrangement for older kids
If you have older children, make babysitting arrangements for the time you will be in the hospital. If you have never spent a night apart from your older child(ren), you might want to consider having a couple of test runs before the D-day. That way, you won’t have a child who is a basket case on your hands. I did not know to do this with my older child and he wept buckets when I had to leave for the hospital. Trust me, you don’t the emotional burden of guilt and worry added to your plate.
It is my hope that with these few points, you are better prepared for the arrival of your baby. Congratulations once again.
Wishing you all the best,
P.S: Do you have any more suggestions to add to this list? Please share in the comments’ section.
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