All of us would want a normal and natural delivery when we are pregnant. Nothing can beat the natural process even if you have to go through a certain amount of pain during labour. But once the baby is out and crying, your pain stops like a full stop and you are already up and rearing to go.
Unfortunately, many mothers these days are not lucky enough to have a normal delivery. Lifestyle and several other factors are to blame. One can also choose an elective caesarean these days to make matters easy and to skip the pain associated with vaginal birth.
If you are preparing for a caesarean delivery due to personal preferences or due to medical reasons, there are quite a few things that you have to take care of in order to prevent discomfort after the process. A caesarean operation is a major operation and hence all mothers who await a C section are surely tensed and stress out.
Relax and Be Calm
While caesarean operation is not a ‘no- risk’ operation, many first time mothers are in mortal fear of the process. There is no need to stress yourself out. Doctors perform scores of caesareans every day and are well versed with the procedure.
All you need to do is to regulate your breathing and calm your mind and body. This will enable you to keep your cool and make matters easy for the anaesthetist. While you get a spinal anaesthesia, it is important to relax in order to get the procedure right and minimise the pain.
Follow the instructions given by your doctor on the previous day. Do not eat or drink after night so that your stomach remains empty before the surgery. You will be given an enema in the morning before the surgical procedure.
Let Your Near and Dear Ones Support You
Emotional and mental support is extremely essential if you are having a caesarean for the first time and do not know what to expect. It helps if you talk to people who have been through a caesarean operation before you get admitted in the hospital. They can guide you and help you calm down as it’s very rarely that things go wrong during a caesarean operation.
Let your near and dear ones be by your side, including your spouse so that you gain as much energy and strength as you can with their support and love. Once you are in the labour room, you will be with others who are waiting for a natural birth or a caesarean. Do not panic if you see others writhing in pain and scream. You can practice relaxation and breathing techniques at this time. You will be tested for any allergies on anaesthetics here and will be given a long back open robe for wearing at the operation table.
In the Operation Theatre
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This is where you will start feeling all alone and panicky. Relax. This is very essential when the anaesthetist turns you around at the back and pricks your spine. Do not hold your breath, just relax. Holding your breath will make matters worse and he will have to prick you again with the needle.
A spinal anaesthesia goes smoothly without any pain if you are relaxed. For some it hurts like hell and for others, it’s a smooth glide. I for one never even felt the prick of the needle when I had it. So individual reactions vary
After your anaesthesia, you could feel drowsy and numb. You will start feeling numb from down your spine with no sensation. If you can still feel your legs and stomach, let the obstetrician know about it before the surgery.
The Caesarean Operation
When you have a spinal anaesthesia, you are well aware of what is going on and can feel the tug and the cut that the doctor makes on your bikini line. You would be prevented from looking down as a screen could be placed in front of you to prevent you from getting scared.
The baby would be out in a matter of five minutes. This would be a great sight for you. You can watch them cut his umbilical cord and hear his first cry. Your caesarean section is literally over at this stage. Now all the doctor needs to do is to remove you placenta and clear the womb. She stitches the womb back in place and then puts the final stitch outside your stomach.
The Recovery Process
If you expect to get up and go now, you are mistaken. Caesarean section requires your heart to be monitored for close to an hour. You cannot breast feed immediately. The baby would be safe in the baby room while you recover which would be within 2-3 hours. Though you would not feel any sensation for the next one hour as your anaesthesia is still working, slowly the numbness fades away and you could start feeling the pains.
Ask the nurse for a pain medication if it hurts way too much. If everything is ok and you start feeling fine. You will now be shifted to a regular room along with your bundle of joy. You can now see him well and clear and breast feed him. Remember to choose a comfortable position for feeding your baby.
You could be in real pain and hence getting a proper nursing pillow helps. You would be required to stay in the hospital for 4-5 days before you can head back home. With the advice of your doctor, you can start walking around, and stretching a day after the operation to prevent the stretching of skin where the surgical wound is.
A caesarean operation can sometimes take a toll on your body and you might require time to recover. It is a good idea to arrange a nanny for your older kids or have you near and dear ones around until you recover. Once you recover, things will get back to normal and you will soon be ready to face the world again.