C Section: The things no one tells you about
Are you planning on having a planned c section? Or are you pregnant, but just want to make sure you know what to expect if things don’t go according to plan? Well, here I am going to share with you the things no one tells you about when it comes to c sections. I have had 2, and both were completely different. Although when I had my first, I didn’t know any of these things!
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You can read about a c section all over the internet, but there is usually a lot of things they leave off. Mostly because it’s either gross, or they just don’t want to be the one to write it. Well, here is some brutally honest truths about c sections. Read on if you dare!
1.You will still feel pain intermittently on your scar
The pain is more abhorrent in the beginning and later on it just comes and goes. I’m on my 2nd c section and every once in awhile I will feel the twinge of pain from my scar. Although uncomfortable, it usually will only last a short time before disappearing as fast as it came on.
2. You will be numb around your scar for a long time
It stays numb down there for awhile. It will be hard to feel yourself wiping and if you shave, go slow as you will not be able to feel if you cut yourself. My doctor explained to me that it takes a lot of time for your nerves to start functioning normally because of the c section.
3. You will still have a lot of bleeding down there
This was kind of a shocker to me. Ok, so since I didn’t have a vaginal delivery I figured: well no after bleeding, right? Haha, wrong! You will still have bleeding as your uterus shrinks up and your body goes back to normal. The medical term for it is called lochia. The Cleveland Clinic discusses all about your lochia and explains that “the bleeding generally stops within 4 to 6 weeks after delivery.”
I guess those 9 months without periods come back to haunt you with this bleeding!
4. You will need to wait awhile before starting ab exercises
You might not even want to think of a sit-up or crunch after a c section but as the months pass, you may want to start thinking about strengthening those muscles that were sliced open. My doctor advised me to wait at least 6 months before starting any strenuous abdominal workouts. This way your body has a chance to heal before you put added stress on your still-healing muscles.
5. You will feel your incision is going to open back up all the time for the first few weeks
With my first c section, when I got out of bed, I though uh-oh they didn’t sew me up good enough. I looked down thinking I was going to see my guts fall out (sounds awful I know), but instead the bandage was still intact. That is one of the reasons why most hospitals will give you a belly binder.
Wear it…I promise it helps! If you didn’t get one, you can find them on Amazon here for a reasonable price.
6. C sections can make future pregnancies different
I’m not saying this is every time, but c sections do increase your chances of having a multitude of other issues in future pregnancies. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The more C-sections you have, the higher your risks of placenta previa and a condition in which the placenta becomes abnormally attached to the wall of the uterus (placenta accreta).” While this is not definitive, it can make things harder for subsequent pregnancies.
My OBGYN also told me that every c section after your first takes a longer time because they have to cut away more scar tissue that has built up from previous procedures.
7. Although unlikely, you can develop an infection on your c section incision
You incision site needs to stay dry and for good reason becasue you can develop an infection on your scar which can make things a whole lot worse. Infections can make the healing process take longer. After you incision is completely healed up, you should be fine!
If you do start a bad looking spot that produces drainage along the incision area, talk to your doctor! They can prescribe you a round of antibiotics to help get rid of it quickly (and yes they also have antibiotics safe for breastfeeding).
8. They will shave you down there before a c section
Well ladies, this is a little sensitive of a topic, but here goes. So, some women stay cleanly-shaven down there and others choose not to. What I didn’t know with my first unplanned c section was that they would shave you along the area that they would be cutting open. They do after all want it to be a sterile location before they cut you open.
Needless to say, I really wasn’t expecting that, but hey it’s not like they haven’t seen it all already.
9. Even planned c sections can go bad
While I do not mean to scare you, c sections can go bad. There are so many factors that play into this, but more often than not, your c section will be fine. I on the other hand was not so lucky the second time around which was a planned c section. There was some sort of mistake with the anesthestiology, and I started feeling EVERYTHING while they were still operating on me.
Again, let me reiterate: this is almost completely UNLIKELY to happen! I only say it because as I previously mentioned, this is the brutally honest truth of c sections.
10. You may not get to hold baby right away
This one will definitely depend on the situation behind why you are having a c section and also your doctor. With both of my c sections, I was not able to hold my babies until after I was already out of the operating room. My husband, who accompanied me, was the lucky one to hold both my daughter and my son first!
11. C Section babies can have some breathing difficulties
Babies who were born via c section can have some difficulty breathing in that they still have amniotic fluid in their lungs. Babies born vaginally are squeezed through a small opening, and this helps push out the fluid. While this can happen, most likely this will NOT result in your baby being in the NICU.
Well, that’s all 11 of the things no one tells you about a c section. Have you had a c section before? Chime in and let us know what you were never told about in the comments below!
Cleveland Clinic. Pregnancy: Physical Changes After Delivery Accessed 8/2/2018.
Mayo Clinic. C-Section Accessed 8/2/2018.