For some mothers-to-be, it may be worrisome to hear that you may need a caesarean section to deliver your newborn. Childbirth can be a stressful time for any new mums and adding a layer of surgery into the equation can often heighten this sense of concern.
However, don’t be alarmed; around 1 in 4 pregnancies in the UK result in a caesarean birth for a variety of reasons – including multiple pregnancies, previous C-sections, personal preference to maternal or foetal complications arising during a vaginal birth.
What this means, though, is that C-sections are very common and, more importantly, very safe.
While doctors, nurses and midwives are highly equipped to guide you through your C section, here’s some advice and information to help you prepare you for your C section experience and tackle any worries you might have.
What is a C-section?
A caesarean section, or commonly known as a c-section, is an operational procedure to deliver your baby safely if a vaginal birth isn’t possible.
A c-section birth consists of a small cut (around 10-20cm) being made across the lower tummy (just below the bikini line), through several layers of tissue and the uterus so your baby can be delivered.
C-sections are either planned in advance by your midwife or obstetrician or conducted in an emergency if a vaginal birth is deemed too risky. An elective caesarean is usually carried out from your 39th week of pregnancy.
The Caesarean Procedure
For the c-section surgery, you’ll be put on spinal or epidural anaesthetic, meaning you will be awake for the procedure however your lower body will be numbed so there will be no pain. On occasion, it may be required for mum to go under general anaesthetic if baby needs to be delivered more quickly.
During the caesarean, a screen will be placed across your body so you can’t see the surgery. The medical team will inform you on the c-section procedure step by step, so you know what is happening.
The incision is made across the tummy and uterus so baby can be delivered. You may feel a tugging and pulling sensation during the procedure.
Once baby has been delivered successfully, mum, and birthing partner, will be able to see and hold baby. However, if baby was born due to an emergency c-section due to foetal distress, they may be taken straight to a paediatrician.
How Long Does a C-section Take?
The c-section procedure takes around 40-50 minutes altogether.
What to Pack in Your C-section Hospital Bag
The advantage of having a planned caesarean is that you will know exactly when it is booked in, this means that you can prepare mentally, physically, and even better, your bag.
When it comes to preparing your c-section hospital bag, you’ll find that you need to pack the usual essentials you would for a vaginal birth. However, the added surgery means that you’ll be staying in the hospital a little longer so there are a few extra items to consider.
These may include:
- Mobile phone and charger
- An outfit to go home in
- Lip balm
- Non-slip socks
- Books/magazines (or anything to keep you entertained)
- Nursing bras
- Breast pads
- Breast pump
- Toiletries/wash bag
- Nightgown/dressing gown
- Shower shoes
- Maternity pads
If you’re missing some of these items, the Lansinoh Ultimate Hospital Bag Essentials Kit has got you covered with everything you need all in one package.
How Long Do You Stay in Hospital After C-section?
Due to the surgical nature of a c-section, you may have to wait a little longer to leave the hospital following the birth of your little one.
Expect to be in the hospital for one to two days following your caesarean, providing there are no complications with the procedure.
After that, you’ll be able to take baby home and start your recovery from home .
More questions about C-Sections? Speak to a midwife now