C-Section Words of Wisdom

C-Section Words of Wisdom

You CAN have a successful breastfeeding relationship with a Caesarean section birth, despite all of the negative articles you may read. Let your doctor know that you plan on having immediate skin-to-skin contact after your baby's birth, and would like to breastfeed as soon as possible. I had a bit of a delay because my son had a lot of fluid in his lungs, was extremely jaundiced, and had difficulty getting his temperature stabilized. The twenty or so minutes I had to wait did not effect bonding or breastfeeding. In other words, it's not the end of the world if you can't have immediate contact; the health of both you and your baby are the most important things. Honestly, I don't think my son was traumatized or even remembers that he didn't get to see me the first half hour of his life; he was busy trying to adjust to life outside the womb. And please, please, please call a lactation consultant if you are struggling with breastfeeding—I did, and it saved my breastfeeding relationship with my son.

Get out of bed and walk as soon as they give you the go-ahead. You'll hear this from almost every woman who's ever had a Caesarean section—get mobile as soon as possible. I was cursed from the get-go, and what I thought was a blessing was a hindrance. A shift change (and apparent room mix-up) meant that I was in my recovery room with my catheter in from 9 am until 9 pm, and I was loving every single moment of not having to get up to go to the ladies' room every fifteen minutes; iced water never tasted so good! The problem with this is that while my husband was running my placenta home to refrigerate, I was finally being moved from recovery to my hospital bed ... 12 hours after surgery. I hadn't walked or moved from bed, and now I was left alone with a [nasty, unhelpful] nurse's orders to void my bladder and hit the call button when I did so; I was living my own version of The Long Walk and that bathroom seemed a mile away. Because it took all that I had to make it to the bathroom on my own (hands wrapped around my midsection to catch the intestines I was positive would come spilling out), I did not attempt the bowel movement that I should have; not walking and not taking that all-important bowel movement proved to be two big mistakes. Just walk as soon as you're able and avoid the discomfort.

Buy a support belt for added confidence and mobility. I wish I had purchased an abdominal binder sooner (or prior to having my Caesarean section), as I would likely have been more mobile and confident walking around postpartum (I clutched my midsection while hunched over for at least a week after surgery). When I did get an abdominal belt, I got the bamboo Belly Bandit and found it to be too cumbersome to be practical or worn outside (and leaving the house is when I needed the support most).

These are just a few tips I have to offer after experiencing my own, planned Caesarean section birth. Of course, emergency C-sections don't provide the time for any type of planning, but remember, as with any birth, a healthy mother and baby are the desired result. As always, ask your doctor or midwife for suggestions based upon your specific hospital's policy.


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