Women have C-sections for all kinds of reasons, be it emergencies or electives to help ensure mother and baby are safe and of course by choice. We are lucky that in the UK we have the choice to request a section if we so wish. It is our right after all.
I underwent a traumatic emergency section with my first child and a peaceful elective with my second.
I wanted to share some tips for those planning an elective:
1. Electives can still be worrying, especially if you've previously had an emergency and don't know what to expect so keep blood sugars level to help keep you full and also strong emotionally.
Eat a healthy, filling slow meal of slow releasing carbs, protein with vegetables followed by fruit the night before your section. I was told to go nil by mouth from midnight.
2. Keep yourself distracted and happy prior to surgery. Watch happy-making films, read feel good books and keep your mind busy.
Camomile tea can help relax you and prepare you for a good night's sleep.
3. On arrival at hospital, try and have a mental positive attitude. Today is the day you'll meet your baby.
4. Remember, once you're prepped, it could be as quickly as 20 mins in theatre before your baby will be in your arms. That's no time at all. Keep that thought at the front of your mind.
4. You can usually communicate in theatre. The team are there to ensure you and your baby are safe but they want to make you feel comfortable too.
5. Most doctors ask what music you would like in theatre or you can bring your own. This keeps the op upbeat so write your playlist before your C-section date!
6. Post section, it will take time to recover. Mentally I personally felt well, totally myself literally from the second I was wheeled out of theatre but physically even walking was a struggle at first. Take things slowly and be kind to yourself.
Day three felt like the first major turnaround in terms of pain as did week three when you can often start driving again once your doctor has approved this.
7. Don't be hard on yourself. Your tummy will take time to resemble what it was pre-baby and it might never look the same. That's OK. You created life. Give yourself a standing ovation (once you can, post-op). An incision has been made through 5 layers of skin, tissue and muscle so your body will take much longer to heal than most non C-section mothers, try not to forget this.
8. Never ever feel you have failed if you needed or chose a C-section. You have done what was right for you and all that matters is a safe mother and baby. Always.
Good luck and safe delivery.
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