If you are having a c section and it is planned you may be wondering what happens and what to expect before, during and after the procedure.
I just had a planned c section three weeks ago and can give you all the details on what happens when you get to the hospital all the way to postpartum recovery.
It can be nerve-racking to go through a c section but I can tell you that having one planned is way better than having an emergency one. I had two emergency c sections and they were very difficult.
C Section Procedure And What To Expect
It is scary to have a c section even if it is planned, I know you are nervous about it like I was.
You are going to have many thoughts running through your head like how painful will it be? Will I be okay during the procedure? Is my baby going to be ok?
These are all normal thoughts to have, you are not alone in feeling this way so don’t feel like you are momma!
I am writing this article to help ease your mind and let you know what to expect every step of the way.
I have done this three times but only once was it planned. The following is what happens when you get to the hospital, during the procedure and afterward.
I hope this helps make the process a little easier for you knowing what happens before hand.
The Day Before Your C Section
You will be given some paperwork on what to do before your procedure, it is important to go get your blood work done the day or a few days before hand so that they have those results already.
Make sure that you follow the instructions exactly, don’t do your own thing when it comes to these.
The day before you can eat as you normally would just remember that after midnight you cannot eat.
You can have clear liquids the day of but only up until four hours before you go in.
Yes, you can have your cup of coffee but no creamer or sugar, nothing milky it all has to be clear or you will have to reschedule your c section and I’m sure you won’t want to do that.
My procedure was at 1pm so I did starve a bit before hand though my nerves kept me from wanting to eat or think about food to much.
Hopefully, yours is early in the morning so that you don’t have to long to wait before going in.
Make sure you have your bags packed and your car seat with you when you go, you will leave these in the car until you have a room after your c section but it is nice to have everything when you are in recovery.
Arriving At the hospital for your c section
You will be given instructions on where to park for your procedure and where to go when you go into labor and delivery.
You will check-in at the desk and be taken to the labor triage section where you will be checked in, asked a few questions, have your weight taken and be asked about when you last had food and liquids.
Once you are checked in the nurse will take you up to the floor which is usually the labor and delivery floor and settle you in a room.
You will be given a gown and a bag and told to take everything off and put on the robe, all your stuff will go in the bag and be taken to recovery when you are moved.
Getting Prepared For Your C Section
The nurse that will be with you the whole time during the procedure will come in and introduce herself and go over your medical history and have a bunch of questions for you.
She will take your vitals and help answer any questions you have.
You will meet everyone that will be involved in your c section at this time, they will come in here and there to introduce themselves and give you a chance to ask any questions.
If you have a birth plan now is the time to give it to your nurse so that they can make sure they follow it.
You are going to meet the anesthesiologist and he or she will go over how they give you the spinal, the size of the needle and how you are going to feel when you get it.
Most planned c sections you are awake for so that you will get to see your baby right after and know what is happening during the procedure.
Your partner will be able to go into the room with you after you are numb and everything is ready to go.
A nurse will be coming into your room to put in your IV so that they can easily give you medication if need be during your c section.
Honestly, this is going to be the most painful part of everything other than recovery of course.
Nothing compares to the IV pain, once you get through this part the rest will be a piece of cake.
Once everything is set and you have met everyone involved you will be sitting waiting for your doctor to arrive to start the procedure.
You will have a chance to talk to your doctor and discuss anything you need to, you will sign a bunch of papers for your c section and also if you are having your tubes tied during it.
When everything is set and ready your doctor and the nurse will walk you to the operating room and get you ready.
Your partner will have to wait about fifteen minutes for them to come and bring them to the operating room.
During this time they will have garments to put on over their clothes so that they can join you.
C Section Operation and what to expect
Once you get to the operating room you will climb onto the table, scoot your butt all the way back and be asked to hunch over so that they can give you the numbing agent and insert the spinal.
Your doctor and nurse will be right there holding your hand and directing you, you aren’t alone in this.
Once the spinal is done you will start to feel a warming sensation and start to lose feeling in your lower half.
They will help you lay down and cover you will a warming blanket because you will be cold. For some reason the medicine makes you feel like your freezing.
They will prep you with a catheter and you will feel them moving your legs and some pushing as they prepare the area with the sterile solution which takes three minutes to dry.
This will be the longest three minutes of your life as you lay there naked and fully exposed to everyone in the room.
Unfortunately, this is a part of having a baby, everyone will see you naked it is just how it goes momma.
Once the three minutes are up you will be covered with a blue sheet so that only the incision part is showing and your partner will be brought in.
They will put up the blue curtain and get started, don’t be surprised if it is hard to breathe because of the spinal or if you get sick at some point.
You will feel a lot of pushing and pulling but shouldn’t have any pain at all.
If you feel something weird or get sick let the anesthesiologist know so that they can give you something.
The whole procedure will take about fifteen minutes and you will get to meet your sweet little peanut.
When your baby is out they will clean him up and make sure he is ok, then weigh and measure him and let you hold your little one or at least your partner will and you can be close to your baby until they have you closed up then you can do skin to skin.
The Recovery Room After Your C Section
Once you are all closed up they will move you to a room to recover for a few hours.
They will monitor your blood pressure and other vitals along with cleaning up your wound and keeping an eye on blood clots.
You will not be able to move yet, your body is going to feel like it weighs a thousand pounds at this point and only your arms and hands will work.
It will wear off after a little while so just relax, sleep and snuggle your baby.
The nurses will help you with breastfeeding if you choose to do so or give you a bottle to feed your baby.
They will clean him up a little more and wash his hair and make sure that he is doing good as well.
The room is going to be dark and calming so use this time to relax and enjoy your family for a few hours.
Getting Settled In your room
After being in recovery for a few hours you will be brought to your room, don’t be alarmed if you still can’t move much it will go away after a few hours it just takes time.
- You may find that you feel sick after surgery, I had a bad time with this and threw up a few times.
The anesthesia is different for everyone so this may not happen to you but if it does just take it slow and try to eat some crackers when you can.
2. You will have the catheter in for a couple more hours, the nurses will probably remove it later in the day once they have you moving around a bit and you are eating okay.
Note: Every time I have had a catheter removed it was painful except this last time! The difference is that the nurse had me relax and cough as she counted and when you cough it relaxes the muscles and comes out painlessly.
3. Don’t be alarmed the first time they try to get you up and you can’t do it, use the nurses for support the first few times and take it slow.
4. Try not to cough or sneeze even laugh and if you do have a small pillow you can place over your incision to help with support.
5. The first time you get up and walk to the bathroom make sure to ask for a belly wrap to help give you extra support, this is a lifesaver when it comes to being able to move around.
6. Using the bathroom for the first time after having the catheter out is going to be hard so don’t freak out it will happen with some patience.
My nurse had me use a peri bottle with warm water, had the faucet running and used a trick of having me blow into a cup of water which keeps you from overthinking it and helps you pee.
7. Start taking your stool softeners and gas medicine, this will help with pain and ease your bowels into working properly.
If you are wondering what you need to pack for a c section this article has a printable list so you don’t forget anything: What To Pack For Planned C Section
Take your recovery slow and do as much walking as possible, this will help you heal faster and also get rid of excess gas and fluids.
This article is great for getting you through c section recovery: Recovery After C Section
Final Thoughts On having a c section
I’m not sure why some people say that having a c section is taking the easy way out, honestly, I would rather have a vaginal childbirth over a c section any day just because of the recovery.
Don’t listen to these people and please don’t feel like you aren’t a real mom because you had a c section.
You are going to have pain and swelling for the first few weeks, don’t freak out just take your pain meds for at least the first two weeks on a regular schedule so that they don’t wear off and cause you more pain.
The swelling in your body will go away after a few days, make sure to walk around, drink lots of fluid, and wear compression socks that is what I found helps make it go away faster.
Don’t try and be super mom and do the things you used to do, take it easy and enjoy your baby.
Recovery takes time and you will get there but you need to take baby steps so that you avoid injury.
I hope this article has helped ease your fears and that you have a safe delivery. Congratulations momma on your sweet bundle of joy!!!
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