Sunday, 2 June 2013

Top Tips for Caesarean Mums

30 Day Blogging Challenge - Day 2: Top Tips
 - and... Day 3: Call To Action

Today's task for the blog challenge  is to post a top tips list, so here are my 10 c-section tips. Some of these only apply to those who know they'll be having a caesarean but others are worth keeping in mind however you plan to give birth, just in case...

1- Prepare Older Children In Advance.
A new baby is always going to be tricky for a young child, even more so if Mummy suddenly seems ill and can't lift and carry them around as she used to. If possible talk to older siblings in advance about what's going to happen and start reducing how much you carry them etc. so that it's less of a shock when the baby actually arrives.

2- Have A C-Section Birth Plan .
Even if you're planning a natural birth and everything seems perfect it's a good idea to think about what you'd want if you do end up in surgery, that way you can still have some control over what's going on (I wish I'd done this before my first, emergency caesarean). For example you can ask to have the screens lowered so you can see your baby being born. Or have your gown arranged so that your newborn can be placed skin to skin on your chest, within moments of birth. Make sure your birth partner is fully briefed on all this as you may not be in any state to be assertive!

3-Take LOTS Of Drugs!
Don't be a hero, take the painkillers! Find out what you should be having when and set a reminder on your phone, then start chasing up the nurses before a dose is overdue. It's much better to take medication regularly, if you wait for it to really hurt you're likely to end up needing stronger drugs. Take it from me you don't want to be on morphine after 5 days with no sleep - freaky.

4- Get BIG Pants
I mean really big, totally huge. You don't want anything that will rub against your scar, (the same goes for trousers), so go for the full Simon Cowell, right over the belly, type. Don't bother with disposables, head to primark and get multipacks two or three sizes bigger than you'd normally wear, they'll be cheaper and last a bit longer too.

5- Go Home With A Pillow
There are about a million speed bumps between the hospital and our house, I really wished I'd heard this bit of advice before I bounced agonisingly over them all: have a pillow in the car which you so you can hold against your tummy for the trip.

6- Be Prepared To Be Immobile
Yes it really is major abdominal surgery. To start with, blowing your nose or clearing your throat will be impossible, and it'll be days, possibly weeks, before going from lying down to sitting up isn't a major undertaking. It's not fun, but it won't last forever and forewarned is forearmed, the next three tips should help you get through it:

7- Get A Co-sleeper
It's really tricky to lift a baby in and out of a moses basket if you've had a C-section. A co-sleeper cot attaches to the side of your bed and allows you to slide the baby over for a feed and then push them back to a safe sleeping space with minimal movement from mum. The downside is that they're pretty expensive although you can sometimes find them second hand and the NCT now hires them out.

8- Don't Do Too Much
You may actually feel fine and be tempted to push the pram for miles or get on with the housework, but force yourself to take it easy for at least a few weeks. I haven't always followed this advice to be honest and at the end of a mildly busy day I'd end up feeling utterly exhausted and like I'd just done 500 sit-ups. Silly woman.

9-Get Help
Call in the grandparents, your friends, anyone who'll cook the dinner, keep the house from total chaos or look after the older kids for a bit. You're going to be running around looking after someone else for at least the next 18 years, so enjoy having people want to help you out for just a few weeks.

10- Ignore The Negativity
You almost certainly didn't have a C-section because you didn't try hard enough, were scared or too posh to push. You had it because the most important thing was getting your baby safely into the world, with you in a fit state to care for her. Anyone who makes you feel bad about that, or thinks they're a better mother because they got lucky with the birth, simply doesn't know what the heck they're talking about. Your first act as a mum was brave and selfless - go you!


SB

Update: A few people are ahead of me here, but the challenge for day 3 is to ask for action from my readers, so here's two things you can do:

1- Comment - tell me your top C-section tips, or perhaps the things you really wish you hadn't done.
2- Share the blog - Do you have any pregnant friends? They may or may not be planning a caesarean but it's good to be prepared either way! Use the buttons below to share this post to facebook and/or twitter. (Many thanks to those who've done this aleady without me asking!)

2 comments:

  1. Great post (and good luck with the 30 day challenge!). I'm trying to help with your call to action having seen you post on the EDF - but am struggling as you've captured all the top tips I normally pass on to friends planning a C-section (especially the massive pants point)!

    I guess two other small things that surprised me following my C-section were the fact that the procedure itself was pretty uncomfortable. I didn't anticipate that it would feel quite so rough as they rummaged around (!) and that the drugs would make me sick and shakey. It's certainly not an easy option (having given birth both ways!). I didn't feel prepared for that beforehand and wish I had as it perhaps wouldn't have felt such a shock.

    Also, I'd reassure people that the scar will take a long time to feel normal. I still had a tingling sensation nearly a year after my son was born - I found that quite surreal.

    And finally - make the most of the extra time in hospital post birth. Get lots of help with establishing breast feeding, if that's how you choose to feed, and as you say, don't do too much at all.

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  2. Thanks for commenting. Good point about the drugs too, I didn't find It particularly uncomfortable or get sick luckily, but I did shake a lot which was quite scary fiirst time when I wasn't expecting it. Second time I knew it would happen so it didn't worry me.

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