Health and Fitness

The ABC of C-section: A Would-be Mom’s Guide to Caesarean Delivery

The weeks leading up to the birth of a child are a roller coaster of emotions for a mother. She is ecstatic to meet her baby after months of waiting. She is looking forward to bringing her child home and adding a new member to the family. But she is also nervous about the delivery, especially if it is a Caesarean section. While it is natural to get a little anxious, it is unnecessary. An effective way of reducing your anxiety about the upcoming C-section is to read up about the procedure. You will realize that there is no reason to let nerves take over. Once you know every little detail about the entire process and the recovery, you will go into the operating room relaxed and confident. So, here is a brief guide to everything an expecting mother needs to know about a Caesarean delivery. 

Caesarean delivery: What is it and why is it done?

  • There are two main ways of delivering a baby. The first one is through normal delivery (vaginal birth) without any major medical intervention. However, a vaginal birth may be too risky for the mother and the child in some cases. When that happens, the doctors need to proceed with a C-section delivery.
  •  In a Caesarean section, the baby is delivered through an incision made in the abdomen and the uterus. If the medical team identifies the risks before the mother goes into labour, the doctor consults the mother and prepares for an Elective Caesarean Delivery. Sometimes, however, an Emergency Caesarean Delivery needs to be scheduled during labour because of unforeseen complications. Whatever be the case, the delivery is performed by expert doctors and should leave no room for the mother to worry. 

Here are a few scenarios where a C-section delivery would be preferable:

  • The mother has undergone a Caesarean delivery previously
  • The mother is carrying multiple babies
  • Breech presentation and low-lying placenta
  •  Prolonged labour
  • The mother has some sort of blockage in the birth canal—for example, fibroids
  • The mother has a health condition that can lead to complications during normal delivery

Duration of the surgery and its advantages:

  • While going for a C-section, keep in mind that a team of dedicated doctors is there to handle any situation that may arise during the surgery. The more you are relaxed, the better you will be able to cooperate with the doctors. Think of it as any other surgery. The risks involved in rare cases are your doctors to handle. Trusting your medical caregiver is of utmost importance. 
  • Before the delivery begins, the doctor will carry out spinal anaesthesia. The entire process of delivering a baby through a C-section takes less than an hour. Ideally, it would be over in about 40 to 50 minutes.   
  • When people talk about a C-section delivery, most gloss over the advantages of opting for the surgery. A planned C-section saves a mother from the immense pain of vaginal birth. There are far lesser chances of vaginal injury or bladder control dysfunction. Also, when opting for an Elective Caesarean delivery, you are in control of the timing of the birth. There is no excess worry about rushing to the hospital when labour starts. 

Recovery:

  • So, the surgery is over. You are now a full-time mom. Congratulations! While your baby will demand a lot of your time, remember that you also need to recover. The standard C-section recovery time is about 3 to 4 days. After that, you are free to go back home with your baby. But, the post-operative care should continue. 
  • After you are released, consuming a balanced and highly nutritious diet will speed up your healing. A diet rich in calcium, fibre, iron, fatty acids, and fluids will be ideal. Keep an eye out for a few symptoms: fever, heavy bleeding, abdominal pain, or fever. In case you experience any of these, contact your doctor immediately. Otherwise, you are on the road to recovering your health. You are more likely to enjoy your C-section recovery timewhen loved ones support and surround you. Overall, it should be a happy time for all—the new mother, the baby, and the family!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Can I opt for a C-section for non-medical reasons?

A. Yes, you can. You will, however, need to discuss it extensively with your doctor.

Q. Can the mother feel pain during the surgery?

A. The doctors will numb the mother’s lower body before the surgery so she will not experience any pain. However, she may feel some pressure or the baby getting pulled. 

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