What's it like to have a c-section?

My oldest daughter is due in Feb. 2009 and has to have a c-section, but I have never had one, so I don't know what to tell her except about the procedure itself.

What should I tell her to expect?
What will recovery be like?
How much pain is normally expected?
What sort of care will she need?
How can I help her?

She lives with us so I can help her in any way she needs me to.
Please give me honest advice - I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you.

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PrydferthMenyw

Asked by PrydferthMenyw at 8:59 AM on Dec. 31, 2008 in Pregnancy

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This question is closed and filed in the CafeMom Encyclopedia.
Answers (98)
  • My advice to your daughter: Get up and move around as soon as the nurse says it's okay. Sitting or laying for long periods of time makes it worse. Take your laxative. You will need it. Do not lay flat on your back. It hurts like hell to get up. Don't lift anything other than the baby. Avoid the stairs if possible. Be patient with getting up and sitting down. It takes a while and it hurts like hell. Take your time going to the bathroom. I found it very frustrating. It's like learning to go all over again. Ask for help when you need it, because you will need it. And give it time. After a few weeks, you will start to feel normal again. And congratulations to the both of you!
    alysmommy0909

    Answer by alysmommy0909 at 9:53 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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  • My best advice would be if you don't have a recliner, invest in one now. For the first week after my c-section I had to sleep in a recliner. It was too painful to lay down and try to get up. During the c-section she will not feel the pain but she will feel the pressure. She will probably be in recovery for about an hour after the surgery. After her hospital stay she will not be allowed to drive for 2-3 weeks. She will also not be able to drink any carbonated drinks for 2-3 weeks as well. The doctor will prescribe her some pain medication but tell her to use it wisely. cont..
    JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 9:11 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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  • Continued
    Also, make her get up and move around, it is the only way she is going to heal fast. She may also have problems with breastfeeding- some c-section moms do, some don't have problems, but it is a good possiblity. She may even get constipated. Most over the counter products will work. Also, her scar will itch for up to a year. Mine, after 4 years, still bothers me from time to time. If you have anymore questions please feel free to pm me.
    JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 9:12 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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  • It was absolutely awful! I've had both a vaginal and a c-section delivery and I'd choose vaginal over c-section anyday. The procedure itself was fine; it's the recovery. This is major surgery and it will take time to get back to normal. I do hope you have help lined up for yourself; there's no way you can take care of a baby and recover sufficiently. Also, be prepared to deal with night sweats as your body gets back to normal. Do take it as easy as possible once you're home. My docs said "NO STAIRS" and they were right. I walked up three steps - very slowly - my first day home and I passed out. My stitiches bothered me; not infected or anything but I could "feel" the incision for nearly years afterwards (not painful but I knew it was there). The absolute worst was that, while in the hospital, they want you up and moving around as soon as possible. The pain, even with a girdle to hold my belly, was awful.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:13 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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  • I didn't think it was so bad. I was sore for a few weeks but didn't need any pain meds for it. I did have a staple get infected but even that wasn't too bad. Overall I was back to normal within a month. The hardest part for me was sitting and getting up....took me a few minutes, other than that I was able to do whatever I felt like doing(even though I wasn't suppose to)
    Everyone is different so you'll not know how she'll do untill she has one. Good luck!
    how_reb

    Answer by how_reb at 9:20 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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  • I had to have one because my son was to big. After pushing for 5 hours, they decided to do this.."sigh". She should never be alone for the first few days or the first week. But still have lots of help for the next 2-3 weeks. And of course, never pick up anything heavyer than the baby. I never really had alot of pain, I must have had great medications. :). But I couldnt drive for a couple of weeks. I was in the hospital for the first week because of my baby, but I was up and around the next day. But she will still need to rest, ALOT! Good luck to your daughter. Im sure everything will be fine! Its not as bad as it sounds. Im having another here in May myself!
    CuriousJayden

    Answer by CuriousJayden at 9:21 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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  • I had a c-section on August 2 2007 and it was not bad at all. Ok getting outta bed the first time right after was the worst part but once I started walking (and you have to hunch over so it hurts alot less) it was easy breezy. They did give me vikadin and ibprofun but I only took half of the ibprofun I dont think the pain was bad enough to take the vikadin but we are all different when it comes to pain. My only suggestion is to hunch over while walking. Oh and you cannot even tell where my incision was the Drs. did a great job. I did not have any itching thank god I think I healed really well because I was up and moving around daily right after my c-section even though they say your not suppose to I was extremley careful though.
    Heaven0802

    Answer by Heaven0802 at 9:24 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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  • Mine wasn't too bad, either, but everyone is different. Be prepared to move around, it really does help. I believe that attitude is everything in recovery. Don't go into it expecting to be incapacitated and you won't be. Help with everything for a few days is nice. I had my Mom who brought me food so I didn't have to make meals, but I could have if I needed to. It's not bad, some pain but I really didn't use the pain pills at all. Walk and move around all you can while still in the hospital is the best advice I can give you. Best of luck!
    terrilbn

    Answer by terrilbn at 9:31 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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  • I've had two c-sections now.  The spinal block felt like an uncomfortable bee sting.  Surgery was easy just felt a little pulling and tugging.  Recovery room I threw up which is normal they say.  You need to get up and move around as soon as requested.  The longer you go the worse it feels.  I didn't get up with 1st did with 2nd major difference in healing.  Have laxatives on hand at home first one will be painful.  Do not lay flat for awhile sleep sitting up or propped up a little.  Take your time getting up and sitting down.  Sounds like a lot but very little.  Enjoy the new bundle of joy! 

    snugglebug99

    Answer by snugglebug99 at 9:39 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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  • I was sooooooo nervous!!!! But once you get the pain med. it was all okay. I just kept thinking THANK GOD I dont have to push that baby threw that tiny hole down there!!!! I watch a natural birth on www.youtube.com and WOW!!! I dont think I would have been able to do it. And the day after was really tuff, They want you to walk the next day, so my best thing was holding a pillow on my tummy and they binded up my belly with a binder. I wore it for WEEKS!! and the med they gave me to take home I took around the clock, and like your DD I lived with my parnets too, so It was really hard for me to understand it was okay for everyone to help. So just talk to her and say you really need to rest right now so you can do this once everyone has to return to work or ect. Good luck to you all and god bless
    ToberzMama

    Answer by ToberzMama at 9:48 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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