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Pregnancy Pregnancy

Things You wished you knew about C-sections

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I have been doing alot of reading lately with c-section posts and am seeing the words... i wish i had known... used alot. I am scheduled for a c-section Jan 7th and am getting quite nervous about it. I had a very hard delivery and many complications with my DS during my first pregnancy, and with the issues i am having this time arround again the dr, DH and i decided the c-section was the safest route to go but hasnt calmed any of my fears about being cut open and i have no clue what to expect after. I am hoping some of the mom's out there can help with this. Any information would be great, am especially intrested in what to expect during the c-section, afterwards in the recovery, if anyone had issues nursing after having a c-setion, what you wish you had known before hand, or found surprising in the documents you signed, how long it was before you could get up and move arround after the c-section, what are some tips for bf while healing that you found helpful......... well the list goes on LOL in other words any info you have to offer would be a delight and a great help.

D

by on Nov. 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM
Replies (11-20):
Megan11587
by on Nov. 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM
I had an emergency csection. I checked myself out of the hospital in fewer than 24 hours and was back to my normal self after 3 weeks or so. Keep a close eye on your incision for infection, no heavy lifting or exercise for 8 weeks. The one thing that bugs me the most, is the nerves around the incision were damaged, so above my scar I have no feeling, and every once in a while the scar hurts, but not too badly.
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Schaiswife09
by Member on Nov. 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM
Ive had two c sections and breastfed for a full two years.

Quoting anxiousschk:

I've had friends who had successful C-sections, but I don't know anyone who has had one and sucessfully breast fed.  

I had a C-section and it wasn't a pleasant experience.  I also had extreme difficulty breastfeeding and gave it up after a few weeks. 

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Roadfamily6now
by on Nov. 29, 2012 at 6:25 PM
2 moms liked this

this is my favorite risk spreadsheet because it's so easy to read and understand.



Risks of cesarean

The risks of cesarean birth have been well documented. It is major abdominal surgery and as such carries inherent risks associated with such surgery. Cesarean has now become so commonplace in many countries that these risks are often glossed over or fail to be communicated to the mother before her decision is made.

Complications for the mother

Risk

Maternal death

5-7 times higher than vaginal birth

Emergency Hysterectomy 1 in 110 cesarean births (d)
Injury to bladder, uterus & blood vessels 2%
Hemorrhage 1-7%
Blood clots developing in legs

6-20 per 1,000 (0.6-2%)

8 times higher than vaginal births

Pulmonary embolism 1-2 per 1,000 (0.1-0.2%)
Paralyzed bowel -- mild 10-20%
Paralyzed bowel -- severe 1%
Infection 50 times higher than vaginal birth
Require readmission to hospital 2 times higher than vaginal birth
Difficulties with normal activities 2 months later 10%
Pain at incision site perceived as a major problem 25%
Incisional pain 6 months or more after birth 7%

(d) The rate of emergency hysterectomy after vaginal births is 1 in every 824 vaginal births

Complications for the baby

Risk

Baby cut during surgery

1-2%

Lower Apgar scores than vaginally born babies 50% more than vaginal births
Babies require assistance with breathing 5 times higher than vaginal births
Admittance of baby to intermediate or intensive care 5 times higher than vaginal births
Persistent pulmonary hypertension in baby 4-5 times higher than vaginal birth

In addition to the inherent risks of cesarean for both the mother and the baby, the risks increase with accumulating cesarean operations.

Complications related to future fertility

Risk relative to women with no cesarean history

Incidence of placenta previa after 1 cesarean(*)

4 times the risk

Incidence of placenta previa after 2-3 cesareans

7 times the risk

Incidence of placenta previa after > 3 cesareans

45 times the risk
Placental abruption(U) 3 times the risk
Placenta accreta after 1 previous cesarean 1 in 1,000 (0.1%)
Placenta accreta after 2 or more previous cesareans(z) 10 in 1,1000 (1%)
Placenta percreta after 1 previous cesarean(¥) 25%
Placenta percreta after 2 previous cesareans 50%
Placenta percreta after 4 previous cesareans 70%
Hysterectomy after 1 cesarean 27 times the risk

* Placenta previa doubles the chance of the baby dying and increases the premature birth rate by six times

U Where placental abruption occurs, 6% of the babies will die and 30% will be born prematurely

z Nearly all women who have placenta accreta will need to have a hysterectomy, nearly half will have a major hemorrhage, 9% of the babies will die and 7% of the mothers will die

¥ Women who experience placenta percreta have a 10% mortality rate and almost 100% hysterectomy rate

The risks for both the mother and the baby are clearly significant. In one study, only 9.5% of women undergoing cesarean had no postoperative complications -- this means that almost 91% of women in the study did have some complications. The emotional factors that are more difficult to measure include extended separation from the family and other children, more difficulties breastfeeding, and separation from the baby in the first week.

The most significant risk for the baby is that of respiratory distress syndrome and pulmonary persistent hypertension following a cesarean birth. Whilst it was always considered only babies born prematurely after either a cesarean or vaginal birth that were at risk of respiratory distress, it is now clear that term babies are also at increased risk after a cesarean. Researchers have discovered that a baby born at 37-38 weeks after a cesarean is 120 times more likely to be considered deficient of surfactant and require mechanical ventilation than a baby born at 39-41 weeks by cesarean.

Persistent pulmonary hypertension is up to 5 times more likely in babies born by cesarean than those who had vaginal births.

The cost of cesarean section is significant. Cost estimate studies have been carried out in the UK comparing the cost of cesarean birth to that of vaginal birth for the National Health Service. A cesarean costs approximately £760 (US$1,350) more than a vaginal birth. Estimates show that if there were a 1% decrease in the national cesarean rate there would be a cost of saving of five million pounds (US$9,000,000). This saving would represent the salary of 167 midwives.

Women are asked to sign a consent form before they undergo a cesarean operation. The surgeon is not able to carry out this operation without the woman's express consent for the procedure. In rare cases where the mother is unconscious a relative is asked to provide signed consent.

For most women, they view the consent for the first time when she is about to have the operation. This is an inappropriate time to see such information particularly in cases of unplanned or emergency cesarean. It is more difficult for her to carefully read the form, understand it and have the opportunity for her to ask questions. It can be beneficial for her to have the opportunity to read the form in advance. Most hospitals will provide a copy of this consent form if requested and this can then be shown to women while they are still pregnant so that if a cesarean is determined to be the choice for delivery the woman has had ample opportunity to read it beforehand.

Quoting D.Whitfield:


Quoting Roadfamily6now:

i wish I knew before hand that having mutiple c-sections increases all kinds of risks.



what kind of risks? i know next to nothing despite having a friend go through a c-section a few years ago. She was a bit of a drama queen and gave the baby up for adoption so wasnt a topic she was willing to speak about at any time and what she spoke of stank of being over blown.


Tammy

mom to 4, wife to Doug, Surrogate mom to 3

VBACed 5 babies so far!


mamalusbear
by Member on Nov. 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM

I had an emergency C-section and I was up and walking around after three days....everything healed up well and I felt normal in about 2 weeks.  I successfully breast fed my son until he self-weaned at almost 7 months.

anxiousschk
by Silver Member on Nov. 29, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Oh, I know they exist.  Just don't personally know anyone.  I am fully aware that people on here have done it.  

I fully believe that my C-section led to the various complications that made it impossible to breastfeed my daughter.  The doula we met with tonight brought it up as well.  

Quoting Schaiswife09:

Ive had two c sections and breastfed for a full two years.

Quoting anxiousschk:

I've had friends who had successful C-sections, but I don't know anyone who has had one and sucessfully breast fed.  

I had a C-section and it wasn't a pleasant experience.  I also had extreme difficulty breastfeeding and gave it up after a few weeks. 


anxiousschk
by Silver Member on Nov. 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Truly, you can have a wonderful C-section or you can have a miserable one.  Just like with any birth.  

Knowing what I do now about them, I truly prefer to avoid one unless truly, truly necessary.  I also believe that every woman has the right to choose how she births her baby, so if a C-section is what you want (or if there is a medical reason that you have to have one) then so be it.  

Do you research, know what to expect.  DO NOT push your body.  Some will tell you to be up and moving quickly, I say do what works for you.  Moving worked against me in many ways, but that doesn't mean it will work that way for you.  


Quoting D.Whitfield:


Quoting anxiousschk:

I've had friends who had successful C-sections, but I don't know anyone who has had one and sucessfully breast fed.  

I had a C-section and it wasn't a pleasant experience.  I also had extreme difficulty breastfeeding and gave it up after a few weeks. 

thank you for this information, gives me a place to start in the over whelming information overload we call google lol


Lincolnsmommy
by Member on Nov. 29, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I had a cesarean and breastfeed my child for the first year!! It was difficult but I stuck it out and it was worth it. It took about a good week for my milk to come in and be successful
MMerrill
by Melissa on Nov. 29, 2012 at 11:47 PM

I had an emergancy c-section back in October...it wasn't that bad at all.  It was fast and went smooth.  If you have anxiety about it, ask them if you can have something to help that.  Once they wheel you in the OR, they'll give you the spinal and lay you back, put up the sheet and then call your husband/boyfriend/baby's father in.  It'll feel like some pressure and people just pressing around on your stomach.  You'll be numb from right under your boobs all the way to your toes.  Then they'll usually bring the baby to you right after as long as everything is ok.

After that you'll go to recovery until the numbness wears off, then you'll go to your room with the baby.  Recovering after the c-section is worse than the c-section itself...however some women are up and moving the same day and some it takes another day or two.  It's still major surgery so don't feel bad if you can't get up the same day, and don't be shy to ask the nurses for help!  Also make sure you ask for your pain meds if you start to feel like you are in any pain, some hospitals have a policy where they don't give the drugs unless you ask.  So don't make the same mistake I did and wait until you are dying of pain before you ask for your medicine.

Once you get home TAKE IT EASY.  Resting is the best thing you can do, and so is walking (when you feel ready) it get's the built up gas moving and it also strengthens your muscles back.  Do things when you feel up to them and when you feel some pain don't push yourself, just take a break.  I tried cleaning the whole house a week and a half after my c-section and I really hurt myself.  It usually takes the whole 6 weeks or longer to heal.  I thought I was never going to heal but each day it gets easier.

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Schaiswife09
by Member on Nov. 30, 2012 at 9:16 AM
I am sorry you had so much trouble with breastfeeding... it is WAY harder than I ever thought it could be lol. If I could have avoided my c sections I would have but my first baby was breech so it was necessary and my husband was too scared to agree on a vbac lol

Quoting anxiousschk:

Oh, I know they exist.  Just don't personally know anyone.  I am fully aware that people on here have done it.  

I fully believe that my C-section led to the various complications that made it impossible to breastfeed my daughter.  The doula we met with tonight brought it up as well.  


Quoting Schaiswife09:

Ive had two c sections and breastfed for a full two years.



Quoting anxiousschk:

I've had friends who had successful C-sections, but I don't know anyone who has had one and sucessfully breast fed.  

I had a C-section and it wasn't a pleasant experience.  I also had extreme difficulty breastfeeding and gave it up after a few weeks. 


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duchessofhearts
by on Nov. 30, 2012 at 9:33 AM
I've had 3 c-sections the first was bad but nothing compared to my last only cuz I got my tubes tied too. My 2nd was easy but I have a high pain tolerance. Breastfeeding was no problem for me I breastfed my oldest til she was 1 and my 2nd til he was 15 months and currently breastfeeding my almost 2 month old.
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