Monday, March 6, 2017

My Top C-Sections Myths

When I found out my first baby was breech and would be delivered by c-section, I set out reading oodles of tips online. Some of these items I read before my delivery, others I've come across since then in my reading of mom blogs. 

Now potentially approaching my second c-section, I wanted to share  these few things... These are the items which caused me the most concern and, for me, they ended up not being true.

Myth #1 - You can't go up and down stairs after your c-section...

Living in a 2-story house (bedrooms up and everything else down) this was especially concerning to me! I was advised by my doctors and by friends who had experienced c-sections that despite what I had read, I would absolutely be able to go up and down my stairs after delivery. I delivered very early in the morning (4:52 a.m.) and only spent 2 nights in the hospital. Upon returning home, I had no problem navigating the stairs, slowly and holding the hand rail (safety first!). Here are a few safety guidelines which I followed: 
  1. I didn't go up and down the stairs all day. When I woke up in the morning, I dressed and went downstairs. When I was ready for bed, I came back upstairs. I probably made 1-2 additional trips up and down per day. Try to get everything you need to minimize trips, or send a family member or friend if one is available.
  2. I didn't carry my son up or down the stairs for around 2 weeks. I was lucky my husband was home during that time and he carried baby on the stairs. 
Myth #2 - You will be shaved for a c-section...

I was horrified when I read a suggestion that you should get waxed prior to a scheduled c-section to avoid the embarrassment of having the nurse shave you. First, as a nurse, let me guarantee you that the nurse is not embarrassed in the slightest. The labor and delivery nurse is poking around down there all the time every day she is working. She is not embarrassed and neither should you be. Second, only around an inch of hair at the top is shaved. Third, it's done with an electric razor and takes no time at all. Unless you just really want to get waxed, there is absolutely no reason to subject yourself to that at the end of your pregnancy.

Myth #3 - You'll have a catheter for at least 24 hours...

Once the urinary catheter (which drains your bladder) is removed, you'll have to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom. The more you walk, the easier it will get, plus the adjustable hospital beds make it much easier to get up and down those initial times. The nurse removed my catheter around 8 hours after my surgery and an hour later I got up out of bed. Nighttime is no reason to leave in a catheter, nurses on the night shift take them out all the time and if you're feeding baby yourself, you're going to be up periodically all night anyway. Catheters are invasive, personally I was happy to have mine out and get up out of bed.

Myth #4 - You'll have difficulty breast-feeding after a c-section...

If you believe everything online, there are a whole host of extremely common medical practices which supposedly make breast-feeding extremely difficult: c-sections, epidurals, pitocin administration after delivery, pain medication...etc etc etc. If you have an uneventful c-section and recovery period, baby should be with you (on your chest) within a few minutes after birth and should start breast-feeding shortly thereafter.

Myth #5 - The safest way to deliver after having a c-section is to have another c-section...

The safest delivery after a c-section is a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). However, there are some caveats. If you want to try a VBAC, you should discuss it in depth with your physician. In general, you will not be allowed to labor as long for a VBAC because of the risk of uterus rupture. Talk to your physician about going into labor, possible induction, and how long and how hard the physicians in your care practice will allow you to labor. From a physician liability standpoint, the safest delivery is a c-section, this however should never effect any decision you make.

Check back for a follow up post after my second delivery!

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