When it comes to giving birth to a baby everything gets scarier and deciding whether to have a vaginal birth or a c-section is pretty high on that list. Sometimes you don’t even get to decide. Maybe the baby comes in an instant and you might have scheduled a c-section, but have a vaginal birth instead. Or you wanted a vaginal birth, but something comes up and you have to have a c-section instead.
Either way being mentally prepared for both forms of delivery can cause you less anxiety when the time comes. Knowing what to expect in any situation can cause you less stress during a very stressful time. Let’s get to it.
Related: What You Should Know About a Vaginal Birth
What is a c-section?
A c-section is short for a Caesarean section, which is a way that doctors use to deliver a baby when a vaginal birth isn’t an option. They will give the mother anesthesia and make an incision on the uterus. Then they take out the placenta and deliver the baby. After sewing up the incision they will take you back to your room to recover. It is surgery so there will be a longer recovery time compared to just a vaginal birth. The whole process usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour.
Why are c-sections done?
C-sections are usually done if a vaginal birth will put the baby or mother at risk. Usually, things like a twin pregnancy, problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, high blood pressure in the mother, obstructed labor, breech birth, and going far past your due date will warrant for a c-section.
There are also times that they will do a c-section when the baby is measuring too big for the mother to potentially birth naturally. The doctors will make a suggestion and give you their opinion of choosing a c-section instead because there may be a risk, but you have the choice still since it is only potential risks.
Where is the incision?
They will make an incision just below your pubic hairline where the uterus is. It is usually a horizontal incision that extends between 4 to 6 inches. Rarely they will be any bigger because a baby’s head on average can fit through with just 4 to 6 inches.
Do you have to schedule a c-section?
For the most part, c-sections, when chosen, are scheduled. There are a few that are more of an emergency and will not be scheduled in advance. But, for all other cases, the c-section is scheduled ahead of time and all you have to do is go on that day to have the procedure done.
Healing after a c-section
Do expect to stay in the hospital for 3 to 4 days after having a c-section due to the incision. It usually takes around 6 weeks for the incision to heal, but it may be closer to three months.
What about the scar tissue?
You may experience some discomfort when lifting, leaning over, or changing positions at times, but the pain of the tissue will heal over time. After the first 6 weeks, you shouldn’t feel as much pain in the area, but it may be sensitive for a while afterward.
Will I ever feel the same as I did before having a c-section?
After a long enough time has passed the sensitive feeling of the scar tissue should fade along with the scar to an extent. There will be a scar still, but not nearly as noticeable and you can help it fade with many scar products.
For the most part, you should feel back to normal as time passes. Your body will a slight bit different, but that is normal because every new mother will feel a bit different compared to their pre-pregnancy body.
Can I have a vaginal birth if I already had a c-section before?
Truth be told, yes. Just make sure that you let your doctors know that you had a c-section before, but would like to have a vaginal birth this time. Many women have successful vaginal deliveries after having a previous c-section.
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