A Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing for Your Cesarean
The Recovery Room
Soon, your anesthesia will begin to wear off and you’ll start to feel sensation returning to your toes. Women are usually moved from the surgery room to a recovery room (not yet your hospital room) at this time so a nurse can tend to you as your anesthesia wears off. As the effects of the anesthesia wane, you may begin to start feeling discomfort around your incision. Medication can be administered to manage this pain, so don’t be afraid to ask your nurse for information on pain-relief options. Generally, once you can wiggle your toes, a nurse will allow your spouse to visit with you and may allow you to hold and/or nurse your newborn.
For many years, mothers have complained that they were unable to breastfeed immediately after delivering via C-section. In years past, newborns were sometimes given bottles before being introduced to the breast, which left mothers feeling they were denied that first bonding moment. (Once the baby is out of her alert phase, she may become uninterested in nursing, which makes getting started that much more difficult.)
Today, many hospitals accommodate the requests of new mothers to nurse as soon as possible (often once moved to the recovery room). Talking to your healthcare provider and learning the hospital’s standard procedures will enable you to bond with your baby as soon as possible. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask your nurse for help in finding the optimal position for nursing after a C-section.
Guests on Your Baby’s Birthday
Sometimes women become groggy and nauseated after a Cesarean operation, often due to effects of the anesthesia, so it may be a good idea to limit visitors on the day of your procedure. Instead, plan on having guests come to see you and the baby on day two or later to give yourself the time you need to begin recovering from the surgery.
Within 24 hours of the delivery, your catheter and IV will be removed and you’ll be helped out of bed so you can walk and move around. This is vital to get your circulation going and decrease your risk of blood clots. Though it will be difficult initially, standing and walking will actually help you to heal more rapidly. Depending on your rate of recovery, your nurse may also allow you to take a shower (with a “chaperone”) once you are able to move around and if your incision is healing properly.
You may find yourself hungry once you start moving around again, but the hospital will likely have you on a bland diet with easy-to-digest foods in the beginning of your recovery. As you begin eating solid foods, go slowly and don’t be surprised if you have some gas. Your nurse will likely even ask you if you have passed gas during your stay, a sign that your intestines are functioning well.
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