It’s normal to be apprehensive about the thought of any surgery and, for many mothers-to-be, the prospect of having a caesarean can be really worrying. Sometimes this is an elected procedure, for various reasons, and other times it’s essential for the wellbeing of baby, mum, or both.
You may have heard bad stories about C-sections, or you may just be terrified of the thought of ‘going under the knife’, but there are many reasons why you shouldn’t worry about bringing your baby into the world this way.
Births by C-section are quite common these days, but the decision to perform one is never taken lightly. When I was told (after 48 hours of being induced) that I was booked in for a C-section the next day, I was initially (understandably) worried – major operation, weeks of recovery, a huge scar, etc. etc. The fact is; the ultimate goal for everyone involved is a safe delivery and a healthy mum and baby. And if surgery is how that needs to happen, then so be it.
Most surgeries are performed while mum is awake – but you won’t feel anything, the epidural or spinal block sees to that nicely. The operation involves an incision just above the bikini line and into the wall of the abdomen. Another incision is made in the wall of the uterus, through which the baby is delivered. The umbilical cord is cut, the placenta removed, and the incisions closed. Afterwards, you’ll most likely be given a long-lasting pain reliever.
Some mums might feel like they’re missing out by not experiencing a traditional delivery. But, in most cases, you’ll still witness the birth of your child and share those precious first moments. When I heard my son’s first cry and the sight of his wriggly little body, how he was delivered was irrelevant, all that mattered was that he was here.
Another reason many fear giving birth via C-section is the worry that recovery will be long and painful. This isn’t necessarily the case. Of course, everyone’s bodies are different, and no two recoveries are the same, but if you heed the advice you’re given when you leave hospital, your recovery can be straightforward. Listen to your body – it will tell you at what pace you need to go.
Worried about an ugly scar? Don’t be. Initially, your scar may look quite prominent but it generally doesn’t take long until you’re left with a thin line, just above your pubic hairline. Over time, the scar will fade in size and colour – and it’s so low there are very few people who will actually see it anyway. And always remember – that marks the spot where your beautiful child came into the world, that’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of – I, for one, feel exceptionally blessed by mine.