Whether you’re booked in for a caesarean or you just want to prepare yourself for what could be to come, it's important to mentally gear yourself for what delivery day may look like.
Here, we give you all the inside information on C-sections that you need to know so you know exactly what to expect.
1. Your ability to bond with your baby is the same as if you had a natural birth
GP Michelle Groves says you’ll still be able to feel that amazing connection, but you might need some additional help.
“After a C-section, the mother will have some pain in her lower abdomen, which can reduce mobility," she explains.
"But the majority of new mums will be up and about within an hour of the C-section and the midwife will always be on hand to help with lifting the baby to help with nursing.”
2. The post-caesarean recovery time in hospital is not as long as it used to be
Michelle says, “Generally, three to five days is the average length of stay after having a C-section.”
It was not uncommon for women 20 or 30 years ago to be bedridden for up to a week.
“We have advances in medical and surgical treatments to thank for reducing our spell in hospital,” she says.
3. There has been a rise in the trend of ‘maternal-assisted’ caesareans
This is when the mother helps to deliver the baby by lifting it out herself. If you want to do this, you’ll have to be sterilised and ‘scrub in’ like the surgeons, but it still carries a high risk of infection for your incision.
Let’s face it: getting involved in your own C-section is not for the faint-hearted!
4. Feeling very cold or shaking uncontrollably after a caesarean is harmless, and quite normal
It usually only lasts a couple of hours post-birth, but it can be scary if you’re not expecting it.
5. You can breastfeed straightaway!
“Provided the baby comes out in good condition, it is put on the mother’s breast pretty much as soon as it is delivered,” says obstetrician Dr Gino Pecoraro.
“Mum can cuddle and get the baby to nuzzle her breast and suck while the doctor is continuing with the surgery.”
Modern medicine is pretty cool, right?
For more need-to-know facts about C-section births, pick up the current issue of *Mother & Baby& magazine, on sale now.
For more about the ins and outs of motherhood, LISTEN as host Claire Isaac quizzes Rhian Allen, the Founder and CEO of The Healthy Mummy, on 'How To Be a Mumpreneur' in the first episode of our ‘How To Be…’ podcast.