Having a C-section can feel really scary. Will you be left cut in two like a bad magician’s assistant or will it be easier than a vaginal delivery? So many unknowns! I’ve had a lot of people emailing me asking for c-section tips. And you know me, I love to give what the people want! Here are 5 C-Section Tips that might ease your mind a bit:
First off, hello! I’m Hilary — many people know me as The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind this website Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 After being on the team for hundreds of cesarean sections, I’m here to give you some AWESOME info!
First, be sure to sign up to get my free hospital packing list — get in the know on what to bring!
And, don’t miss the 4 things you need to bring in your hospital bag for a scheduled c-section, and my c-section facts.
I also had a great podcast lately with a friend who had a great C-section:
C-section Tips (from a labor nurse who knows):
1. 33% of all deliveries end in a cesarean section. That means a few things: A) A lot of people have them. It’s likely you have a friend or four who you could talk to about it before you go in for your surgery. B) We do them a lot. We create a zone of frequency and sequential safety that allows it to be a very safe procedure. Yes, it does come with risks, but because we all do it frequently, that really helps.
2. Most cesarean sections are done as a lower-transverse incision. That means that your scar will be below your bikini line. It’s usually done where your body naturally folds right there.
3. Before your surgery we will need to give you a shave. You are welcome to do it at home, but otherwise, we will just shave the top part of your pubic hair. The area above the incision line as well as about an inch or so below. BTW, if you’re planning to do it at home, something like this is helpful — be sure to use a safety razor- it’s a blind process. 🙂
4. Most c-sections are done with spinal anesthesia. To you, that will be almost the same as an epidural (and if you already have an epidural, they can usually just use that), but there are differences on the anesthesiologist’s end. You get numb very quickly and stay that way for 2-3 hours. I have a post on my sister site about the epidural vs spinal you might enjoy.
5. Emergency C-sections (which are fairly rare) are usually done under general anesthesia and your partner will be unlikely to come into the room with you during the surgery. But, the baby comes right out to see him after delivery. Again, SUPER rare, but just an FYI.
Bonus tip: Nurses understand that you are scared. We want to answer questions and be a support to you. There really is no reason to put a brave face on with us. We’re there to help!
Related post: Cesarean scar pain in pregnancy
I bet you have a lot more questions about c-sections, which is why I wrote an online prenatal class that has a full chapter JUST on C-sections! SO many classes are taught by people who really don’t have much experience with cesareans, and I have found it to be REALLY important (even if you’re not planning on one).
My class includes things like:
- Reasons c-sections happen.
- What happens to you before, after and during the procedure.
- Why you’ll feel cold.
- How much pain you’ll be in after.
- And how to handle it are all covered, plus tons more!
All the great tips from a 20 year experienced L&D Nurse who has seen a lot of C-Section recoveries in her time. Save 10% with code PC10!!!!
Or, if you’re not quite ready for the full class, check out my free prenatal class — It’s your first step towards being your own birth boss.
I’ve had 2 c-sections, one planned, one unplanned. Look, it’s going to be different for everyone – everyone feels pain differently – but for me, my c-sections weren’t a big deal. In fact with my second one, my baby was crying his first night,, my on-call button was broken, so I managed to sit up and pull him on to me. I was climbing steps with both of them after a few days; recovery wasn’t bad or painful. My last one was 7 years ago and the scar is almost invisible (although I still don’t want to wear a bikini!) One thing I wish they would’ve told me is that it’s MUCH harder to breastfeed after a c-section. Also, repeated c-sections weaken your uterus, making successive pregnancies more dangerous. (Not by a lot, but still.) That’s a big reason why we stopped at two – although the surgeon with my second one gave me the weirdest compliment of all times when he said, “You have beautiful ovaries, it’d be a shame if you stopped now!”
Haha, love it when you get an ovary compliment. I have a friend who just had her 6th C-section. I think we’d paper-rock-scissor who got to take her on her 7th. 🙂
My son was born via c-section after many, many hours of labor. It wasn’t fun but it was the best decision for both of us at that time. You have some good tips here!
Thank you! I hope you find it helpful!
I had three, knock knees usually don’t open wide enough to let babies through as the hips are very tight! I was in labour three days, exhausted, scared to death and got wheeled into the operating theatre as my baby’ s heartbeat was slowing! I was out of it, and thanked god! But the next two were by spinal block, got over it much quicker, saw my babies and was delighted off course and wish I knew before I had my first that it is easy peasy, Step on the table, spinal tap which I can recommend and see your baby born and no pain or bother! Next three days a bit sore as the wound is tender, had disposable stitches so went home after 4 days, but you do need a bit of home help! No heavy carrying etc! Be good to yourself and try and breast feed, did not do the first one but did the two later and what a boon, you have to sit down to feed so you get your rest as well while the world falls to bits around you and you don’t care, hahaha!
I wish I could have not cared. 🙂 I love this advice though!
As a fellow nurse (OR) I love what you have on here! Even for those of us in the medical field it’s nice to have a review/reminder. I’ve had 3 vaginal deliveries, but always prep my hubby each time just incase! Great work!
It’s true, you never know…. 😉
I work on a c section team. This is great advice. Thanks!
Pulling Curls says
Thank you for being here, I’m glad you found it helpful.