The recovery depends mainly on how healthy and strong the mother is. Any pain associated with the incision subsides within three days and in fact, the mother can be on her feet as soon as she feels up to it.
Our traditional beliefs make us think that a natural, normal delivery is what ultimately converts a woman into a mother. From enduring hours of painful labour to pushing the baby out through the birth canal, a woman is often expected to experience it all without medication to ease the pain. And this is why when the doctor recommends a caesarean section or a C-section, the family looks at it as an ominous sign rather than a requirement. Even today, couples are suspicious of c-section surgery and fear long-term side effects. It is time to debunk the myths about c-sections.
MYTH #1: A C-SECTION MEANS LESSER WORK AND MORE MONEY FOR THE DOCTOR.
This is probably one of the top concerns for couples who are faced with a c-section. Movie scripts and media hype have made it seem like c-sections are overrated and there is little need for them. Doctors are suspected of using this as a ploy to make money off a sensitive situation. A c-section may be a quicker process (that really depends on why the patient requires its), but it is nevertheless a major surgery. Every OBGYN out there that recommends a caesarean surgery to his/her patient does so only in an emergency, where a normal delivery could harm the mother or the child. Have faith in your doctor, they have your best in their mind.
MYTH #2: THE MOTHER WILL DEVELOP BACK PAIN AFTER CAESARIAN SURGERY
This is another top myth and has to do with the spinal epidural (local anaesthetic injection) given to the patient just before surgery. A few women experience some pain and discomfort for a few days after surgery at the spot where the prick was made, as is the case with any injection. Any back pain after a c-section has more to do with bad posture than the epidural. New moms tend to sit for prolonged periods of time in awkward positions breastfeeding their baby or lulling the child to sleep. This is what causes the pain. Sleeping without a pillow for the first few days can help with posture. Likewise, finding a comfortable posture while feeding will put less stress on the mom’s back and her mind.
MYTH #3: THERE IS LITTLE OR NO BONDING BETWEEN MOTHER AND BABY.
This myth seems to have stemmed from a cultural belief that puts pressure on the mother, making her feel less of a mom if she cannot give birth the way it was intended – through the birth canal, enduring the pain of labour. This belief system needs to change. A baby born via a c-section is just as attached to the mother as one birthed normally. If mother and baby are out of danger, skin-to-skin time soon after surgery can also be allowed. In exceptional cases when this is not possible, mothers need not fret that their connection with their baby has been severed. The doctors know best, and you will get to hold your child in your arms soon enough.
MYTH #4: RECOVERY FROM A C-SECTION IS LONG AND PAINFUL.
It may have been so decades ago, but not anymore. The recovery depends mainly on how healthy and strong the mother is. Any pain associated with the incision subsides within three days and in fact, the mother can be on her feet as soon as she feels up to it, with the doctor’s consent of course. In general, there are no restrictions on her mobility and can in fact walk out of the hospital on her own!
MYTH #5: BREASTFEEDING IS NOT POSSIBLE AFTER A C-SECTION.
This is absolutely false. Some women may experience a delay in lactation, but this will sort itself out once the baby learns to latch on and suckle. Consult with a lactation expert on how to sit down and how to hold your baby for him/her to latch on properly. It is a fact that the mother will produce enough milk according to the baby’s needs. As the days pass by, the baby will suckle more, and the mother will produce enough milk. Consult with your doctor before taking any supplements to augment lactation.
MYTH #6: WOMEN CAN NOT EXERCISE AFTER A C-SECTION
Maybe not the very next day, but three months after a caesarean they can take on a rigorous exercise routine to shed any weight they gained during pregnancy. And even in the three months soon after surgery, gentle walking is permissible. This is in fact good for the mother and prevents her from getting back pain or other aches from lack of exercise. Once you get the green signal from your doctor you can hit the gym and gradually increase the intensity of your workout to regain flat abdominal muscles! The c-section scar will not stand in your way, either.
MYTH #7: ONCE A CESAREAN ALWAYS A CESAREAN!
Many women feel that if their first child is born via a c-section, they will require a c-section for their second one as well. This is not true. Many women have successfully undergone vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC). If you have previously delivered through a c-section, discuss your options with your doctor. If it is not a high-risk pregnancy and your general health is fine, then you are most likely to be a suitable candidate for a VBAC. Likewise, if you are going in for a second c-section, and intend to have more children, it is best to discuss with your doctor about complications associated with more than three c-sections.
CONSULTANT – OBSTETRICS & GYNAECOLOGY