Share your ideas on how to make a Cesarean Birth a positive experience - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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First, I am thrilled to see this forum.  It has been a long time coming and it such a blessing for this community.

 

Second, I thought I would help get the ball rolling and invite moms who have had good experiences to share what helped make it positive.  Personally, I have had both, and know how bad it can be, but I also had a wonderfully healing, transforming experience.  It is my hope that by sharing some of the details of our births we can help those getting ready to birth their babies with practical advice on how to make it the best experience it can be.

 

Down to business:

 

1.  I think the single thing that was the most helpful for me was that, at my request, they allowed my hands to be free instead of strapped down.  It was with the understanding that if I started reaching into the operating field or there was an emergent situation where it was necessary, they would, but to allow me the freedom to move my arms, rest them on my chest and/or hold my dh's hand, made me feel less trapped and greatly reduced my anxiety.

 

2. If the baby's health allows, having the baby put on your chest, even if for a moment (mine was preterm and tiny and needed to be evaluated right away, but they did lay her on my chest for a bit before checking her out.)

 

3.  Meet with the nursing staff at the hospital, tour the hospital, get a feel for how they treat laboring mothers.  The doctors are important, but the nursing staff are the heart and soul of the unit and have a much longer impact on your experience.  See if you can find out how many patients the nurses have to see at a time...are the nurses terribly overworked, or is there enough staff that each patient gets good care.  You shouldn't have to wait forever for them to respond to a call light, and there should be time for them to gently and thoroughly clean you up afterwords, and help you get in and out of bed to use the bathroom for a while.  That first day, especially, you will likely need pretty intense help.


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#2 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 10:24 AM
 
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- Doctors/nurses can be sensitive about the environment. Music everyone agrees to is nice, and not talking about their Saturday golf game is nice, too. Keep the conversation about the delivery.

- The arms being strapped down was one of the worst parts. Between that and the drape, I became very claustrophobic. If I do have to have another c-section, I would ask to have my arms free. I know what to expect and I'm not going to reach into the sterile field.

- Some hospitals are removing the drape and propping mom up so that she can see the birth. Alternately, they could use a mirror. You can't actually see the incision during the birth, because baby is blocking anything gross.

-"Walking the baby out" may be a way to reduce complications in the babies. The doctor slowly removes the baby over a few minutes, allowing fluid to be massaged out. Baby also gets more cord blood this way.

- Allowing skin to skin contact and nursing for well babies is possible, as well. Dad or a nurse can help hold the baby on mom until mom is transferred to recovery. Baby can stay with mom during this time to nurse and bond.


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#3 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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These are all great suggestions that I'm going to keep in mind if I have an RCS.

 

What I learned from my first c-section:

 

It can't hurt to ask for what you want. I asked not to have my arms strapped down, and I wanted my midwife in the OR along with DH. I also asked that only DH announce the sex (we waited until birth to find out) and that he be allowed to cut the cord. I also asked that the baby never leave my site and that I be allowed to breastfeed as soon as possible. They were all very happy to comply!

 

The next time around, if I have an RCS, I'm thinking about:

 

  • Music in the OR
  • Viewing the birth
  • Having a professional photographer present to photograph me and DH, and the baby after it's born
  • Having the baby placed on my chest as soon as possible for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding
  • Having all well-baby checks done on my chest
  • Having the catheter and IV removed ASAP so that I can move around more freely and be more comfortable

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#4 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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I had requested DH be the first to hold DS, since I didn't think I would be able to. My arms were strapped down as others stated, although I didn't recall that detail until reading it here. DH was also allowed to cut the cord.

 

If I had to do it again, I would request baby be put on my chest and given the opportunity to BF right away.


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#5 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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I recommend stitches (instead of staples) on the incision. I have heard a lot of complaints about staples, and I'm glad they gave me a choice & I chose stitches. It takes a little longer in the OR, but it healed up nicely and now (3 years later) the scar is barely visible.


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#6 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 11:32 AM
 
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ICAN had a lovely article on making csections family centered and as natural as possible. 

 

I had one almost seventeen years ago, and I wasn't restricted in any way, so i'm always surprised to hear that hospitals still restrain moms.


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#7 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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I think being able to breastfeed in recovery is a huge one.  I was lucky to be birthing in NZ, after DS came out he was weighed etc, wrapped and handed to DH.  DH then walked alongside me to recovery carrying him, and when I was settled they started to get him latched on.  It was lovely.


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#8 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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- make sure you know your options for recovery and being with your babe: when i had my cbirth, the hospital's OB OR was occupied (and babies are allowed to be with moms in recovery) and they were going to send me to a general OR which did not permit mamas and babies to be together.  (i was able to wait)

 

- arrange to see lactation nurses as soon as possible (especially if it's your first cbirth).  i had no idea what to do, and even women who've nursed with a vaginal delivery might find nursing after a cbirth difficult. 

 

-i love the new articles and research coming out to support immediate skin-to-skin with mom, even while being sewn.  i will be asking to do this if we have another cbirth. 

 

- have a birth plan anyway, even if you are having a scheduled cesarean.  it can make a difference in your nurse selection, treatment of the baby, etc.  \

 

- the nurse we ended up with (see above) was awesome- she took photos of the birth. 

 

- there is research to suggest that you might want to ask for leg compression devices if they are not automatically given to you (they were to me). 

 

-get up as soon as you can and walk around.  some of the pain comes from lying still or in one position for so long. 

 

-if you can, have your partner or doula repeat a reassuring phrase, mantra, or poem during the procedure if you feel that is helpful... 

 


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#9 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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I am having a cesarean birth on December 7th.  This is my fourth child, three homebirths and three very large tears.

 

I had the option of having a vaginal but the doctor who did a postpartum fix up on me after birth #3 reported that "the tissues were very frayed and I'm not sure I could ever pull them back together again".

 

But, I wanted another baby.

 

So here I am. 

 

I am delivering at a very supportive hospital, with a wonderful female OB.  She will lower the drape, have my hands free, give us a heads up right before the baby comes so we can sing our baby into the world, and will put the baby right on my chest and do newborn checks there.  The nurses in the tour (before I got pregnant) said "anything you want" to every question I asked!  I couldn't be happier with my healthcare providers.

 

I am doing a lot of talking to the babe - about how his/her birth might feel and what he could do to help. I asked him/her to wait until I say to start coming out so maybe I could go to the hospital in early labor.  I don't know if it will happen but I love talking to my babe!

 

I wrote up a birth plan, declined all test (including diabetes and group b strep) I also lobbied to have my last month appointments 3 weeks apart.  I told them I'd call if anything happened.

 

I went into this with the idea that they would want to be on my side and would want to make this pleasant for us - I'm really happy.  I'm nervous about the day (who wouldn't be with surgery?) but excited to meet my babe!

 

Best,

 

Kim

 

Oh - I'm taking a B complex, Boulardii probiotics (the perfect one for antibiotic use), and a blood builder.  I'm doing some yoga breathing exercises because I'm a bit worried I might "lose my breath/get breathless" on the operating table - like some have experienced.

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#10 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimomma View Post

ICAN had a lovely article on making csections family centered and as natural as possible. 

I had one almost seventeen years ago, and I wasn't restricted in any way, so i'm always surprised to hear that hospitals still restrain moms.

I can't remember the name of the article I saw, but I did read about it on ICAN's blog as well. I haven't read any stories about moms reaching into the sterile field. It seems like they do it just to do it. If I must have an RCS (I'm trying for VBAC), I am going to ask to not be restrained.
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I think being able to breastfeed in recovery is a huge one.  I was lucky to be birthing in NZ, after DS came out he was weighed etc, wrapped and handed to DH.  DH then walked alongside me to recovery carrying him, and when I was settled they started to get him latched on.  It was lovely.

This is also pretty normal in my area, but in some areas, hospitals are seemingly in the dark ages. Unless mom is waking up from general anesthesia or baby isn't well, mom should be able to nurse and hold baby. I had to wait an hour and a half because my large babe was gurgling a little, and they took her to the NICU. I felt unnatural when she finally came back. I think had I been able to nurse right away, it would have felt more natural to me.

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#11 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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I had a planned pre-labour c-section under spinal. My team were amazing.

 

We have a picture my husband took of my daughter half in/half out of my abdomen.

 

My OB delivered her straight onto my chest, and the first words she heard were a prayer, as we asked.

I cuddled her for 5 minutes, then she was briefly checked,  DH held her for 10 minutes, until they finished up with me.

I breast fed  immediately in recovery ( as my midwife said, one of the benefits of a good spinal is that your nipples are numb- so that first feed was painless and perfect).

 

Little things make a difference.

 

If they're going to site a large bore IV- ask for them to inject local first.

Ask them to wait until the spinal or epi is working before catheterising you.

If you don't want to see the surgery, don't look at the overhead lights- they're very reflective, if you don't have a mirror and want to see, use that instead!

If you have a strong preference for how the incision is closed, ask- I had staples (my request- I'm allergic to most suture materials), the scar healed fine.

Multi-task- if you want to get cleaned up and changed into your own nightwear after the c-section, then that could be when the nurses bath the baby.

Make sure the call button is always within reach- you won't be able to get it otherwise.

 

 

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#12 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 09:00 PM
 
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I've never had my arms strapped down, even with my first (in '93). But, I did have one anesthesiologist (none of the others) ask me if I preferred to rest my arm on the rest, or keep it on my chest. I chose to keep it out, because I tend to shake a lot (cold, panic & shock combo, I think) and didn't think I'd be able to keep it folded on my chest. I was told they just need to make sure the arms are out of the way, so the mom doesn't mess up her IV or the monitors or anything.

 

How to make it better depends on what matters to the mom, of course. I didn't want the drape lowered, for example. OTOH, I don't think anyone has mentioned the spinal. I really, really, really hate the spinal (would much prefer to be unconscious, but they won't just give a pregnant woman general anesthesia with no medical indicator, and I know it's not good for the baby, so I just try to suck it  up). With my last one, I asked if dh could come in with me while they administered the spinal. The person I had the consultation with (not my actual OR doctor) told me it was up to the individual handling anesthesia. The L&D nurse told me she didn't think it was likely, because it would mean having another person between the OR table and the surgical instrument tray. The anesthesiologist did allow it, however - she simply administered the spinal with me sitting facing the other way from my prior two experiences. It made a huge, huge difference for me to have dh there to hold my hand while they did the spinal. It's not always possible, but if you have any issues with either the spinal itself, or going into OR alone (and I have issues with both), it can help.

 

Breastfeeding on the table was the best part. I was told it wouldn't happen by my OB (she said there was insufficient space between my breasts and the drape. But, the L&D nurse just held dd2 upside down (her head pointed at my feet) over my shoulder, and she nursed that way. It helped a lot.

 

And, definitely get stitches, not staples. I can't begin to describe the difference that made for me, in terms of both reduction of pain and increased mobility. (ETA, after reading another post - obviously, this doesn't apply if you have allergy issues, as in one poster's case! I don't have any allergies, and I always forget about that kind of thing.)


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#13 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 09:08 PM
 
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Ask them to wait until the spinal or epi is working before catheterising you.

 

OMG - is this not standard practice? If not, why not?


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#14 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Although it isn't universal that a child born via c-section will have issues nursing, since a lot of the moms here have c-sections because of medical issues, I thought I would throw this out there:

 

If you have a baby who is not strong enough to nurse effectively, one way that you might be able to avoid using formula is to let them put the baby on IV fluids.  It is hard to see your baby with an IV, but it means that they can keep the baby properly hydrated and have very quick access in case the blood sugar (or some other issue) requires quick interventions, which is more likely in a pre-term infant.  Then, you pump out the foremilk (save it) and nurse once the more fat/nutrient dense hindmilk starts, and nurse as long as the baby can handle it, then, if possible, syringe feed the milk you just pumped (easier on the babe than nursing directly, but teaches the same action in the mouth.)

 

The IV was the key here, both for medical reasons and to give peace of mind while you try to establish nursing with an infant who isn't strong enough to nurse the way a full term, healthy infant would be able to.


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#15 of 56 Old 11-18-2011, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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OMG - is this not standard practice? If not, why not?



I gotta agree with you here, how on earth is that even an issue?!?  I suspect it isn't the standard of care as much as the occasional stupidity of humans not paying attention to what is going on.  I think they usually pull the catheter out before the spinal has worn off, and I can't even imagine the scream that would issue from me if they tried to cath me BEFORE the spinal.  maybe if I was already in labor, because I didn't even feel the needle at my first, emergency c-section (so it was a bit of a shock when I had it done without laboring...wish I would have known that because I think I accidentally hit the nurse in shock).


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#16 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 05:09 AM
 
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I gotta agree with you here, how on earth is that even an issue?!?  I suspect it isn't the standard of care as much as the occasional stupidity of humans not paying attention to what is going on.  I think they usually pull the catheter out before the spinal has worn off, and I can't even imagine the scream that would issue from me if they tried to cath me BEFORE the spinal.  maybe if I was already in labor, because I didn't even feel the needle at my first, emergency c-section (so it was a bit of a shock when I had it done without laboring...wish I would have known that because I think I accidentally hit the nurse in shock).

My catheter stayed in until the next day and I was so glad it did! My recovery was hard and those first 24 hours were brutal - I did not get out of bed to walk until the day after the surgery (which is NOT standard procedure. They want you up asap.) I know so many women who had a fine recovery - not easy per se, but not hard either. Mine was harder than most and I am not sure why, but I do have some universal advice. Be kind to yourself. Accept help. Don't be afraid to take some pain meds if you need them. Ask lots of questions and, most importantly, remember that you are strong and amazing! Allow yourself time to heal and don't even think about returning to "normal" until at least 8 weeks out - it may come much sooner than that, but just know that it *can* take that long and you don't want to underestimate your recovery time.

Oh, and don't try to zip up pre-pregnancy jeans over your stitches. The zipper caught on the steri-strip and busted open the entire left side of my cut which then took exponentially longer to heal. Bah!

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#17 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 05:16 AM
 
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My catheter stayed in until the next day and I was so glad it did! My recovery was hard and those first 24 hours were brutal - I did not get out of bed to walk until the day after the surgery (which is NOT standard procedure. They want you up asap.)

My catheter stayed in until the next day, too, which was wonderful.  I honestly had not even realized it was in until they came to take it out and I thought, "Oh!  That's why I haven't had to pee!" ROTFLMAO.gifKind of funny, that.  It does make resting and that first stage of recuperating much easier, I think.

 

On another note, I knew almost nothing about breastfeeding difficulties that some women experience in relation to having a c-section.  I didn't know that it could even cause challenges.  In my case, BFing after my c-section was about the same as BFing after my first son's birth, which was vaginal.  I am almost glad I didn't know it can present challenges...I tend to worry about things, and I didn't know I had anything to worry about!  I think BFing after a c-section is like many other aspects of having a baby:  it is simple for some, less so for others.

 

ETA:  I have a friend who had a c-section...her husband took the most beautiful, intimate photo of her child's emergence from her body.  I think that for moms who want to see the child come out but can't have the drape lowered for whatever reason, that might be a lovely thing to have.  I wish I had thought of it!
 

 


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#18 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 05:20 AM
 
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Ask them to wait until the spinal or epi is working before catheterising you.

 

Just a quick note.  I did not find the insertion of the catheter to be painful.  It pinched coming out, but the insertion was not a problem for me.

 

I was also cathed in college for a ripping kidney infection (or was it bladder?  can't remember...it was in the 80's), and that cathing was also not painful.  I was afraid and embarrassed, but it didn't hurt going in.


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#19 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 05:49 AM
 
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For me the hardest part of having a c-section was the meds.  I agreed to morphine in the Epidural and it made me out of my mind itchy.  I was also given something else that made me paranoid with mild hallucinations.  So, my biggest tip for anyone having a c-section is to talk with an anestheseologist at your hospital in advance if possible to make a med plan that you think will work for you.  I've also included this in my birth plan in case of repeat c-section. 


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#20 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 06:14 AM
 
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I agree with parsley about the meds.  I still don't know what to do about them, but this will be the first time I get an anesthesia consult beforehand.  I'm allergic to codeine/morphine and demerol gives everyone in my family hallucinations so I'm unwilling to try it.  I feel ill even after having my mouth numbed at the dentist, so it's about picking the least of the evils for me. 

 

I do know the thing that made it easiest after my second was getting off of meds and my IV fluids asap after surgery.  Every time anyone came in my room when I was feeling well enough to think about it I asked to please have my IV fluids stopped and IV removed.  The IV fluids made me feel terrible with my first, I actually came home weighing *more* than when I went in to give birth to a 9lb baby.  Then I drank as much water as I could get anyone to bring me to wash everything out of my system.

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#21 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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With the itching, the thing that helped was to let my nurses know.  They gave me something (probably diphenhydramine, which is the active ingredient in Bendryl) that made all the difference.

 

Don't be afraid to push the nurse button and communicate what you are experiencing and ask for help.


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#22 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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Yes, yes!  I agree about the meds and the IV fluids!  The morphine they gave me with my second made me itch so horribly, but I didn't get morphine my first time, and I had no itching.  I did have a severe reaction on my abdomen to the adhesive on the sterile field drape my first section, so I made sure they double washed me with iodine with my second. It helped, but I still needed prescription cortisone.  

 

Also, I LOVED using an abdominal binder after both surgeries.  I felt it really helped support my tired muscles, and keep my incision protected.  Really helpful.  

 

For me, personally, I liked having the catheter out within ten hours.  It was hard hard hard to walk to go to the bathroom, but I think it made a difference in my recovery and I was only in the hospital two days.  

 

 


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#23 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 06:48 AM
 
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Adhesive from the drape??  Wow, I had no idea that might be to blame for my itching!

 

I had full body hives last time and could see the outline of the staples and adhesive for over 3 months on my belly from something.  They claim they'll use something "hypo-allergenic" this time, but since aloe gives me eczema and non-latex band-aids give me rashes (and my hospital is latex free), that word means little to me.

 

But now that I'm thinking about it, I ought to make sure to up my Vit. C and D doses for the next couple days to try and carry me through and hopefully help my system dead before my surgery.

 

I'm trying not to focus on the potential negatives though and think about how exciting it will be to finally hold my baby girl at this point.  :)

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#24 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 07:10 AM
 
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I was dosed with quite a bit of benedryl and it didn't help the itching at all.  It was explained to me that the itching isn't actually an allergic reaction so the antihistimines in benedryl don't work (so basically they they were giving it to me for the placebo effect?).  I've done some further reading and it seems there are other meds they can give that help with the itching but the protocol differs dramatically from place to place.

 

I was doing some research on this and it seems like there are lower rates of complaints of itching for people given morphine in an IV as those given morphine in the epidural. 

 

Here's a research article about the effect of morphine comparing different administration techniques:

http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/95/2/436.full#T1
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

With the itching, the thing that helped was to let my nurses know.  They gave me something (probably diphenhydramine, which is the active ingredient in Bendryl) that made all the difference.

 

Don't be afraid to push the nurse button and communicate what you are experiencing and ask for help.


I was also just reading a board of anesthesiologists and a) they were totally dismissing the itching problem and b) several said that they use duramorph for every single c-section they've done.  This is really scary to me! 

 


Partner to DH and mom to DD1 (3/2008) and DD2 (born 1/2012).
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#25 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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Actually, Benadryl should help because it is a histamine reaction and Benadryl is an antihistamine. Duramorph is standard because it results in better pain relief with a lower dose of narcotics than IV PCA. Some hospitals do PCEA (epidural PCA), which is supposed to be great, but that requires an epidural to be inserted and not all anesthesiologists want to do an epi or CSE for a section just so you can have the PCEA. If you have any questions about the anesthesia or the initial post-op analgesia, ask for an anesthesiology consult.

 

Drape drops and photos may not be up to the OB. Some hospitals have blanket policies against this for legal reasons--mine permits photos inside the OR but NOT of the surgery (once baby is out and on the other side with the nurse/ped, you can take pics). If the policy is set by Legal, your OB can't override it, so find out.

 

What made my second section positive was just discussing everything with the OB beforehand. There were a few small things I'd change (how we handled the baby between birth and recovery--I would have delayed the bath, in retrospect, and I think the initial exam took a little too long--I would have liked a little longer with the baby in the OR, even though I don't want to try nursing on the table. It's cold!)

 

I did my pre-op and recovery in a regular LDR, and baby was with me the whole time in recovery--they brought him back from his exam before they finished closing me up. That was really nice. I felt more like I was having a birth and less like I'd just been booked in for surgery.

 

Oh--if you have any tendencies towards anemia, manage it aggressively! if I have a 3rd i am pushing for iron infusions rather than doubling up on tablets. I was 9.8 on delivery day and after the blood loss from surgery, things sucked. My BP was down to 89/48 and I nearly got transfused. (Normal BP: 165/110 unmedicated, 120/80 on beta blockers.)


DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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#26 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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I had issues with morphine in my spinal as well, and I shook really bad. Way more than I have for other surgeries. They kept dosing me with Demerol and benadryl, and I was fairly out of it for awhile. I don't react that way to morphine in an iv, though.

They left the catheter in until the next day. The afternoon of the surgery, they tried to get me to stand. I was very close to passing out from the pain. Transferring from the gurney to the bed after recovery almost made me pass out, as well. I just don't think Norco was enough, and the staples may have made it worse. It helped to brace my stomach with a folded blanket the next day when they made me get up to pee after removing the catheter. I wish they would have offered an abdominal binder, or that I might have known they help. I had my mom go out for a nursing pillow the first day, and that helped with nursing. The football hold worked, but I know it isn't comfortable with everyone. Hospitals only push it to keep weight and baby feet off of the incision.

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#27 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Breastfeeding on the table was the best part. I was told it wouldn't happen by my OB (she said there was insufficient space between my breasts and the drape. But, the L&D nurse just held dd2 upside down (her head pointed at my feet) over my shoulder, and she nursed that way. It helped a lot.


 

Great infomation. Thanks for sharing this.


DS ( 9/2010) and TTC #2 fingersx.gif

 

 

 

 

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#28 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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For me, getting a shower as soon as possible after my c-sections really helped me feel like a human being again.  I brought my own jammies this time and it felt nice not to be stuck in the hospital robes.  I also used an abdominal binder on and off this time around and it helped with getting in and out of bed.  Ask PT or nurses to show you the best way to get out of bed.  Rolling to the side and then getting up slowly worked best for me.

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#29 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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Oh! How could I forget jammies. I do NOT like the hospital gowns. They don't fit anyone that well, and maternity gowns don't cover your butt. I felt so much better after getting a shower and putting on my own clothes. I actually brought maternity yoga and gauchos that were soft and had fold-over waists. I wore tanks on top because it was summer, and the hospital was actually pretty hot. Some flannel pants might be better for when it is cold. It is also nice to bring some slippers with rubber soles so that you can walk around without worrying about germs and what not.

If it is a planned c-section, bring your favorite toiletries in travel sizes. It is so nice to have shampoo that doesn't make your hair turn into a frizzy mess, and lotion that you like. Things like lip balm, a little makeup (maybe powder and gloss), and what not can help you feel more human. They allowed me to shower the second day after the section, but I think I'd push for better pain control if I have an RCS so I can be up sooner. I had to use a cup of water to brush my teeth the day after, and it was rough. I felt like I was on a bad camping trip until I got a shower, especially because of the heatwave in a hospital with antiquated air conditioning. Oh - try a few nursing pads and bring your own. The hospital I was at would only give me ONE pair, even though the doctor had me there for five days. I had to send my MIL out to buy a box after my milk came in.

It is also really nice if someone can be with you most of the time at the hospital. Nurses are there to help, but if they are busy you could be waiting a little while for them to come help you change a diaper, give you meds, etc. My husband set the timer on his phone to go off when I needed my meds because the nurses were too busy to bring them in without us calling. (6 sets of twins born the same morning as DD! They were super booked that weekend.) I'd recommend bringing some new magazines or a book or two as well. Many hospitals have wi-fi now, but they don't want you to plug anything in. Combine that with their awful television selection, and it can get a little boring when you don't feel like sleeping.

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#30 of 56 Old 11-19-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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I've always stayed in the hospital gowns for the first day or so, then switched to my own bathrobe or nightgown. I don't really like pajamas, and switching to my own nightgown doesn't work out that well while they're still fiddling with things.

 

I also opted out of the morphine, after it made me itch like crazy with my second one (honestly don't remember about my first - I was in awful shape from all the drugs, lack of food, etc. and it's mostly just a miserable blur in most ways). Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist with my third one didn't ask - he just went ahead and added it to my IV. So, I got the insane itching that time, too. With my last, I got the PCA. That worked way, way better for me. I took a hit before i got up to use the bathroom the first time, and just before I tried to sleep at night, and that was it.  I have found my views on pain vs. pain medication to be somewhat atypical, though - I'd rather be clearheaded and in pain than muddled and/or numb.

 

I definitely agree about having someone there with you, if possible. I've been really lucky, because my mom lives close to the hospital, so my family stayed with her, which left dh able to come and go from the hospital as he pleased. He stayed with me at night, except with ds2 (dd1 was only two, and he didn't like leaving her all night), and was with me most of the day, as well. It made a big difference to have someone on hand who knows you - not just to help out with the logistics, but sometimes you want to talk, yk?

 

Oh - and not so specific to recovery, but I always bring a good book (Terry Pratchett, by preference) and my iPod (well, it used to be my CD player). If the baby happens to be sleeping, and there's nobody around, I find music the easiest way to get ouf ot the hospital in my head...and a book always makes meal times less boring. :)

 

Someone else mentioned that she had no breastfeeding issues. I had an awful time with ds1, but when I look back, I realize it had more to do with the constant interference (I know they were trying to help, but they didn't) from nurses, and people just always being in my face. I do best when I can just take it easy and work things out for myself, so having a constant stream of contradictory advice and people checking my nipples and the baby's latch and all the rest of it just drove my stress level through the roof. I don't think my problems had much to do with the c/s. With my second, it was also rough, and I do think that was c/s related - dd1 wasn't ready to be born, and my body wasn't ready for the baby to be out, and I had a lot of issues with pain and lack of milk. And, with my last two? Easy as it gets. DS2 nursed like a champ from the first feeding (in recovery) and so did dd2. The most common explanation I hear for c-section related breastfeeding difficulties is the mom's pain making it difficult, but that wasn't my experience at all! It hurt a lot, but everything hurt, and it really wasn't a factor.


Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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