Hello. my name is Katie and I was just wondering if you can be unconscious during a planned C Section. My boyfriend and I are trying for a baby and we have discussed our options but have chosen a c section sue to the fact that I cannot stand any sort of pain. My boyfriend is very supportive of me and our decisions. Please do not judge me for my decision, I would just like some advice and information as this will be my first baby and I am very nervous. Thank you.
Hi kninny and welcome to Mothering. Since this community supports and advocates natural childbirth in the absence of any medical necessity for cesarean section I'm afraid that's why no one has responded to your question. Perhaps your question would be best put to your doctor.
The risks of being unconscious over being completely numbed to pain during a c-section are way higher, like a 5x higher chance of death and of serious complications. Most doctors don't want to do it without medical reason as it puts you at such greater risk (and themselves at risk for liability). You can also be very numbed for a vaginal labor and birth. I know the meds don't always work as intended but the less you intervene with the process the lower the risks to you and your baby.
I could personally care less how you birth but I've had 2 c-sections. I never felt pain during the actual procedure so being asleep isn't going to help you. However, when you wake up, there is a good chance you will be in a lot of pain. With the spinal, they can give you pain medication that will hold you over for a while (i.e. it takes a while for the spinal to wear off enough for you to be in a lot of pain and they can give you oral meds in the meantime). If you don't have a spinal in, you may wake up in a lot of pain. You will definitely need an IV so you can certainly ask them about giving you IV medication for the pain but they might not be able to do that until you wake up. Keep in mind that the recovery will likely be a lot more painful as well. Of course you can take medications to help the pain (just like you can get an epidural or other pain meds during a vaginal birth to help with the pain), but I wouldn't count on a c-section saving you from the pain of childbirth.
Proud mommy 9/2004 , 11/2007 , 2/2011
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Hi! I am the mother of 2 boys. My first pregnancy and childbirth was fairly normal, but I did have to have an induced labor due to my son being 2 weeks late. With my second son, I had pretty much every known pregnancy complication, ending with HELLP syndrome, thus requiring my son to be born 9 weeks early. For this, I had an emergency c-section, and due to a bleeding disorder that developed when I was pregnant, I had to be put under because there was a risk of bleeding into my spinal column with an epidural.
I have to say, between the 2 births, after the c-section I felt "normal" within 2 weeks, whereas with the vaginal, it took 2 months. Plus, after the vaginal, it hurt to have sex, even after the 6 week waiting period. With the c-section I had no pain once my staples were removed (after 2 weeks, but I still waited after 6 weeks). The way you deliver your baby is a decision to be made between you, your partner, and your healthcare provider.
I had to be given pain medication after the c-section, but I only needed that for 2 days (it was through a pump that I pressed a button on, and the medicine was pumped through an IV). After 2 days, I started to get up and walk a bit, and this helped with the pain as well.
You need to talk to your doctor. Due to the risks if c-section many are not doing them unless they have too. I asked for one with my son because I was afraid inducing would compromise his placenta but I was refused (I have a blood clotting issue that even with meds compromises the placenta and they induce at 38 weeks). I would find a doctor that is ok with this plan of action. It SUCKS to find a doctor ok with your health plan after you are already pregnant.
Do remember to factor recover in, too! If you have a fairly routine vaginal birth things can feel totally fine after a few days. They did for me. A c-section can mean a more difficult recovery.
They do have epidurals for vaginal births for when you can't cope, you know.
General anesthetic, which puts you totally under, is typically only used for emergency c-sections where the baby must be taken immediately. Regardless of which method you choose, having a child is not going to be painless. You are likely to have back pain, sciatic nerve pain, hip pain, breast pain, ect.
Are you planning to nurse? Nursing usually doesnt feel good at first either. Engorgement (what happens when your milk comes in) will happen and that is quite painful. I think if you cannot handle any pain at all, you may want to rethink birth, because it's unlikely that you will get through a whole pregnancy, birth and the aftermath without any pain at all.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
a couple other things to consider:
for a c-section under general anesthesia, you'll be intubated (have a tube down your throat to keep you breathing), which can cause really nasty throat irritation following surgery. so that's pain you'd have under GA that you wouldn't have otherwise.
also, insurance may refuse to cover an elective c-section. in that case, expect to have at least $15k saved up beforehand - probably much more as you & the baby are more likely to need extra care with general anesthesia. you are also unlikely to find a physician/anesthesiologist/hospital who will perform a c-section under GA without medical need due to their increased liability.
and what others have said is true - pregnancy itself is not often without pain. i'm 36 weeks right now and have experienced: painful heartburn, round ligament pain (feels like my legs are being pulled out of the sockets OR like i've been using a thighmaster for hours), lower back pain, upper back pain, pain in my hips/tailbone from sleeping, intense leg & foot cramps, pain from my pubic bones separating (this is a normal thing that bodies do to fit the baby's head through), painful gas, constipation, sore/swollen feet & legs, uncomfortable braxton hicks, bladder pain... not to mention morning sickness and exhaustion. i've also needed to have pelvic exams a couple times (speculum exam + PAP smear in early pregnancy is typical), swabs (vaginal & anal) for GBS, and may need cervical checks before labor. i've had blood drawn a few times for various screenings.
is all this pain & discomfort worth it? absolutely! i get to feel this tiny human moving around in me - rolling around, wiggling his butt, kicking off to the side, punching way down low - and it is so amazing. and i get to meet him soon! in between, there's going to be more pain, and it's probably going to be worse than i can comprehend, and i'm not looking forward to feeling it in those moments. but that pain really is momentary and i know i will get through it - and i will have people i trust by my side to help provide comfort when things seem really bad or i'm scared.
i think too that you should remember that you HAVE survived pain before. you are alive and human and occasional pain comes with that. consider how you've made it through painful experiences before and use those memories to give you strength for the next time, rather than fear.
sj (35) & partner (30) - proud new parents of a chill little dude, born 8/11/12
There are medical downsides to c sections for both you and a baby, this is why a lot of good doctors will not do elective ones that are not medically warranted. Please look into this things too as you make decisions
Everyone is different, that being said I gave vaguanl birth to two healthy good size twins in the span of 14 minutes and frankly my vaginal area felt normal the next day. Even I was surprised. I never needed so much as a single Advil.
Pregnancy, birth and parenthood have a lot of hardships and a lot of blissful moments. Most you have little to no control of. Even birth plans as scheduled as a c section can not be promised to go as planned. Make sure you and your partner are ready for all the aspects of parenthood before going forward.
birth frankly was some of the simplest challenges I've overcame in the last 2 years
So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!