Antibiotics after C-section - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-15-2007, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Are antibiotics ALWAYS used after a C-section, or just sometimes? I had antibiotics after my C-section with my first pregnancy. Do they always do this? Do they give antibiotics after every surgery? I don't know these things. I am probably going to have another C-section in November and this, among other things, has me really worried.

Anyone know the answer?

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Old 03-15-2007, 06:21 PM
 
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Pretty much. I cant imagine having a surgical wound and them not giving antibiotics.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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I didn't have antibiotics after my first birth, an emergency c-section, but I think it was b/c I had just had IV antibiotics for GBS while I was in labor.

Second birth was a VBAC, and I was again GBS positive so I had antibiotics again.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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I didn't have any after my csections.

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Old 03-15-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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Hmm, I didn't have any after my C-section, but now that I think about it, I did have IV antibiotics during labor for being GBS-positive, so maybe that was sufficient.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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I had antibiotics after my first section, because they claimed I had a fever, and even though the bloodwork found nothing, that meant an infection. (I didn't have a fever.)

I don't believe I had any after my second or third sections, unless they were a one-off and administered without my knowledge (certainly possible). I think they may have given me antibiotics during the surgery, though.

FWIW, I had an infected incision after my third section, but no signs of infection with either of the others.

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Old 03-15-2007, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What happens with an infected incision? This sounds really scary. My incision healed really fast the first time, and I hardly even took anything for pain. Some ibuprofen, but that was it.

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Old 03-15-2007, 08:05 PM
 
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The antibiotics are often given via IV during the surgery and are generally part of the "standard procedure"...so unless you asked, or have your complete medical/surgical records, you may not know that you had antibiotics along with the c/s.

If you are concerned about the antibiotics passing to your little one this would be a good thing to discuss with your care provider. They may be willing to take a wait and see approach, but please keep in mind that a c/s is major surgery and carries with it a risk of infection...some recent studies have shown that it's a pretty high risk, actually...so the decision to go without the medication needs to be taken seriously (not that I think you're not or anything like that, and I don't want to sound doom/gloom! It's just that while antibiotics for your babe aren't great, neither is a mama out of action due to an infected wound!)

I hope the c/s isn't necessary after all...but if it is I hope you have a wonderful c/s birth and a fast road to recovery!

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Old 03-15-2007, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would LOVE to have a VBAC, but it's nearly impossible to find a doctor in Illinois who will do one now. I guess I am afraid I am stuck with a C-section.

I am worried about the meds going to baby, yes, but also worried about allergic reaction to antibiotics, because I have had to take them so many times.

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Old 03-15-2007, 11:21 PM
 
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Allergic reaction is a VERY good reason to discuss this with your provider, and a great reason in terms of convincing even a conservative OB to perhaps modify their position of standard procedure. And since some antibiotics will lose their effectiveness if you've built up a tolerance that's another topic to bring up. It's a good thing you've got some time to plan though, since an allergic reaction could be a really unhappy surprise!

From my own experience, I have a complete tolerance to the "caine" drugs...it seems to be a family thing, but they just don't work on me. I had planned a nice natural birth so when I wound up with a c/s it was a bit challenging to explain to the hospital staff that the local numbing meds they normally use wouldn't work...they were great, and we found some drugs that were just as safe but which DID work, but it would have been better all round if I'd been able to discuss all that before labor started!

I'm sorry the birth climate in your area is so ick...you probably have already, but check with ICAN (either your local group or the national email list) to see if there are any VBAC care providers or options in your area. And local midwives, doulas, and LLL leaders can often point you towards the more VBAC friendly OBs (or at the very least natural birth friendly OBs who will make your c/s as close to a natural birth as possible) even if they can't take you on themselves.

Hugs mama...

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Old 03-15-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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There are 4 ICAN chapters in Illinois. I lead one of them. PM me if you'd like assistance finding a good vbac provider.

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Old 03-15-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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I have a feeling prophylactic antibiotics are the norm for abdominal surgery, just because there's so much going in and out of the incision site. I myself didn't know I had antibiotics until I got my medical records and read the surgical summary - they administered an injection after they stitched me up.

Look into VBAC if you want one - there's always a way somehow!
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
What happens with an infected incision? This sounds really scary. My incision healed really fast the first time, and I hardly even took anything for pain. Some ibuprofen, but that was it.
It depends on the infection. Sometimes, they require re-hospitalization for treatment.

In my case, my GP took a swab, just to rule out any really ugly bacteria. She prescribed me an antibiotic ointment. DH would change my dressings and put the ointment on it twice a day. It wasn't a huge deal, except that it took a long time for that part of incision to heal (most of it was healed in a few days, but the infected patch took several weeks) and left a small "dip" in my scar. It's kind of ugly, but not really a big deal.

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Old 03-16-2007, 03:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
I would LOVE to have a VBAC, but it's nearly impossible to find a doctor in Illinois who will do one now. I guess I am afraid I am stuck with a C-section.

I am worried about the meds going to baby, yes, but also worried about allergic reaction to antibiotics, because I have had to take them so many times.
Have you looked in to a birth center or homebirth?

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Old 03-16-2007, 03:18 AM
 
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I had antibiotics after mine, but it was because my incision got infected. Altho I was also GBS positive, and had antibiotics during labour, so may be that''s why I wouldn't have been given more if not for the infection.
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:49 AM
 
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One intraoperative dose (usually of a cephalosporin, unless you have a penicillin allergy) is pretty standard. If you labored a long time, were ruptured a long time or had chorio, then they'll often continue the antibiotics postpartum for 24 hours or so.

I would worry more about infection than any risks from one intraoperative dose, frankly. Hospitals are dirty, dirty places. And it's rare for an initial allergic reaction to be life-threatening, anyway. I'm penicillin-allergic and was willing to take cephalosporins despite the risk of cross-reaction, but ended up with a dose of clindamycin and a dose of gentamycin.

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Old 03-16-2007, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had Ancef after my first C-section, and probably during surgery, too. So they can give me something besides a cephalosporin? I am concerned because I had to take Ceftin this year for a UTI and got a rash on my face. The doctor wasn't concerned but it did scare me! Made me worry about abx in the future.

I know I can take erythromycin and related drugs, but Cipro and Floxin gave me horrbile headaches. So I am just worried about not having options, you know?

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Old 03-16-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
I had Ancef after my first C-section, and probably during surgery, too. So they can give me something besides a cephalosporin? I am concerned because I had to take Ceftin this year for a UTI and got a rash on my face. The doctor wasn't concerned but it did scare me! Made me worry about abx in the future.

I know I can take erythromycin and related drugs, but Cipro and Floxin gave me horrbile headaches. So I am just worried about not having options, you know?
Ask for clinda and gent if you want. Tell them you feel uncomfortable with taking a cephalosporin after your reaction and remind them what a PITA it would be to treat an anaphylaxis during surgery.

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