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A Caesarean section, or C-section, is a surgical procedure where an incision is made to a woman’s abdominal wall and uterus to deliver her baby or babies. Now, the reason why there are C-section deliveries is extremely personal. It could be planned or unplanned. And, undergoing a C-section can be taxing on the body, especially because the recovery process takes a longer time than if one were to have had a vaginal birth.
Reasons for an unplanned C-section
You may have been planning for a vaginal birth. But pregnancy is quite a volatile journey and anything can happen, sometimes unexpectedly. Here are reasons as to why a vaginal birth may not be an option and a C-section may be the next best direction to take.
i. Labour is not moving along. The cervix may be opening too slowly or not at all, and the contractions are not strong enough.
ii. Baby is showing signs of distress. This is indicative of the baby’s health being compromised. Insisting on giving birth the natural way and prolonged waiting may prove fatal for the baby.
iii. Baby’s head does not go down.
iv. Mother’s health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, or brain conditions.
Even if everything is set to go and your doctor’s positive about your delivery happening through vaginal delivery, there’s no harm in learning about what comes with C-sections and being prepared in the event of an unforeseen emergency.
Reasons for a planned C-section
C-sections are not always a last-minute decision. It could be a decision that you made after discussing it with your doctor and family when nearing your due date. Among the reasons for the decision could be:-
i. Baby is facing the wrong direction – bottom or feet first, or lying sideways – making vaginal birth extremely complex, and the doctor is unable to turn the baby.
ii. Placenta previa where the cervix is blocked by the placenta.
iii. Mother had a C-section previously.
iv. Having three or more babies.
While these are common reasons as to why one may opt for a C-section, the mother and baby’s conditions play a big role in whether or not a C-section is necessary as it is a case-by-case and circumstances could still allow for either type of birth.
What to Expect:-
Before a C-Section
Preparing yourself and your body before the surgery would be step one. You may need to shower in antiseptic soap before your surgery, and you should not shave your stomach or pubic area to prevent infections. Leave this to the nurse instead.
At the hospital, you will be put on an intravenous (IV) drip to prevent dehydration as you cannot eat or drink at least 6 to 8 hours before the surgery. A catheter will be placed in your bladder to collect urine and your abdomen will be cleansed pre-surgery.
Right before the surgery begins, you will be administered an anesthetic, usually regional with either spinal anesthetic or epidural anesthetic, and you will be awake throughout the entire surgery. Should the need arise in the event of an emergency, a general anesthetic will be given and you will not be conscious during the whole surgery.
During a C-Section
The duration of the surgery would take at least 30 minutes, differing with each individual. Your doctor would first make an incision in your abdomen and uterus, roughly 10 centimetres, and would lift your baby out through the cut, sometimes with forceps. After checking your baby, the nurse or doctor will hand him or her to you for skin-to-skin contact. Then, the umbilical cord will be cut, and the placenta will be removed.
You might receive an injection to minimise bleeding and to contract your uterus, and also antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. Finally, the incision will be stitched up with sutures and your wound will be covered in dressing.
After a C-Section
You will be wheeled to the recovery room where you will most likely stay for a few days. As the anesthetic wears off, you will be encouraged to drink lots of fluids and also prompted to walk around. This will help with preventing blood clots, swelling, and constipation.
The next step would be breastfeeding, which is advised to be done as soon as possible. The earlier you start nursing, the easier it is on mother and baby. Your nurse will teach you how to do it if you are a first-time mum.
Tips for Recovery
Once you have left the hospital, it is time to focus on your confinement. Postpartum care Singapore is extremely crucial to your recovery in the long term. The most important thing to do during this period is to rest as much as possible. You can do some gentle and simple exercises like walking every day and you should eat plenty of high-fibre food to prevent constipation and for your general health.
When you’re well enough for it, you may get a massage after childbirth. For a massage after normal delivery, it could be as early as 5 to 7 days after childbirth. However, if you had a C-section, it is recommended to wait at least 21 days before you get your first massage.
What a massage can do for you is immense. A womb massage helps with the dropping uterus and haemorrhaging. Not only that, it can aid your womb with its natural cleansing process in getting rid of blood or discharge (lochia) after delivery. As for postpartum massage, it helps to relieve water retention, promotes better sleep, and improves lactation, among other things. So, not only is it good for you, it benefits your baby too!
With PNSG, you don’t have to worry about postpartum care Singapore that relates to massages after childbirth. Everything you need with a massage, PNSG has up for offer. Not only do they offer postnatal massage services, we also offer prenatal massages and slimming and relaxation massages. You don’t have to wait until after childbirth for a massage. Whether it is during pregnancy or even when you’re not pregnant and just want some form of relaxation, getting a massage can improve many aspects of your life and health. And once you start with PNSG, we will be your go-to massage service. Learn more about our massage packages today!