Planned Caesarean – 8 Point Action Plan

plannedcaesareansection

Many women are understandably apprehensive when
faced with a decision about a planned caesarean as they realise their recovery is likely to be slower than it would be after a vaginal birth. Surgery is always daunting and the practicalities of returning home with a newborn baby when you’re recovering yourself can seem a little overwhelming. Good preparation and some practical planning will help you to
feel ready and excited about meeting your new baby.

1 Get prepared at home
One of the difficult things about recovering from a caesarean when it’s your second baby is that family life for your older child still needs to followmany of the normal routines. It can reduce your stress if you can plan for this during your pregnancy. Try to make sure your freezer is full of plenty of easy-to-reheat dinners, and that you have a list of friends and family who will be able to help with preschool or school runs for those early days before you feel able to leave the house.

2 Plan activities for your older child
Many mothers worry about whether their older child will feel left out when they bring their new baby home. Collecting a box of activities such as storybooks, colouring-in books and new DVDs that can be done together on the sofa (so it doesn’t hurt your stitches) while you’re feeding or cuddling the new baby will mean you can still spend plenty of time together.

3 Get breastfeeding advice now
Breastfeeding has many advantages for both mums and babies, so it’s great that you want to give it your best shot. As you know you’re having an elective caesarean, it would be particularly useful for you to attend a breastfeeding clinic during your pregnancy so that you can get ideas
about the feeding positions that are more comfortable after surgery and get contact details for people who can help you after the birth.

4 Talk to your midwife about your concerns
It’s very normal to have concerns and worries about your birth and the recovery, and it’s important that you discuss themwith your midwife. When it’s your second baby a plus is that you’re
a lot more experienced, but some of these experiences are not always helpful: you know what to expect after your c-section,
and that can make you worrymore. But remember that no two births are ever the same, and your midwife can talk to you
about your options so you can have the experience you want.

5 Write a birth plan for your caesarean
Some parents fear that they’ll lose all control of their delivery when they have a planned caesarean, but it’s still possible to write a birth plan so you can have more involvement in the birth experience. Taking in your own music to be played in theatre, asking for the screen to be lowered so you can watch your baby’s delivery, and initiating some skin-to-skin time with your baby are all ways of ‘normalising’ a more medical birth.

6 Don’t try to be superwoman
A caesarean is a big operation, so it’s important that you get some help with household chores and childcare for the first few weeks so you can recover properly. Ask your friends and family to
help with laundry and the vacuuming, and arrange for your grocery shopping to be delivered to your home when someone else can be there to unpackit for you.

7 Take regular painkillers
Some mums try to struggle on after a caesarean without taking pain relief, but making sure you’re taking the medication you’re prescribed will help you to recover and to manage better during the early days. Many pain-relieving medications can be used while you’re breastfeeding, but it’s important to check this with your midwife.

8 Give yourself some TLC
It’s easy to forget to look after yourself in the early stages with a new baby, as it can feel like the most important things are your children. In reality, making sure that you’re
eating, drinking and resting when you can is an investment as it will help you to recover. Have more involvement in the birth experience. Taking in your own music to be played in
theatre, asking for the screen to be lowered so you can watch your baby’s delivery, and initiating some skin-to-skin time with your baby are all ways of ‘normalising’ a more medical birth.

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