One of the biggest decisions you’ll make about your baby’s birth is whether to have a vaginal birth or a Caesarean section, also known as a c-section. Neither method is objectively better than the other, some moms need to have c-sections for physical or health reasons, or decide that they would rather opt for a c-section for personal reasons.
Focusing on the c-section, we’ll let you know what you can expect when having one and what the average recovery time is. When making this decision you should consult with your health practitioner, but it won’t hurt to know more about what is happening to your body during the process so that you can make the most informed decision for you and your baby.
So what exactly is a c-section?
C-section is the surgical delivery of a baby. During the process you doctors will cut into your abdomen and your uterus and lift your baby out of this. As you are having a major surgery, you’ll typically have an epidural. This way you’re numb, but still awake so you can experience the magic of your baby’s birth.
Both c-sections and vaginal births have their pros and cons. You’re likely to take longer to recover from a c-section birth and you’ll probably feel pain in the incision area for a few weeks. As it’s a surgery, there’s a risk of damage to surround organs, infection and excessive bleeding. Make sure to consult with professionals about what works best for you and your baby before making a choice.
When is a c-section necessary?
Some moms elect to have c-sections before the time, whilst others may need to have an emergency c-section due to complications that arise during birth. If you are expecting twins, have high blood pressure, diabetes or have an infectious disease, such as HIV or genital herpes you’ll schedule your c-section ahead of time.
Unplanned c-sections are necessary if your labour doesn’t start or stalls, if you become too exhausted or your baby goes into distress, if the umbilical cord slips into the birth canal before the baby (as there is a risk of the baby’s air supply being cut off) or if your uterus ruptures.
How long will I take to recover from a c-section?
Don’t expect too much of yourself after having a c-section, you’ll typically spend around 3 to 4 days in hospital and take about 4 to 6 weeks recovery time at home before you start feeling normal again. Some moms experience muscle or incision pain for a few months following the c -section.