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My C-section Surgery and Recovery

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Delivery of your child is the most important event in a mother’s life. We have our right to choose the birth mode of our child. However, for me, C-section was not a choice. It was compulsory.

My first baby was breech and my doctor was extremely curious to know why the baby was breech. Everything seemed fine. I planned to schedule an ECV (External cephalic version) to boost my chances for vaginal birth as well but later refrained upon knowing the risks again. Like all women, I wanted to have a vaginal delivery too but alas, this was not meant to be. I opted for an elective c-section thinking about the ECV risks. Immediately after the surgery, I asked my doctor, “Why?”

She looked at me and said, “You have a uterine septum, Fatmah. That’s the reason why the baby didn’t turn (as in head-down position) as there was little space. We can’t give you a VBAC after this either. It’s risky for you and your child. So, C-section is how you are going to have your babies”.

Yes, truly, I felt cheated at first. This was not how I thought I’d have my babies. My mind was set on traditional labor and here I was under the knife of surgeons who would make an incision in my belly, take out my baby and stitch me up after I bear the 10-month pregnancy period. It took me a while to settle into this thought after which my second C-section turned out to be a blessing for me. Yes, it’s painful. People believe we deliver babies the easy way without any pain but they are wrong.

Recovery after C-section takes twice the effort compared to the vaginal delivery. As I was mentally prepared for my second Cesarean, recovery took little time. It is important that a woman who delivers via C-section to visualize her recovery in advance so the effect could commence immediately after the surgery. To ensure quick recovery from c-section, here are some pointers:

• Visualize your surgery and recovery. If this is your first-time, it would be tough but you may try asking around other women (whose experiences were positive) of the surgery. Think positive and remember, this with this surgery, you will not lose any part of your organ but instead gain a new baby!

• After the surgery, try to move your feet as much as possible while in bed. You’ll be on catheter for at least 8 hours after the surgery. Try moving on your sides slowly.

• When you have your first bowel, you’d be tempted to eat any kind of food (since you were on liquid food for the past two days) but don’t. Though some hospitals resume regular menu for their patients after day 2, try to go for healthy food options with little oil, no refined foods and lots of fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetable juices are a great help.

• I had a tough time wearing a regular belt after my first cCsection but for my second baby, I found Abdomend belts ( http://www.abdomend.com) tailored especially for C-section moms. It includes c-section tailored belt (that you can take along with you before the surgery) along with a book that details on several aspects of c-section delivery and quick recovery. A skin brush is also included with the pack. Skin brushing helps get rid of swelling, improves blood circulation and cellulite. I highly recommend this product.

• Constipation is back again and after the c-section, it becomes even more painful. Try having lots of fluids, whole grains and natural herbs to relieve from hard stools. Try walking around slowly to make the bowel movement easy.

It doesn’t matter how you deliver your baby. What matters is that you have a healthy baby and a positive birthing experience…

About Fatmah Azam Ali

Fatmah Azam Ali is a Certified Health Specialist (C.H.S.) and an N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy) candidate in the Clayton College of Natural Health. She is a Certified Nutritional Counselor (C.N.C.) and a Stress Management Consultant as well. As a freelance journalist with over six years of writing experience, she has written over hundreds of articles on health, fitness, alternative medicine and many more for national and international publications- online and print. Get to know her at: http://naturedoctorfatmah.wordpress.com

Add a Comment4 Comments

I think it's important to validate your feelings about being cheated. I had nightmares during my pregnancy about having to undergo a c-section. The pain, the risks, the sterile medical table and equipment making it so "unnatural"...but the truth is, when there's no other choice what's the better option? A baby that doesn't make it due to reluctance or one who does, but just came out a different way? I think that when we finally put cesarean sections into persepective, it's a good option to have.

Now, if we are talking about how often some doctors will jump the gun and suggest a c-section...that's a different story.

Fatmah-- thank you for sharing your stories and pointers. I am sure many women will find them useful.

September 10, 2009 - 1:07pm
EmpowHER Guest


Even if you had a medically required c-section feelings can surface that are real and important. You shouldn't brush away all negitive feelings "just becuse you have a heathy baby" It's great to have a heathy baby but women are complex and have many layers to them. Nurture all your layers!

September 10, 2009 - 9:46am

My first delivery was natural, the next two were C-sections. In no way did I feel "cheated" out of natural birth because I'm one of those women who just cannot deliver that way because of physical issues.

Recovery from both C-Sections was "interesting," to say the least, and took longer than after the vaginal delivery. Funny how you have decide which hurts more - laughing or sitting! Plus, with my last baby, I was in hospital for several days (I thought I'd never get out of there).

All that really matters is having a healthy, happy child. What more blessing in life can there be for a mother!

All the best to you.

September 9, 2009 - 4:57pm
EmpowHER Guest

It's hard not to feel guilty for getting a C-section, but like you said, it was necessary in your case, so don't feel bad at all! My C-section was also medically necessary, and it took a long time before I felt guilt-free. Just remember that in the end you and your baby are healthy, and that's all that matters.

September 9, 2009 - 12:10pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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