Sunday, 1 May 2016

CSections: What to Expect and What To Take With You #csectionawarenessmonth

I've had 3 different csections.

All three have been very different experiences.

Baby Boy!

I feel like a bit of a veteran - my csection scar certainly agrees!

I have had:

1 Emergency C section

1 kind of Emergency C Section (planned)

1 Planned Section

Two ended up with two very healthy babies, one ended up with a baby in SCBU.

Absolutely nothing at all went wrong in my Emergency C Section.

In my final and planned and prepared for C section, I hemorrhaged really badly and ended up with a blood transfusion, plus a horrible post-operative infection.

Being hooked up to an antibiotic drip for 2 days with a new baby to handle is tough stuff!

My third section was easier than my first.

I laboured for over 36 hours before I was finally given an emergency csection with my first son.

I was in hospital in false labour for a week and a half before my planned section for my third.

One thing that the whole giving birth experience has taught me, is to expect the unexpected.

Keep and open mind.

Prepare for every eventuality.

Medical care in the UK has it's faults, but honestly, honestly, it is exceptional. There is some real proper wisdom hidden in hidden places.  The care is amazing.

Here is a wee list of items for your hospital bag which I hope you'll find useful:

  • HUGE knickers - honestly. Trust me.  As big as you can get without them being at risk of falling down. You will want NOTHING near your wound. Buy two of the cheapy supermarket packs in black which you can either chuck away at will or send home to wash and keep for the next few weeks. There's no love lost, and they'll do the job perfectly.  Much better than paper pants!
  • Also, forget pyjama bottoms for a couple of days. Long flowing nightgowns with booby access are perfect. I found these ones from Mothercare to be perfect for the job. You will have a catheter in, possibly for a couple of days, which is super-glam, but hard to run down a trouser leg!
  • When you do get to pyjama/trouser stage: leggings.  Lots of huge leggings, at least two sizes too big.  You want them to go up and over your wound and to be comfy enough to lounge in.  It's definitely okay to basically live in these for the next six months.
  • Food.  Nibbly snacks. The thing about a Csection, is that you never know if you will have missed a meal time.  Plus you have to fast before it. Plus there's a lot of hanging around, sometimes you are in longer than you wanted or thought you'd be - keep your energy up with cashews, granola bars, chocolate, crisps, apples etc. and stick some fruit juice cartons in too for getting some post-op vitamins.
  • Grabber.  I never had one, but honestly, the amount of times I needed something up off the floor or from the end of the bed!  One of those grab sticks would have been amazing!
  • A notebook and pen. If you end up staying, it is so helpful to be able to write stuff down that you need someone else to bring for you next time they visit. It's amazing what you forget you need until you actually need it.
  • Body wipes/baby wipes.  Not for your baby, but for you.  Maternity wards are Very hot, often stiflingly so. A quick wipe around with a baby wipe can almost help you to feel human again, especially just before visitors and their cameras arrive...
  • Which brings me on to: basic make-up. I am not a huge make up person, not at all, least of all after I've just had my stomach muscles destroyed and had to deal with a new baby, but honestly, it's these tiny little details which give you a slice of normality amongst the blood, pain, medication and counting how many meconium nappies you've changed.  Everyone is different of course, but even if it's not make-up, make sure you pack little bits just for you - toiletries, moisturiser, hand cream (hospitals suck the moisture out of your skin!), just a wee bit of pampering for yourself.  It does help you to feel a little bit more able to face the world!
This is by no means an exhaustive list - not at all.  I also took my own breastfeeding pillow (a big firm one, which I totally credit with helping me to finally master breastfeeding third time round!) and some crochet for times when I felt like I needed something else to do (books used too much brain). 

What did you take to hospital?

Is it your first time?  What are you planning to take?

What are your must-take items?


  1. Ooo yes all the big pants. I also took one of those blankets with handles so I could lift him over to my bed without getting up in the night. Great post #MaternityMondays

  2. I'm hoping for a non invasive birth but am trying to prepare myself if a c-section is needed so this is really helpful :) It's good to hear positive experiences too as I've only heard of negative experiences from people close to me (my sister had a c-section with twins and she healed so badly that she was told she wouldn't have children again.

  3. I've not had a c-section, but this is a really handy list to keep in mind, just in case.

  4. Ah yes the Bridget Jones knickers are definitely fantastic and comfortable. #MaternityMondays


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