first time c/s - any advice?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2003
first time c/s - any advice?
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 2:32pm
I am having a c-section for the first time with my first child (it's been long-planned due to another medical problem). Can anyone give me some advice so I can recover as quickly as possible? I don't like the idea also of being awake during an operation (even though I know I will feel only tugging) so does anyone have any suggestions for me on how to deal with this . . . I don't do well with the idea of being unable to move and being cut open! I have had stomach surgery so I imagine that this is similar, and I know that I should concentrate on the idea that I am giving birth .. but still ...


Lori -- c-section 7/25/03

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 11:14pm
First of all i'd like to say i personally didnt even feel any tugging. and awake isnt exactly the right word for it, your so drugged up your on cloud nine. I just barely remember the whole thing. like remebering a dream. my advice is be awake so you dont miss your baby's first holler, (that was the best moment of my entire life, even as dugged as i was i'll never forget that sound), try not to think of it as an operation, you are giving birth concentrate on that, you dont need to think about the operation at all, just focus on your baby. If you are breastfeeding find out if you can BF with assistance while they stitch you up, i wish i had known i could ask for that. I realy missed the time after birth with my baby, he was taken away so quik.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 11:02am
I felt the same way about C-sections with #1, and now I'm almost hoping I end up going C-section with #2. I am terrified of giving birth to this baby LOL. Honeslty it really isn't bad. I don't have much memory from it either. I only remember small tidbits, like looking at DS and being relived he had a birth mark so I would recognize him later, and laughing becuase DH made some comment about being grossed out when he "accidentally" saw the placenta, and how big it was. He made a huge effort to not see anything LOL.

The hardest part for me was that DS had a few minor medical issues and had to be brought to the special care nursery, so I was not able to see him for about 3-4 hours after surgery ( I thought it was an hour or 2), and then only for a few minutes. The next time I saw him was when he was released to the regular nursery about 8-9 hours after his birth. I also was not able to nurse him untill after he was released, but gave him a bottle at 4 hours.

Which brings me to my next point. If you are going to nurse make sure your support person goes with the baby and doesn't allow bottles. IF they give them the ultimatium of a bottle or an IV (which is what they told my DH) have the person ask to have them finger feed the baby with a syeringe. It takes a little more time so the nurses might not offer this suggestion, but it would have saved us a ton of headaces if we'd known. Honestly I'm not sure one bottle would have hurt, but DS got several before trying to nurse, and then one after every nursing session for the first 3 days (till we saw the L.C.). Needless to say he didn't take to nurseing real well, and no one thought to get us a L.C. untill DH happend to ask a nurse a question and the hospital's L.C. overheard him. She was upset no one refered us to her, and all the nurses kept telling me he was doing ok since he was latching on just fine.

If your baby is healthy depending on the hospital's practicies, you should be able to have the baby and your support person meet you in the recovery area.

Good Luck and ask away or feel free to email me ( you have any questions.

Beth and GAT EDD 9/17

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2003
Fri, 07-25-2003 - 5:03pm
My first section was miserable only becuase I worked myself up and got too nervous and they had to give me some medication to calm me. The second time around, I did not feel a thing and it was great. There are so many people in the operating room to listen to that you should not fear being awake. It is fun to listen to them especially after they get to your baby and start describing as they deliver. It is fun . The best advice I can give you is to get up and walk as soon as possible. The sooner you walk, the better you will feel when you go home. It will hurt and burn, just ask for pain meds about 15 mins before you walk or get up.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Sat, 08-02-2003 - 1:34am
June 03 lurker here and must say that my c-section couldn't have gone better. I was very afraid before my surgery but now that I know what to expect next time I am all up for it. Not to make you think that every c-section is 'good' but I would do it again in a heartbeat! Some advice and thoughts from my own experience:

The worst pain of it all was the iv insertion - It is hard to find my veins so they ended up poking me 3 times - but once they got the iv needle in I was fine with everything else.

The catheter was inserted before I had the anesthesia - and it really didn't hurt. It was basically more uncomfortable when they inserted it - it actually hurt more when they took it out the next day.

I had a spinal block - not sure what your doctor will order - but it didn't hurt either. They first 'numbed' me and when they did that the 'medicine' burned a little when they put it in. They then inserted the spinal block and all I felt was pressure and almost immediately my legs felt heavy. Just be prepared for possible nausea with the anesthesia (sp?) - I threw up almost immediately but then they gave me something and I was fine a few minutes afterward.

The stitches - I had staples and again was afraid at first of these as I have had 'dissovable' stitches with previous surgeries. My doctor told me he was going to use staples as they apparently allow the incision to heal 'nicer' than regular stiches. When they took out the stitches it did not hurt - more like a little prick once in a while (I had 28 of them so a few felt like a pinch when they took them out).

Some other thoughts - make sure you have someone there to help you out when you get home for at least the first two weeks - my doctor wouldn't let me pick up my daughter the first week so I had to have someone there. Get moving around as soon as you can - its going to hurt the first time you stand up but by the second day I was walking the halls of the maternity ward - by a week later I was walking normally. Take the pain medicine if you need it - don't skimp yourself and try and be 'brave'. Get alot of sleep while you can at the hospital. If you are having trouble sleeping ask the nurse for something that will help - you need all the energy once you get home and you have to help yourself heal.

If you want to talk more regarding my c-section you can email me at Remember that every c-section is a little different and for some women it takes them a little longer to heal than others. But from my own experience I would take a scheduled c-section anyday over normal labor - I had a very good experience and healed very quickly. Good luck to you and your wonderful baby.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 2:55pm
You ladies are wonderful - I'm a first-timer too and you have really set my mind at ease.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2003
Sun, 08-10-2003 - 9:41pm
First off Relax! I know that is easier said than done, but this will not be as bad as you think it will be. You don't have to watch the operation, close your eyes, concentrate on your child you will soon have in your arms. It really is amazing. Try some relaxation techniques, and visualization methods. It will be over sooner than you can think. If you are so worried about being awake, there is still time to call your doctor, and ask about being put to sleep. The choice is yours, do what you feel is best for you!

Good luck, and keep us informed!


EDD 12-05

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Fri, 08-15-2003 - 3:36pm
I have had two previous c sections, and the best advice I can give you about the healing process, is to get up and walk as soon as you can. Stay as active as you can. I just found that the sooner I moved, all the other stuff (gas, etc.) went away faster. So I just believe that the sooner you can get moving the better. The other thing is that if you can, or want to, being completely under doesn't enable you to experience the birth, and the worst part has to be when they are pulling your baby out. This only lasts a few seconds, and your baby is here! So the tugging and pressure are just very short, and if you have a epidural, or a spinal, you really don't feel much. So good luck, and just know that what ever you choose,and know that you are the best mother to your child ever!