C-Section - What happens before and after?

Hi everyone,

I'm starting to look into this as there is a possibility that this will be my only option as my baby is breech.
I don't know anyone thats had one so don't really know too much about it.

I just wondered, if a c-section is planned, do you go into hospital the day before?
Also when can you hold the baby?
Will they take my baby away while they stitch me up?
Can you still breastfeed soon after? Do you still bleed, and if so when does this start?
When can you have a wash/shower?
When will they bathe my baby and will they take her away to do that?

Sorry for all the questions but i'm a bit clueless!

Thank you very much,

Amy xxxxxxxx


  • I had a section and it was better than I thought it would be! In answer to your questions
    1) You go in the morning of the section itself
    2) As soon as they(or oh) cut the cord you can hold the baby
    3) They usually give the baby to your oh/birth partner while you are stitched up, it is taken to be weighed and measured etc while you are being stitched.
    4) As soon as you have been stitched and taken to recovery ward they encourage you to try and breast feed.
    5) Bleeding starts straight away I'm afraid and mine lasted for about 5 weeks!!
    6) They normally insist that the day after the section you get up for a shower and a little walk around!
    7) If they do bath your baby, they do it at the end of your bed so you can watch and help if you can!

    I found it to be a positive experience and not worth all the worrying that I had been doing!! The end result is you get your precious baby out safely!

  • Is recovery slow and painful after or did you find it ok I may be in same boat as february baby. I would hate the idea of being bedridden and unable to go out, Hate the idea of not being able to drive for 6 weeks after.
  • Hi, my experience of a c-section is very similar to Donna's except my c-section wasn't planned, it was a last minute decsion and flew by.

    I was given a bed bath a couple of hours later which was a bit strange but made me feel so much fresher, so I was very grateful for it. Afterwards I just felt sort of stiff and awkward, my husband helped me in and out bed for a few days when I got home. I found stting on a dining room chair more comfortable than sitting on the settee. I am pregnant again and would feel okay about having a c-section again.

    Emma - I wasn't worried about not driving for a while, I was quite content to stay at home and watch my beautiful baby.

    All the best ladies, Denise xx
  • I cant believe how different planned c-sections are to emergency ones. I went through 12hrs of labour got to 10cm was pushing 4 ages, then I was sectioned due to complications. I didn't get to hold my son as they had dosed me up on that much epidural i cudnt stop shaking, in recovery i was that exausted I didn't really get to see rhys coz i was flitting in and out of reality. The pain and tiredness I experienced afterwards was unbearable, i got bogged dwn with infections and I felt the mw were just dismissing me. Anyway im hoping for a natural birth this time, but the slightest hint b4 hand of a c-section and im definately going 4 a planned one. Glad some people have had good experiences with c-sections and my case was prob a bit extreme. Kerry xxx
  • Nice to know that there are good experiences of c-sections. If my baby was breech I will definitely be asking for one, as I think it sounds a lot safer than ECV. Good luck february baby. x
  • Mine was classed as an emergency section as it was due to a failed induction. After 3 lots of the gel they use to induce you, nothing had changed down there at all and the senior consultant felt it was because she was too big to get her head down low enough to stimulate cervix. I was told I was having a section about 10 mins before I was wheeled down to theatre!
    The recovery is apparently a lot slower but my friend who gave birth naturally and suffered a 3rd degree tear healed slower than I did! The driving is not an issue, I was signed off after 4 weeks and was able to drive from then.
    Good luck chick.
  • Thank you so much for all your answers, you're all so helpful!!!
    Just one more question...

    Do you wear knickers when you have your c-section or just a nighty and thats it? Also is it literally straight away that you start bleeding? xxxxxxxx
  • No knickers!!! I remember thinking I'd leave the theatre with my dignity intact but no!!! They put a catheter in (you don't feel it) so you need to be knickerless!!
    When I regained feeling in my legs I found that they had put a towel on, so yes, you bleed straight away.
    I thought that I wouldn't bleed at all if it was a section - how wrong was I??!!
  • I have had 2 sections - one emergency which seemed to fly by as I was soooo out of my head on gas and air and then my 2nd was elective. My 3rd is going to be elective too. With my elective I had to go into hospital the day before to have all bloods, questions, tests etc done then go home and go back in the following day at about 8am.

    Had a bad experience having epidural in 2nd time as must have been someone inexperienced doing it and they screwed up twice - the mw gave him a severe talking too then a consultant came and put one straight in!

    The worst part of it was I had to wait from 8am in the morning til about 2pm til they took me in and with "nil by mouth" from midnight it was a bit rough! Not bad enough to never do it again though.

    Ollie was passed to his dad and I did feel let down that I never got to hold him straight away but I didnt have a birth plan so making sure EVERYONE knows to pass this one straight to me - it isnt a problem because Keiran was
    1st time round.

    Both times I got out of bed almost as soon as they took the catheter out - purely because I HATE surgical stockings with a vengence and would not wear them - so on condition I moved around a bit the nurses let me get away without wearing them. Was sore afterwards but like an idiot I drove the day after I came out of hospital and as Ollies dad was a bit of a dickhead I tended to overdo things and ended up in quite a bit of pain. Am under strict instructions from my new hubby if he even thinks I am going to drive he is going to hide my car keys from me and my bezzie mate has threatened me with allsorts of trouble if I try too.

    My big recommendation is - take in BIG knickers! 1st time I didnt and the smaller ones cut right into the scarline - ouch.

    As I say - it wasnt sooo bad, am doing it for a 3rd time and if I was allowed probably a 4th lol but hubby has said 4 between us is more than enough and in honesty it probably is but secretly would do it again and be the same hormonal mess I am now lol

  • Hi oldermum69, yes big knickers are essential. I usually wear size 8 to 10 and found that size 14 were too small!!

    Hi kerrymc - My c-section was also an emergency. After my waters were broken ( I was induced) my contractions started very strongly and my lo's heart couldn't cope with them, almost came to a stand still. My waters were broken at 11.15 and Haydn was delivered at 12.10. I had some nasty bruising for quite some time afterwards and I had to have really strong antibiotics to get rid of an infection in my stitches. But like other mum's I would do it all again in a flash, he is most definately worth it.

    Amy & Emma/george - don't worry, you will be fine. It might sound a lot scarier than it actually is. There are so many of us who are preparing to do it all again so it can't be that bad.

    All the best, Denise xx
  • This might sound a really silly question, does it hurt pushing the pram and how soon after you all came home could you do this? my best friend seams to think that I am buying a pram to suit her as she says I will not be able to push it for weeks, nd that she will take my baby out each day. I feel as if she is trying to take over, boss and bully me, she has 6 kids. I feel she is trying to snatch him away from me which I know sounds very silly as she will only have my best interests at heart.
    all the best
  • dottie i'd agree with you on yuour feelings towards your friend! baby doesn't need to go out EVERY DAY! i'm extremely protective now god knows what i'll be like when lil bear is born! the MIL is getting the main target of the stay away from my baby syndrome lol she's a control freak and is already trying to teke control by saying we'll do this and that you MUST come over every other week etc... i'm sat there thinking woooohhhhh there lady i'm not a great fan of yours ESPECIALLY as she and the FIL are heavy smokers! i have every allergy going pretty much and want baby to have the best start in life! if that means limited visits to MIL's then so be it! lol she'll hate me for it but meh... nothing new she hates me anyways and is only making an effort coz of the baby! she wants me to have a boy lol like i have a choice!
  • Hi Dottie, you're not being silly. I have found that lots of people who already have children like to give very strong advice and it can feel like they are trying to take over. You have to buy the pram that you want, it's your child and your money paying for the pram. Have you had a look at any yet? I went to Mothercare this morning and asked one of the assistants for advice about double buggies, it was so much easier on my own without a family member or friend wih me. I found that I could chat away and ask any daft question I liked!! (I'm a bit lacking in height where as my husband is tall, height of handles etc)

    I was a little sore pushing the pram after the c-section but as I regained my strength it became easier, the exercise probably helped. The hardest thing was getting the bloody heavy thing in and out of the boot of the car! That's my biggest consideration next time, is it too heavy!

    Good luck Dottie, Denise xxx
  • Dont let your friend take over - shes got 6 of her own! I never took my boys out EVERY day. It can be a bit difficult with the pram for a couple of weeks but it does get easier. One of the mistakes I made was filling the trolley at the bottom with heavy shopping (within 1st 2 weeks) and it did hurt to push it but if you are just going for a little walk with baby then there should be no problem.

    Besides that you need to get out and about with lo otherwise it can make you feel trapped sat indoors all the time and if you dont move about then the scar can tend to stiffen and it will pull when you move!

    I have got 2 kids but am no expert and can only advise on my experience but your friend should know better than to take over, maybe help when YOU ask for it. Everyone finds their own way of doing things but its by trial and error.

    Take care babe, love Lee
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