J.D. asks from Colorado Springs, CO on March 02, 2009
Questions About C-sections
I delivered my daughter at 36 weeks and even at 4 weeks early she weighed 8 pounds and was 21 3/4 inches long. I thought that she weighed too much because I went overboard and gained 50 pounds. With this pregnancy I have done well. I have only gained 10 pounds and am 21 weeks, but my son is already in the 88th percentile for height and weight and the doctor says he will likely be a big baby. With my daughter I tore BAD!!! I am not entirely sure my body can handle anything larger than she was. This leaves the alternative of a C-Section. For me the idea of a C-Section has always been horrible. I know that it is less work, but as crazy as I am I enjoyed delivering my daughter naturally (even though I was in hardcore labor for nearly 30 hours with no progress!). I need some REAL and HONEST answers about C-Section; preferably from women who recently had on, but I am open to all answers. Can anyone ease my fears?!
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you for your many helpful answers. I believe a lot of people on here think I have opted for a C-Section (I have not). I would much rather have natural birth (pain and all). After reading the many responses, most of my fears are confirmed; recovery time is longer and you cannot hold your baby immediately. Though my daughter was born 4 weeks early, she had no major problems (other than she had a little jaundice) and never went to NICU. I was able to bond immediately which for me, like most women, is incredibly important. My doctor has brought up that a C-Section may be in my best interest, but I believe after what I have heard on here that my body will be able to handle the delivery of a larger baby. Though my doctor is predicting a 13 pounder, I do agree that it is only a prediction and have read that babies who grow faster tend to be born sooner which tells me my son may likely be early. Once again, thank you for your many responses
E.C. answers from Denver on March 03, 2009
I had my first two vaginally and my last who is a year old now I had c-section. The doctor told me I had to becuase of how big he was but looking back I think I should have argued and not gone along with it. With both girls I was up and about the same day. After the c-section I was down, there was a huge recovery difference between the two. In comparison there was no recovery time having them vaginally. With my girls I had occasional pain or discomfort but nothing that kept me from doing anything. After my c-section getting up was painful. I hate taking pain drugs and did not have to after either of my girls but with the c-section there was no getting around it. Do what is best for you but know that the recovery time is drasticly different. Good Luck.
E.C. answers from Salt Lake City on March 02, 2009
My daughter was breech so I had a scheduled c-section at 38 weeks. I couldn't ay enough good things about it. Granted, someone who has a hard labor and then an emergency c-section probably feels differently, but I recovery went very smoothly. I was up walking around that night. I was sore for a few weeks. It was hard not to lift anything more than a laundry basket or not drive for 6 weeks, but if you have help, than I say go for it. My c-section was 3 yrs ago and I have no lasting side effects/problems.
A.E. answers from Fort Collins on March 03, 2009
My son is 19 months old and I delivered him via emergency c-section. My advice? DO NOT have a c-section if you don't have to! It took me 3-4 weeks to "recover" from the major surgery. I also still do not have feeling in my abdomen, where my scar is, and my doctor says I may never get feeling back in that area again. There are many, many, many risks to having a c-section, and most of the time these risks are far greater than the risks involved with having a vaginal birth. A great resource is ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network:
They have tons of great information that is fully researched! They also hold local meetings all over the country to help inform women on the risks of c-sections. It is worth checking out.
I am sure the tear you had hurt and was painful to recover from, but know that a c-section, in my opinion, is far worse. I also suffered from mild ppd after my c-section because I had so wanted to deliver vaginally and naturally. You may experience the same thing, especially since you have already experienced a vaginal birth with your daughter.
Obviously, we, as women, have the right to make our own decisions about our bodies and the way we birth. But, I really suggest that you do a lot of research before you schedule a c-section. Best of luck in your decision-making!
1 mom found this helpful
M.W. answers from Boise on March 03, 2009
I never gave birth vaginally, but had 2 C-sections. I hated them!
1. Your milk does not come in very well after a C-section, takes longer to come in, and your baby is sooo fussy and hungry.
2. You have had major surgery, and never feel like you can relax and lie around recovering, because you have a new baby and other kids to take care of, and the nurses make you get up and start walking ASAP.
3. You lose a lot of blood and feel anemic and crappy for months.
4. You can't even hardly walk by the time they let you out of the hospital, and you have to take narcotics for the pain.
5. There is a risk of your scar tissue growing and messing up your insides.
6. After one C-section, it is harder to find a dr that wants to do a vaginal birth after C-section.
7. You can't lift anything, drive a car, or do ANY housework for weeks afterwards, even months.
8. Your bowels don't move for like a week after.
9. Your baby is drinking amniotic fluid, and when they have a C, they don't get the fluid squeezed out of their lungs, so they can sometimes have breathing problems when born.
Don't do it unless it is a MEDICAL NECESSITY!!!!!
ps. I had a lot of moms tell me that they were no big deal before I had mine, but I HATED, HATED, HATED, HATED them!
1 mom found this helpful
M.S. answers from Boise on March 03, 2009
I had to have an emergency c-section with my first and a planned c-section with the twins. I prefer the planned over the emergency any day. With the emergency, if I didn't have an epidural already I would have had to been knocked out completely. They tied my hands down and put up a big screen infront of my face. With the planned there was still a screen but not as big and my hands didn't get tied down. When you are having a c-section you feel a lot of tugging and pulling, but no pain. Sometimes you can get sick to your stomach, that is the reason for the oxygen. When I had the twins I had to ask for more oxygen because I thought I was going to pass out.
Also with a c-section you have about 6 weeks of recovery. You cannot walk very easy, you are in a ton of pain and you cannot take a bath for a couple weeks. If your husband is a huge helper c-sections are fine, but if he doesn't help out much then you will be struggling for awhile. Also, they cut your nerves and muscles and so at least for me I have droopy skin which I will have to get a tummy tuck for.
I am not trying to scare you or anything, I would have a c-section anytime over natural birth. My first experience of trying natural birth hurt so bad, and I wasn't even able to deliver. Hope this helps, but doesn't scare you to much, just wanted to give you the honest truth.
1 mom found this helpful
L.N. answers from Salt Lake City on March 03, 2009
There's definitely a time and place for c-sections, but the risks don't justify it in your case. It's worth your time researching techniques and positions that are effective for pushing. I have a copy of a study (well, the first page) that compares women who had both stirrups and episiotomy and those with neither. 28% of those with both had bad tears (3rd/4th), and only 1% of those with neither had bad tears. Especially with larger babies, the back/stirrup position for pushing is very ineffective. It's not the big babies themselves that cause the tears; it's the ineffective pushing techniques. If you are controlling your pushing (no one telling you how long to push, etc), your tissues will be able to stretch out gradually and reduce the chances of tearing.
1 mom found this helpful
R.K. answers from Salt Lake City on March 03, 2009
J., You know, I'm just wondering if you've considered the possibility that your team was off on the dates??? It happens OFTEN.
I wonder, was your last period with our first baby light?? There are several scenarios where you're body was bleeding though you were, in fact, pregnant; for example, a complication during implantation of which you were unaware of.
The other thing is that women, if NOT on their back when birthing, can give birth to quite large babies. The pressure on the back--all your wait--works against your baby. The very hormone--relaxine--meant to allow your joints to open and expand to allow your baby room is being use to CLOSE up the path. When you are on your back the birth outlet is closed up to 40%. Think about that. Block of your doorway 40% in any manner you wish, length wise, width wise, a little here and a little there, then try moving through without touching the material you used to block of the doorway...the same doorway you move through easily every day.
My point is this: if you're not choosing to be drugged, and you have full use of your body and space, birth in a position most suited to your anatomy and the position of your baby--generally that which most comfortable to you at the time and follow YOUR cues for pushing...ease your baby out instead of forcing him out. I suggest Chiropractic care, and, of course, find a DOULA!!
One thing about Csections today; once you choose to have one, you've pretty much chosent this route for the rest of your birthing experiences. Doctors are increasingly denying VBACs because of cost efficiency and liability insurance for those women who don't fully participate in their health care but get angry with the outcomes. Be very aware of the risks, as there are many to you and baby, and know that a because it's one of the most common surgeries in America that the OB is generally very good at it.
Happy Baby Moon whichever way you go...the most important thing is that you participate in the choices and you feel safe.
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H.S. answers from Salt Lake City on March 03, 2009
I have had both a c-section and a vaginal birth no medication. I also tore with my vaginal birth, little stinker came out with his hand by his head, and although that wasn't fun it was a piece of cake to recover from compared to the c-section. It makes such a huge difference to be able to get up, on your own, go to the bathroom, really function like a normal person. After my c-section it took a whole day to be able to stand up and more than week before I could get up from the couch without help.
The other big thing for me is that not only is a c-section more dangerous to you as a mother (and I know any mother alive would sacrifice herself for the sake of the baby), but c-sections also carry risks to the baby. They are more likely to have breathing difficulties at birth, and they have a lifelong increased risk for asthma and allergies. C-section babies are not placed in their mothers arms at birth, they are taken to a warmer and because of the breathing problems are more likely to need to visit the NICU, leading to a long separation. For me, having that baby in my arms immediately is incredibly important and that just isn't possible with a c-section.
Also, not all doctors are equally skilled at helping a mother to give birth without tearing. Episiotomy is a big no-no, if the doc cut you last time, then I'd switch docs. Read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" for more information on how to keep your perineum intact. Hire a doula. Keep in mind that weight estimates aren't always right, no one can know how big your baby is until it is born. Also remember that having done this once before means it will be easier this time! And most of all remember that your body is made for this purpose, and it won't grow a baby that you can't handle.
I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you want to talk about it more.
1 mom found this helpful
C.N. answers from Denver on March 03, 2009
You know I think everyone has a different experience with child birth whether natural or a c-section. My sister has 10 and 9 pound babies and would never want a c-section. I know some women who can't walk easily on their own for weeks after a natural childbirth and some say its the greatest thing ever. My first and only child was delivered via c-section. She was breech. I had most people telling my horror stories about c-sections. My c-section went off without a hitch! I was up an moving within 8-10 hours. Everything I was nervous was going to be horrible was not. I was a little more foggy (with drugs) the first 12 or so hours but other than that it was great. The lifting restriction is the same as if you gave birth naturally. I got stay in the hospital and extra day because of the c-section technically, but I just needed an extra day of help with the lactation nurse. Up and down off the couch was fine and even up and down stair was fine. Maybe I heal quickly but everything was better than I imagined it would be. Ultimately you have to decide what you think is best for you and your baby! Best of luck! C.
C.T. answers from Salt Lake City on March 03, 2009
I haven't had a c-section, but I tore badly with my first delivery and then barely at all with the next 3...the first one really is the hardest. I don't think you should worry unless your doctor gives you a strong medical opinion that you should opt for c-section.