Scheduled Vs. Emergency C-section

Updated on April 05, 2010
C.H. asks from Shawnee, KS
18 answers

With my daughter roughly 4 years ago, I had an emergency c-section. We're having a boy here in about 7 weeks and I'm going to have a c-section with him. I'm just wondering, since I probably won't be in labor with him like I was with my daughter, are things different afterwards when it's a scheduled c-section vs. emergency (after laboring) c-section? The things I remember most are the pain when trying to go to the bathroom (BM), and pain after waiting to have sex weeks later. (Mostly concerned about the bathroom pain since it happens a lot more often!) I'm also getting my tubes "tied" while they're in there, if that makes any difference. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Wow, I greatly appreciate the responses here. My doctor doesn't even perform vbacs so the person who suggested I do that, it's out of the question and I don't really feel like I need to go that route. I appreciate the different opinion though, but I have to ask, is there something wrong with asking a question about pain so that I can be most prepared for what's ahead of me? (Of course, I know the answer to that is No.)

It makes sense to me now that whenever you have abdominal surgery, your muscles are going to have pain when you strain to go to the bathroom. For some reason, I was equating that to the labor with my first child. Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice, ladies!

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answers from Florence on

I had an emergency c-section so to speak with my first daughter. Her heart rate was dropping so we had to get her out of there fast. They knocked me out and I saw my baby 4 hrs later. I totally remember the pain of not being able to have a BM and smelly gas. Lol. My second daughter was a scheduled c-section and it was so much better. I got to see my daughter first and the pain seemed less intense. I don't remember having any problems using the bathroom. Also I was awake the whole time even after her birth so I could talk to everybody. I am also having a c-section with my baby boy due on July 1st. It is scheduled also and I definitely want to stay awake and see him first thing. Good luck and Congratulations.



answers from St. Louis on

emotionally, yes.....a scheduled c-section is easier.

physically, pretty much they're the same. Good luck & wishing you a speedy recovery!

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answers from Seattle on

For me.. the first time labored for a really long time.. just so worn out.. ect.. the second c-section planned.. all in all I felt I healed faster b/c I didn't tire out from the labor and added stress.. Felt like I could get up and walk with less pain sooner.. Although the bathroom issue was the same :( but maybe ask the nurse what meds for stoole softner they like.. recently my daughter under peditrican recomendation takes miralax.. I tried some b/c I was off from taveling.. It worked better than the stuff they gave me when I had a c-section.. looking back I wished I would of knowen about miralax.. It used to be Rx but it is now sold over the counter.. sex didn't hurt as bad.. just take things slow..
Best of luck. (sorry if this was too much TMI)

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answers from Kansas City on

C., I had the same situation down to the tubes tied! The BM issue happens no matter what kind of surgery you have, make sure you are given a stool softner to hellp with that situation. I found that the C-Section pain was less with the second, I think because the nerves in that area had already been cut once.

Good Luck, M.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

I've had both, an emergency and a planned. My planned was 100% easier than my emergency. I think with the emergency c-section my body was already sick. I had eclampsia and had gone through a two day induction. I was exhausted. I had some complications after my 1st c-section too. With my planned c-section I was well rested and I wasn't ill in any way. My recovery was a million trillion times easier. I was home within two days. I never had any severe pain with BMs. They gave me a stool softener and I drank a LOT of juice. Just make sure that you're keeping yourself hydrated and aren't eating foods that are going to make BMs more difficult. Getting out of bed and moving around really helps to get all your systems back and working correctly. Good luck and Congratulations on your new baby!



answers from San Diego on

There is what is "easier" for you and what might be better for your baby.

Remember, you go through labor for a reason. Your body is preparing your baby to enter the world. Number one, labor usually indicates that the baby is ready, whereas a "scheduled" c-section is a guess that the baby is ready. What if your baby would have spent another 2 weeks developing in utero? That is a lot of time to give your baby.

Also, your body floods with hormones preparing that baby for the world and what a gift to give your baby.

Have a good dialogue with your doctor and talk about laboring for a while. If you are prepared, you can always get to the hospital for a non-emergency c-section.

An unscheduled c-section isn't by default an emergency c-section. Have you considered a vbac? Would your doctor perform one. The risks with a vbac by a good doctor aren't any higher than with a c-section...

I had a natural birth and then a scheduled c-section (after a planned homebirth) as my baby was breech with a very short cord and all involved were worried he'd descend too quickly and get "stuck" in the birth canal. That being said, my one regret is not having been able to labor. And I felt very surreal choosing a date to have my baby taken surgically. Would have been much happier if labor had started on it's own.

I can't compare emergency vs. scheduled, but other than a bit of hectic activity (if it's truly an emergency and not just because you are in labor), I can't imagine there's much of a difference.

I have to say that we as Americans seem to have issues with pain. What's wrong with feeling some pain? The physiological benefit to your baby and the emotional benefit to you for having labored is so much better than some residual pain during sex or during a BM, isn't it?



answers from Wichita on

You definitely won't be so tired without the preceding labor. I had an emergency c-section with my son and actually thought it was easier than the 2 forceps delivery I had with my daughter 2 years before. Do take stool softeners and drink water, lots of water. The good thing about a c-section is they give you more effective pain killers. Being in pain when you have another child to take care of during your recovery is very difficult. Good luck and hope you have a good baby, that also makes the recovery much faster. It's all about getting the sleep you so desperately need after having a baby.


answers from Topeka on

I have had 3 children all by c-sections. My last child, I had my tubes tied. My first 2 children were emergency sections. My last was a planned section. Sad to say, I experienced more hardship with my last section. The meds they gave me during surgery made me sick. I was throwing up even while delivering. I had what they called gushing.... alot of vaginal bleeding after the birth that came out in gushes. Something was going on with my uterus. So they had to massage my already sore stomach to make the bleeding stop. They massaged my stomach every 10 minutes or so for about 3 hours. Oh God! The pain! I still cringe thinking about that.
BUT that was only MY experience. Yours may go alot more smoothly than that. I think mine was not related to having my tubes tied, or the fact that it was a planned section. I think it was just "one of those things", ya know?

About the BM's. Just take plenty of stool softener and drink lots of fluids. I didn't have any problems with that. I just made sure I took plenty of the meds. I was too scared to have to strain, if ya know what I mean.

Good Luck!



answers from Joplin on

Both of my children were c-sections. My son was breech and I was losing amniotic fluid. We were in the hospital for 5 days and I was very sore. The pain meds made me sick to my stomach. It took me several weeks to get back to normal. My first trip to Walmart was killer!

With my daugher, my epidural didn't work, so they had to completly put me under. I also had my tubes tied. I woke up foggy and this time took all the paid meds offered. We quickly figured out that the Morphine was making me sick to my stomach. I was up walking the next morning (had to be able to walk to get to the NICU). I actually felt better this time because I was up walking so soon. My advice is to walk, walk, and walk. I think with my son I stayed in bed more, while with my daughter I walked back and forth to the NICU. I really couldn't tell any difference after having my tubes tied. Best of luck to you.



answers from Austin on

I had the same situation with my kids. The great thing about a planned c is that you can arrange child care for your older child. The only thing different for me was that I knew the second time around to take advantage of what the hospital could provide. My second child spent more time in the nursery so I could rest. I wasn't shy about asking for pain meds. I requested that people NOT visit at the hospital. I knew what foods to eat so that my first BM (ew) would come out easier (double ew). When I got home I wasn't in the midst of first parent jitters so I let my baby cry more, didn't panic thinking he wasn't getting enough milk, and didn't hesitate to let him sleep with us for the first few days.
Good luck with your second birth. Also, I don't get why people feel the need to tell you to have a vbac. As far as I'm concerned, you still take a baby home so who gives a flip.



answers from Kansas City on

Like others said you will have pain but it doesn't seem as bad and yes get up and start walking as soon as they let you that helps. I had my tubes tied too but which was nice. If you have your baby naturally and want your tubes tied you have to wait 6 weeks or more before they will do the procedure. I wish you best wishes to you and your family. God bless.



answers from Kansas City on

I had my 2nd c-section (scheduled this time) about 2 years ago, however, I haven't had my tubes tied (can't speak to that party. I can tell you that the pain when using the bathroom and moving around is still there. When they cut through the muscles in your mid-section, it's going to cause pain when you try to twist, bend, stand, and anything else that requires those muscles until they heal.

Good luck! It's worth it!



answers from St. Louis on

I had the same situation. First pregnancy was 14 hours of labor and then c section. Then with my second we scheduled it. I can't say that the afterwards was any less painful but you aren't nearly as tired as you are with the other. Maybe not AS painful but it was still painful. In regards to the tired I remember just not being able to get enough sleep at all with my first and with my second I was bright eyed and good after the delivery. I do remember asking my doctor the same thing and he said that any time you mess with any of your insides they will be in shock for a time and that is what causes the bathroom issues like you were asking about (I didn't have those problems with my first but did with my second) so I think in regards to that it just depends on the person!

I hope that helps and CONGRATULATIONS on your new bundle of joy!!



answers from Kansas City on

My first c-section occurred after 36 hours of labor. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck for 3 months afterwards. My next two c-sections were scheduled and boy, were they easier. It's still a long recovery process, but w/o the labor and exhaustion preceding the surgery, it's SO much easier. I also had my tubes tied during the last c-section and it did not seem to affect my recovery at all. Just take the stool softeners, drink water, and take it easy. Good luck.



answers from Kansas City on

C., I had a planned c-section a year ago and had my tubes tied at the time; no problems there. The BM pain is the same, just drink lots of water and take that stool softener they give you. Don't know if that answers your questions. An overall relatively easy recovery.



answers from Kansas City on

I had 3 c-sections.. 2 emergency and 1 planned and I will tell you that the planned one was so much easier to recover. In fact I was walking all over an amusement park 2 weeks later and don't think I could have come close to that with the other 2. I had more scar tissue and pain after the emergency ones and was just very tired and worn out from all the labor I went through as well. The planned one, I went into labor a week earlier than the planned date which was a week earlier than the original due date. I called the dr, told him I thought I was in labor and he said he would meet me at the hospital, got to the hospital and was dilated at 3 cm so he said well we may as well go ahead and do the c-section now because there is no point is waiting for you to dilate more and end up in full term labor and said if it progressed too far then would have to do an emergency c-section and there are more complication issues with an emergency one. I also dilate very quickly and even within the hour of prepping for surgery I had dilated over 4. It was just so much easier on the recovery time and I even had a bad cough which made the incision very painful when I coughed but even with that I recovered faster. We were military and moved 2 weeks after the baby was born too so had all that to deal with as well.



answers from Lawrence on

I had a similar situation as yours. I don't know how long your original labor was, but mine was about 24 hours before the c-section. I felt like my recovery was SO MUCH BETTER!!! I was up and walking the evening of my second one, even ate a little bit that late afternoon/evening. The sex and BM still were difficult/painful but seemed better the second time (less painful/difficult etc.) I did not have the tubal ligation, but have heard from friends that have that they had no complications. Congrats and hope it all goes smoothly!


answers from Kansas City on

I had an "emergency" one the first time (our DD's heartrate kept dropping during my contractions so they decided a C-section would be safest). Though I was in labor, I never got to the pushing stage, so it wasn't the same as yours. I do remember having a terrible time having a BM (partially because of my fear of the pain since I knew it was going to hurt). I really struggled with my recovery - I still had pains 6 months after.

My second C-section was scheduled, but my water broke so my laboring was about the same with both. It still hurt to have a BM (actually it took longer for me to have one the second time - I ended up having to have a suppository). But the recovery in general was MUCH better. I felt like myself after a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months.

The pain during sex was the same, but like I said, I didn't have to push during the first one, so I would imagine it would be less for you this time. Good luck! It will all be worth it!

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