C-Section Surgery, Process & Recovery in Troy & Rochester Hills, MI
Founded in 1998, Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.C. provides reliable, trustworthy care for women as they go through all of life’s many stages. If you’re pregnant or thinking about starting a family, you might be curious about what you should expect. We know people often have questions as they transition from one life stage to another, which is why we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that provides answers to the inquiries we field most often.
C-Section Delivery & Recovery in Troy & Rochester Hills, MI
With nearly one-third of births in the United States being done via cesarean section, it’s natural for people to be curious about C-sections. Also known as cesarean delivery, a cesarean or C-section is a procedure in which a baby is delivered through surgery rather than a natural vaginal birth.
Some C-sections are planned while others are performed at the last minute due to an unexpected problem or unanticipated risk to the mother or her baby. If you suspect that you may need a cesarean section, you can count on the medical professionals at our facilities to perform the procedure with the utmost care for you and your soon-to-be newborn.
What to Expect
Before you have a C-section, you’ll be given an anesthetic. As often as possible, a mother-to-be is given a spinal block or an epidural to minimize her baby’s exposure to medicine. If you’re given either of those anesthetics, you’ll be awake for your child’s birth.
In more extreme cases when it can’t be avoided, an expectant mother might be given general anesthesia. If you’re given general anesthesia, you’ll be asleep as your child is delivered.
Most C-sections require a doctor to make a horizontal or vertical incision close to or at a patient’s pubic hairline. That incision is often only around 4-6 inches in length. The physician will then make a similar incision in the wall of the patient’s uterus to deliver the infant.
A C-section typically takes about an hour from start to finish. Getting the baby out of a woman’s womb generally takes about 10-15 minutes. The rest of the time is spent stitching up the mother’s uterus and stomach.
Preparing for Your C-Section
Even if you’re not expecting to have a cesarean section, it’s still wise to prepare for one just in case you experience an issue during birth. While a C-section is a common procedure, it’s still a major operation that will require weeks to recover from. As you recover, you won’t be able to lift heavy things or do much housework so it’s advisable to make sure your house is in order and your pantry and fridge are stocked before you undergo the surgery.
If you already have children, make sure you explain that you won’t be able to pick them up or engage in rough play for a while after you return home. It’s also a good idea to make arrangements for someone to care for your pets before you head to the hospital, particularly if you have big dogs that require daily playtime or pets that pull on their leashes when they’re walked.
The dressing that will be placed over your incision will be sticky. That stickiness can make things uncomfortable if you happen to be hairy “down there.” To avoid or minimize discomfort caused by your bandage, you may want to shave or get a wax prior to having a C-section although it’s certainly not a requirement.
Even if you have a cesarean section planned, C-section recovery will take longer than it takes to recover from a vaginal birth. It often takes about six weeks for a person to recover from a C-section if no complications occur. During that time, you shouldn’t lift anything that weighs more than your newborn. If your other kids want to snuggle during your recovery, they can gently crawl onto your lap after you’re already seated.
No matter how eager you might be to shed your “baby weight,” it’s important to refrain from exercising until your doctor gives you the green light. Working out too soon may cause your incision to reopen.
C-Section Scars & Treatment
After you undergo a cesarean section, you’ll have a scar. Most C-section scars are below a person’s bikini line, which means they’re barely visible if they can be seen at all. C-section scars usually fade over time, which makes them even harder to notice.
If you want to minimize the appearance of your scar, there are a few things you can do post-surgery. You can use silicone sheets or silicone gel to treat your scar after your doctor tells you it’s okay to do so, for example. Massaging your scar in a circular motion for 5-10 minutes every day may help your scar to fade as well. Laser therapy, steroid injections, and scar revision are also options to treat C-section scars.
How to Know if You Need a C-Section Procedure
If you’re curious about whether you’ll need a C-section, the smartest thing for you to do is talk to your physician. Just remember – even if you’re not told that you’ll need a C-section, it doesn’t mean you won’t ultimately undergo one. In many instances, it’s not known if a patient will need the procedure until after her labor is underway.
As we mentioned earlier, C-sections basically fall into two categories, planned and emergency. Here are some of the reasons your doctor may recommend a planned cesarean delivery:
Just as your doctor may plan for you to have a C-section, your physician may have to perform the procedure at the last moment in some cases. If your baby is in an abnormal position, your labor isn’t progressing as it should, your child is in distress or you experience a problem with your placenta, your doctor may have no choice but to perform an emergency C-section.
Whether you’re looking forward to a natural vaginal birth or you need a C-section, our team will be privileged to bring your baby or babies into the world. Schedule an appointment with Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.C. today!