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12 Things to Know Before Your First C-Section

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Maybe you’re expecting twins. Or maybe your baby is breech.

For one reason or another, you’re having a c-section– A major abdominal surgery (as we’ve all heard).

It’s scary at first when you have no idea what to expect.

Fortunately, having an idea of what’s ahead can do wonders for your anxiety.

Related: C-Section Hospital Bag Checklist

Related: C-Section Recovery Tips and Essentials

What can I expect from a planned c-section?

From one mom to another, here are a few things to expect and know ahead of time when you’re mentally preparing for a scheduled c-section.

1. Comfy clothes are important

Regular jeans after a c-section? Forget it.

You’ll need comfy and high-waisted. Or skip the waistbands altogether and go with a flowy dress if it’s warm enough.

You won’t want anything rubbing against that area for a while.

2. The football pose is your friend

Plan to breastfeed? I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the football pose.

This is the only position I found even remotely comfortable right after my c-sections.

Check out The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class for latching and positioning tips!

3. Pillows are also your friend

It can be hard to get comfy after a c-section– Pillows help a ton!

They’re also great to have to hold against your incision area for coughing and sneezing.

I didn’t have a nursing pillow (highly recommend this one), so I also used pillows to make breastfeeding easier.

4. You might feel pressure during your c-section

You may feel some pressure during your c-section. Or, you might not.

This is one of the main things I was told before my first c-section. I didn’t feel any pressure at all with my first, but I felt quite a bit of pressure with my second.

I’m not sure why I felt it with one and not the other, but I’ve heard both are normal.

Luckily, it’s more of a tugging sensation than actual pain.

5. You also might feel nauseous

I felt nauseous during both of my c-sections. With my first, it came and went quickly.

With my second, I felt nauseous the majority of the time. They did give me something that helped, so definitely speak up if you start to feel nauseous.

6. It’s still exhausting

One of the main things you need to do when you’re preparing for a scheduled c-section is REST the night before!

I had been told this. I knew this.

And yet… I still stayed up late the night before my second c-section doing laundry and cleaning. I only wish I would have known how tired I was going to be the following day.

If there’s anything you get from this post– it’s this. Try your absolute best to get plenty of rest the night before.

7. Walking hurts, but you’ll make it

The first time you get up to walk– it hurts. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It hurts!

The first couple of days are the most painful and you’ll probably feel like you’ll never feel normal again. Just know that you will.

8. C-sections are real births too

Most women have their hearts set on a “normal” birth. When that doesn’t happen, it can be upsetting.

But there’s one thing you must know: Having a c-section doesn’t make you any less of a mom. Say it again for the people in the back!

What matters most? A happy + healthy baby and mama.

9. It’s okay to say no to visitors

I know everyone is excited and they want to see your baby as soon as they possibly can.

But you just had a baby and surgery.

If you don’t feel like the room being crowded while you’re recovering, don’t be afraid to speak up.

You deserve extra peace and quiet if you feel it’s needed!

10. You won’t be able to drive right away

After my first c-section, I was told to not drive for 2 weeks. After my second, it was a week or until I felt comfortable enough.

This is good to know, especially if you have older children that have places to be. Now you can start planning ahead.

11. The spinal isn’t as scary as it seems

If this is your very first c-section, you’re probably feeling pretty terrified of the spinal block. I was too!

It’s definitely not fun. But honestly, the fear of the unknown is probably the worst part.

It’s uncomfortable, but doesn’t last very long– Thankfully!

My best tip is to be as still as you possibly can.

12. Recovery may feel slow, but you’ll get there

Finally, don’t get discouraged if you’re not feeling 100% even after you’ve been cleared at your 6 week postpartum checkup.

You WILL get there even if the healing process feels painfully slow.

It gradually gets better day by day.

No, c-sections are not easy.

Yes, it will be completely worth it and it’s nothing you can’t handle. Just be patient!


Monday 23rd of May 2022

I'm about 2 weeks past my scheduled c-section. It was actually my second. I had a vaginal birth, then an unplanned c-section, a successful vbac and a planned c-section! This time was definitely less stressful, even though I did end up going into labor and having to get the c-section earlier than planned. They had predicted he was a large baby and I've had issues with stuck babies, so I definitely didn't want to risk that again. Ends up he was only 8lbs 8oz, but he did have a big head.

My worst pain this time was the trapped gas afterwards! It hurt almost more than the actual incision! Also, I reccomend eithee sleeping in a recliner, or having an arm's reach co-sleeper like I do, that attaches right to your bed. It's perfect for holding onto to get out of bed. Trust me, there's no way you can get out of a flat bed the first few days without support!! You also may want to invest in a support band. I used the one from the hospital, but it made me break out in a horrible rash! I didn't really feel like I needed it after that though. Stock up on pads and depends, ibuprofen and tylenol!