7 Questions One Should Ask Before Getting a C-Section

DayToDay Team
January 31, 2022

When a mother finds out that she is pregnant, she usually faces two choices for birthing - Opting for a vaginal delivery or a C-section. In most cases, the mother has control over her birthing plan. But sometimes, due to reasons, the doctor may have to perform a c-section surgery. It can sound scary, risky, and overwhelming, but the more the mother knows about the procedure, the more she can prepare for it. Below are some questions a to-be-mom should ask before getting a scheduled c-section.

Let us address the basics. What is C-section delivery? A C-section or cesarian section is a type of surgery that helps deliver a baby surgically through the abdomen and uterus. It involves a big incision through which the baby is born, so recovery is longer. It should be treated as a major surgery with attention every step of the way.

What kind of anesthesia is administered for the surgery?

An epidural is the most common anesthesia given to expecting mothers during C-section. The doctor places a catheter in the back, through which medicine is administered. Another option is a spinal or subarachnoid block. It involves a one-time injection with anesthesia and an opiate that enters the spinal fluid around the spinal cord.

Spinal blocks work faster than epidural but mothers remain more-lucid post-surgery after an epidural. In some cases where epidural or spinal blocks are not an option, the doctor can administer general anesthesia for the C-section surgery.

Where are the surgical incisions, and how are they closed?

The surgeon has two incision options for a c-section delivery - Vertical or horizontal incision. Both types of incisions leave a scar. Horizontal incisions are more common in planned c-sections, while vertical incisions are common in emergency cases or when the baby is not in a desirable position.

During delivery, the surgeon makes two incisions. One is on the abdomen, and the other is on the uterus. So, while closing, both the incisions have to be pulled together. The surgeon usually uses dissolvable stitches to close the uterus incision. The doctor may close the outer c-section incision using sutures, staples, or skin adhesive.

In case one experiences opening of the stitches or C-section dehiscence, they should connect with their healthcare provider right away. On top of that, one should also look out for -

  • Bleeding from the incision site
  • High fever
  • Foul smell and pus drainage from the incision
  • Painful urination
  • Large blood clots in vaginal discharge
  • Foul smell from vaginal discharge

What are the risks to a mother and child after C-section surgery?

Risks to a mother after surgery include blood clots, secondary infection at the incision site, excessive blood loss, weakness, fatigue, headaches, and depression. If the doctor removes the baby prematurely, the baby's organs may be underdeveloped. The premature baby may suffer from health problems like breathing difficulties and a low APGAR score.

What is the C-section recovery time?

C-section recovery is longer than a vaginal delivery. The mother and newborn stay in the hospital for two to three days after surgery. It can take up to four weeks for the stitches to heal and over six weeks for the mother to get back to routine life.

The first two weeks after coming home are critical for proper wound healing. So, one should either have friends or family at home to assist with daily chores or opt for home care services until recovery.

Are there any restrictions after C-section delivery?

Some doctor recommendations, rather restrictions, for mothers after C-section delivery include -

  • Not driving for a few weeks
  • Not lifting heavy weights or exercising, as such activities can put stress on the stitches.
  • Avoiding food items that cause gas and constipation
  • Avoiding climbing stairs
  • Showering using a mild, gentle soap, avoiding washcloth or bath sponge
  • Pat drying the incision site instead of rubbing or scrubbing
  • Cushioning the belly with a pillow while sitting in a car, sneezing, or coughing
  • Avoiding hot tubs, baths, and swimming until the doctor gives approval

What are post-partum changes?

The body undergoes many changes to accommodate the fetus. It continues to change after birth. Post-partum changes are the changes a woman experiences in her body after childbirth. These include -

  • Cramping as the uterus returns to its original size
  • Lochia
  • Breast swelling or engorgement
  • Hair loss and acne
  • Loose skin and stretchmarks
  • Night sweats
  • Headaches

One may experience some of the post-partum changes. Every pregnancy journey is different. It is best to speak with the gynecologist regarding these changes and their management.

Are post-partum checkups important after a C-section?

Mothers should never skip their post-partum follow-ups. These follow-ups are the perfect time for the doctor to check for physical recovery, energy levels, sleep patterns, stress and mental health, baby’s health, and feeding schedule, as well as any pregnancy-related complications. If a mother cannot make it to an appointment, she should re-schedule or opt for a video consultation to keep up with her recovery.

This article is written by DayToDay Health. For information on post-surgical care services after c-section surgery, connect with us at

Alexis den Boggende
Alexis den Boggende
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Olivia Casale
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Danny Biel
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