A C-section is a big procedure that requires you to fast for at least six hours before the operation. No food or drinks, even water, are allowed. This will get you thinking, “What is the best last meal to eat before this procedure so I don’t feel nauseous?”
You could be having a planned C-section, or it could be an unplanned one. While having a normal delivery is definitely better, C-sections are a must for those who have medical issues and can even be chosen by those who do not want a vaginal birth because not all women want to give birth naturally. Whatever the reason, the cesarean surgical procedure is a long and tiring surgical procedure, so it is obvious that you would want to have enough energy to get through the process.
It is advised that one maintains a healthy and balanced diet. Before having a C-section, it is advised to stop eating at least eight hours in advance. It would be ideal to consume simple, readily absorbed foods, however, during that time, you can hydrate with drinks.
Only clear liquids like water, black coffee, clear teas, and juices are permitted. You can drink grape or apple juice. Avoid beverages with milk, cream, or citrus. You should steer clear of anything that takes longer to digest because that will make the process more difficult.
Even if you don’t intend on undergoing a C-section, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the process in case you face sudden difficulties with having a vaginal delivery. Also, not everyone feels comfortable with giving birth naturally since that requires a lot of strength and is also very painful. Many people don’t even know that there is something called a scheduled C-section. While this has its own complications, this is the better option for many women out there.
What Is C-Section?
C-sections involve opening up the mother’s abdomen and uterus during surgery to deliver the baby. It is also called cesarean birth. Your doctor could decide that you require an immediate C-section during labor or delivery. This can happen suddenly if your condition or the health of your unborn child deteriorates so much that it would be dangerous for you to give birth vaginally.
Why Am I Having A C-Section Delivery?
For a variety of reasons, a woman could prefer to give birth via scheduled cesarean surgery. It may be the best option for some. However, C-sections have particular challenges as well.
Kinds of C-sections
There are different types of C-sections, and to make an informed choice you need to be fully aware of what each type entails.
If you are aware that your baby will be delivered by C-section, you will know the time of the delivery and most likely will not even experience labor. You will have an IV, so you can receive medication and fluids prior to the surgery. Additionally, a catheter (a small tube) will be inserted to keep your bladder empty throughout the procedure.
Most women who have scheduled C-sections receive a spinal or epidural local anesthetic. You won’t feel any pain because this will sedate you, and you won’t feel anything from the waist down. Your waist will be covered with a screen, preventing you from seeing the procedure as it is being done. Some pregnant women seek the operation so they can choose their delivery date or skip a vaginal birth. While these are not considered viable reasons by many doctors, they do occur.
Perhaps a natural birth is part of your plan. A cesarean section, however, might be the best choice in certain circumstances. Since a doctor can promptly deliver the baby through openings in your belly and uterus — within only a few minutes if required — a C-section is occasionally your only option.
If you’re expecting more than one baby, for instance, a C-section may be scheduled in advance. However, they can turn into crucial life-saving techniques in an emergency. An emergency C-section occurs when there are health risks for the mother or the baby when attempting natural birth. After a woman has begun labor and is experiencing complications, a doctor may resort to this method of delivery. Reasons for having an emergency C-section include:
- Umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the chord slips through your cervix and into your vagina before your baby
- Maternal bleeding or blood clots
- Placenta abruption, which is often described as the placenta peeling away from the uterine wall
- A uterine rupture, when the uterus tears along the scar from a previous C-section
- Fetal or maternal discomfort
Although the terms are frequently used synonymously, an emergency C-section differs from an unscheduled C-section. Unplanned cesareans are still regarded as urgent procedures, although usually, neither the woman nor the infant is in imminent danger of dying. Typical reasons for an unscheduled, urgent C-section could be:
- Labor isn’t moving forward.
- Contractions are not strong enough.
- The baby isn’t coping well with labor.
- When labor starts, the baby is facing backward or sideways.
Preparing For Your C-Section
If you have chosen to have a scheduled C-section, you likely already know what you can and cannot do prior to the procedure. You will receive a brief summary of how to be ready for your C-section here.
Several weeks before the planned event
Be sure to fill out the necessary pre-registration documents and send them to your hospital. Additionally, you can arrange your delivery in advance so that the doctor can manage everything.
It’s also advised to have your hospital bag prepared. Clothes for your spouse, your baby, and yourself should all be included.
The night before
Get some sleep. Because you won’t be able to nap for several weeks after having a child, you’ll need to be at ease throughout this time.
You may not be allowed to eat or drink much after midnight, so if you’re still trying to figure out the best last supper before a C-section, this will be the time to eat it. This also applies to drinking water.
The Last Best Meal to Have Before C-Section?
A C-section can be both mentally and physically stressful. To make the process simpler, the mother should maintain her cool and follow a carefully balanced diet.
- Make sure you eat a balanced, healthy, and controlled diet. Before having a C-section, it is advised to have the last meal at least eight hours before the operation. It would be ideal to consume simple, readily absorbed, light food. But during that time, one can hydrate with liquids.
- Only drink clear beverages. Avoid beverages with milk, cream, or lemon.
- You’ll also need to stop using some medicines. Your doctor will discuss your prescriptions with you.
- Make sure your final meal will help you preserve your strength.
- Lean meat, fruits, and cereals are the best solid foods for your last meal.
- Even though you could be filled with emotion, you must be cautious when eating.
- If you don’t want to get sick, stay away from foods that are oily or spicy. Vegetables, broth, and light smoothies are all healthy choices.
- Choose lean meat or fowl over rich beef. Finally, speak with your doctor to get a better understanding of what should be your last meal to eat before the C-section.
Mentally Preparing Yourself for the Procedure
Consider it carefully
It’s necessary to keep your expectations in check. Women who have undergone previous abdominal or pelvic surgery, are overweight, are looking forward to having their first child later in adulthood, are more than a week beyond the due date, have diabetes in pregnancy, or who gained too much weight during pregnancy are among the women who will probably choose to give birth via C-section.
If you have any questions, concerns, or worries, discuss them with your doctor. Your doctor can guide you through the C-section process step-by-step and educate you on what to anticipate after the procedure.
Speak up without hesitation
When having a C-section, women can become frustrated, confused, or angry if it is not the birthing experience they had in mind. If you’re going through one or more of these feelings, talk to your healthcare provider about coping mechanisms.
Be emotionally ready
Keep your brain calm by using breathing exercises, signing up for prenatal yoga classes, purchasing a relaxation DVD, or consulting a therapist. Up until your delivery date, practice these habits every day.
Consider learning a catchphrase.
Some women mentally craft a slogan that they repeat. By lowering stress levels, affirmations help you breathe more deeply and quiet your mind. Consider a short phrase you can recite to yourself during your C-section.
Things to Keep In Your Bag
What should you put in your pre-surgery bag?
- a file or folder containing important medical documents, such as a list of your current meds and your insurance card
- a credit card, some cash, and printed documents of the birth plan
- a list of important contact information
- an extra-long portable charger to keep your phone charged
- anti-slip socks
- lotion and lip balm
- eyeglasses, if needed
- hair bands
What should you put in your backpack for a hospital stay?
- Your own dressing gown and/or pajamas
- Breastfeeding pads and nursing bras or tanks
- A set of slip-resistant socks or shoes
- Silicone shower shoes
- Toiletries (i.e., toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.)
- Dry shampoo
- A comb for hair
- Soft cushion
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Breast pump (if you intend to pump right away), though the hospital probably has some on hand
- Comfy dresses or trousers that won’t bite into your incision or comfy dresses
- Undergarments — the hospital offers mesh underwear, but pack your own comfy cotton ones that won’t bite into your incision
- High-fiber snacks
Recovery from C-section
What to expect?
A C-section is a serious procedure that calls for anesthesia. Afterward, you might need to spend the entire day in bed. Expect to spend at least two to four days in the hospital. Complete healing will take as long as six weeks.
There’s a chance you won’t experience any pain right away following the operation. However, once your anesthetic wears off, you will start to experience pain, particularly near the cut (incision). The surgery’s potential side effects include:
- gas and indigestion
- vaginal discharge or bleeding
- muscle cramps
Change your dressing at least once each day or more frequently if it becomes dirty or damp.
Keep the stitches clean by washing them with gentle soap and water. They don’t need to be scrubbed.
If you had your skin closed with stitches, staples, or glue, you can take off the bandage and go for a shower.
Swim or soak in a hot tub only after your healthcare provider gives the all-clear.
For the first six to eight weeks, don’t lift something heavier than your infant.
Short walks are a great method of building muscle and endurance.
Be active but not so excessively that you become easily exhausted.
Take care of yourself
A C-section is a very big procedure that is time-consuming and will drain your energy. You may face multiple complications, and the entire process will be very tiring. Remember to give yourself credit and take time to recover. Don’t regret your decision, and focus on healing yourself so you can give the best to your new baby and your family.