International Caesarean Awareness Month

International Caesarean Awareness Month is celebrated during the month of April, and aims to provide education, support and recovery for all mum’s who have experienced a c-section. In Australia alone, over 35% of births are by caesarean section, and this stat is only rising. 

We wanted to explore some of the most common questions, concerns and advice that all mums going through a caesarean birth may need. With the help of some amazing mums in our New Beginnings community, we have put together some words for wisdom for you. 

1. Was your C-section planned & would you do it again?
  • Pandora: “No, it was an emergency c-section, I was very open-minded but I really didn’t want a c-section! I would do it again if my baby measured big again because I couldn’t do another 39hr labour, but if the baby was average size I would try for a vaginal birth - recovery sounds easier and I would like to experience it.”

  • Jasmine: “I had an emergency c-section after being induced, I was in labour for 21hours without progression. I would like to try natural birth next time, but I’m not opposed to another caesarean.”

  • Candice: “Yes, my c-section was planned. Unfortunately for a few reasons, we had no choice. It was safest for bub and I. I would 100% do it again if necessary, I was lucky enough to have a calm & stress-free experience!”

  • Brooke: “My baby was breech, so I knew I would have a C-section. I was hoping for a water birth but was advised not to turn my bub, so I processed the fact that c-section was best & safest for us both. I am currently 30 weeks pregnant now with a breech baby again. I am hoping for a VBAC (Vaginal birth after caesarean), but if needed I am prepared to have another c-section and I’m okay with that.

2. Will there be pain?

    • Pandora: “Not as much as I expected, but yes when the drugs wear off and you get up for the first time it will feel like you have been hit by a car. It gets better each day and the baby gives you the motivation to move more than you normally would after a surgery.”

    • Jasmine: “Yes, not during due to the epidural but once that wears off there is lower abdominal pain.”

    • Candice: “Of course, after all, it’s major surgery. With that being said they provide pain medication and tips to combat the pain. I am the biggest chicken/sook when it comes to pain and coped better than I expected. I think the fear is something worse than the end result is.”

    • Brooke: “I was in so much chock and contraction pain that as soon as I was given anaesthesia, I felt relief. I don’t remember any pain during surgery, I could feel pressure and tugging but it was all numb and over quickly.” 

    3. What are your top tips to help mum recover quickly?
    • Pandora: A belly band, moving around as much as you can especially in the beginning. Take the pain meds while they are on offer, they will help you get moving.”

    • Jasmine: “Good nutrition helps a lot with the wound healing. Don’t worry about the house work, take it easy and focus on you and bub.”

    • Candice: “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do everything!!! Take time to rest, relax & enjoy your new bundle of joy. Follow the docs advice, don’t be ashamed to ask for pain meds...that’s what they’re there for”

    • Brooke: “Placenta encapsulation - I got my placenta half raw and half steamed with Chinese herbs. I recovered really well and really quickly. I am going again with the encapsulation because I felt like they were my super pills!”

    4. Is there anything you wish you’d know before your caesarean/C-section?
      • Pandora: “That it was going to happen, but I guess you never know. It would have been good to prepare rather than it be a shock.”

      • Jasmine: “Not really. Being a surgical nurse myself I was pretty aware of the procedure and post-op recovery.”

      • Candice: “That you are not taking the easy way out to have your baby!!! Please don’t let people guilt you.”

      • Brooke: “I didn’t know that some doctors staple and others stitch. I’m sure there are pros and cons to both but I have opted to go with a doctor who stitches again.”

      5. What’s the best piece of advice you would give another mum?
        • Pandora: “Even if you want a natural amazing birth, it doesn’t matter if it ends in an emergency c-section. What matters is meeting the love of your life. They may not get here how you want but they are coming and you will fall in love.”

        • Jasmine: “Don’t sweat the little things! As long as you and bub are healthy that’s all that matters. Ask for a stool softener after your procedure to make that first poop easier.”

        • Candice: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to clarify things but remember to make sure it works for you. Put yourself first so you can be the best mummy for your baby.”

        • Brooke: “Personalise it as much as you can, we had music on and I asked them to drop the sheet, but they said it was too full on. Do your research and decide what your preference is by looking into things. The most important is to be kind to yourself! Don’t make the baby fit into your life, life changes and that’s how it should be. Slow everything down, cuddle your little human, leave the chores, stay home and enjoy the first bonding weeks - it goes fast, but it’s magic.” 

        Thank you so much to all our beautiful mums for participating in our blog post. Hearing the real experiences from real mums makes it so much easier and comforting for all expecting mums out there. If you have any further questions about caesarean birth contact your healthcare professional or midwife for more information or to find out what’s best for you and bub. 

        Caesarean births are often seen by some as an easy way out, but this like any type of birth is not the case. If you’ve had a c-section, are planning to have one or may need one, we want all mums to know your birth is valid. Your story, your experience and your feelings are real and your scar (and your little one) is proof of that! 

        Looking for information on postpartum recovery? Visit our Top 10 Tips for Postpartum Recovery guide.