Having a Cesarean section (C-section) is not a bad thing. Whether you gave birth vaginally or through surgery, it doesn’t make you any less of a mother.
This is because there are some people who shame mothers who went through a C-section instead of vaginal birth.
They believe this is the easy way out in delivering a baby. What they fail to realize is that there are actually a lot more to C-sections than they know.
They don’t realize that before a C-section takes place, women have to prepare for it.
In fact, there are some who ask what is the best last meal to eat before C-section.
And even after the procedure is over, you still have to take good care of your body before you can be out of the woods.
If you are planning to undergo this surgical procedure, this article will give you a quick look at how you can be fully prepared for it.
You will get to know how ready you are to give birth to your baby through a C-section with the help of our tips.
Read on below to start preparing for your procedure.
What is a C-Section?
First things first, let’s talk about what a C-section is. About 30% of babies in the U.S. are born via a C-section.
This just shows that the procedure is fairly common and relatively safe. But what is it and why do you need one?
A C-section is a procedure wherein your abdomen and uterus are opened so that the doctor can remove the baby from your womb.
While there are many women who plan ahead and opt to have a C-section, there are some who are dead set on a vaginal birth but have their plans changed at the last minute.
There are even instances where your doctor will decide to have an emergency C-section while you are in the middle of labor or delivery.
These things happen because of a sudden change in your or your baby’s health.
If your doctor believes it is too risky for a vaginal birth, a C-section may be necessary.
Because of how common C-sections are, they are considered safe for both mothers and babies.
But still, it’s important to be careful with it since it is still a major surgery.
1.) Why You May Need a C-Section?
Most women don’t really plan to get a C-section. This is because it entails a more expensive procedure and a long recovery period.
Unfortunately, there are instances wherein a C-section is necessary; especially if you have a medical condition, an infection, or you are having multiple birth.
Some instances wherein your doctor may call for an emergency C-section include the following:
- Labor isn’t progressing as it normally should
- The baby is either too large or in a bad position
- Your health, as well as the baby’s, are at risk
But what are the other health risks involved in the C-section?
2.) Risks to Mother
No matter how many times doctors do a C-section every day, it is still a major surgery and comes with health risks.
For the mom, some of the health risks involve hemorrhaging, blood clots, and a negative reaction to the anesthesia.
The other risks involved in a C-section are:
- Inflammation of the uterus
- Surgical injury to intestines or bladder
- Amniotic fluid embolism
Not to mention, it can be risky to have a vaginal birth after a C-section. There is a chance that you will experience complications in a future pregnancy.
One possible scenario is you could tear your uterus along with your C-section scar.
Or you could have placenta problems or develop scar tissue in your pelvic area.
These complications are rare and do not happen all the time. It is still possible to have a vaginal birth after a C-section.
3.) Risks to Baby
When it comes to your baby, there are fewer risks that can happen in a C-section.
A common risk could be breathing-related issues, especially if your baby was removed via C-section before 39 weeks.
This is because labor helps clear the fluid in your baby’s lungs. This, however, usually clears on its own a day or two after the procedure.
Other rare risks include some accidental nicks and scrapes.
Preparing for Your C-Section
If you opted for a planned C-section, you may already be aware of what you can and shouldn’t do prior to your operation.
Still, there are those who are asking what is the best last meal to eat before C-section.
This part of the article will give you a short guide on how to prepare for your C-section.
1.) Weeks Before the Planned Date
Make sure you have the necessary pre-registration forms filled out and sent to your hospital. You can also have your birth plan ready so your doctor can take care of things.
Another thing you have to remember is to be ready with your hospital bag.
It should include your clothes, your baby’s, as well as your husband’s (or whoever is taking care of you).
2.) The Night Before
Get some sleep! You will really need to be relaxed during this time since you won’t be able to enjoy sleep for the next few weeks following your delivery.
If you are still asking what is the best last meal to eat before C-section, unfortunately you may not be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight. This even includes drinking water.
What Is The Best Last Meal To Eat Before C-Section
Traditionally, doctors banned consumption of foods and drinks before undergoing surgery.
The reason for this is because the food in the digestive tract may be inhaled or aspirated into the trachea or lungs during general anesthesia.
These days, however, anesthesiologists opt for a regional anesthesia where you are numb from the waist down.
Given with this option, your doctor may not recommend you to eat or drink anything prior to your operation.
1.) Can You Eat Anything Before Surgery?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you should not have any solid food six to eight hours before your procedure.
Instead, moderate amounts of clear liquids, such as clear tea, black coffee, water, fruit juice, carbonated beverages, or sports drinks may be consumed up to two hours prior to receiving anesthesia.
This guideline, however, is not followed by all hospitals or doctors.
You can check prior to admission to learn how to prepare for your procedure.
2.) How Soon Can You Eat After a C-Section
After your C-section, it is important that you only consume fluids so you can relieve constipation and bowel problems.
You should also drink a lot of water so you can establish your milk supply for your newborn baby.
According to research, women who ate solid food within eight hours after surgery did not require a lot of pain medication, had short hospital stays, and even experienced quicker return to normal bowel function.
This is why it is best to have a balanced diet so you can get back to your normal health.
As always, make sure you talk to your doctor before you start consuming solid foods after your C-section.
You may encounter nausea or other digestive issues that will make this experience difficult and uncomfortable.
If you experience this, you may drink fluids or eat bland foods until you feel like your stomach has settled.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I eat before my C-section?
You can have a light or low-fat meal up until 6 hours prior to your operation.
It’s important that you drink a lot of clear fluids, such as water, broth, gelatin, sports drinks, coffee, tea, popsicles, or juices with no pulp.
Avoid eating solid food, milk or dairy products.
What should I do the night before my C-section?
It’s important that you get a good night’s sleep the night before your scheduled C-section operation.
If you are taking any medication, check with your doctor if you should continue taking them.
Remember to take a shower before you go to the hospital. It may take a while before you can stand on your own so it’s best that you clean up already.
How soon can you eat after C-section?
After your operation, your doctor may recommend you to eat ice chips or take a few sips of water.
You will have to wait until your provider clears you before you consume any solid food so you do not encounter heavy bleeding.
You will likely be able to have a light meal 8 hours after your procedure.
Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.