Family, Self

8 Things Every Expecting Mom Should Do To Prepare For Their Scheduled C-Section

Photo: Pexels
pregnancy parenting

By Rebecca Gruber

One in every three babies birthed in the United States is now born via C-section, making the procedure the most common operation in American hospitals. Though women have C-sections for many reasons, approximately 40 percent of the procedures are performed on women who already gave birth via Cesarean — meaning many of the births are scheduled in advance.

Knowing you are giving birth on a certain date and time gives an expectant mama plenty of time to prepare for her baby's impending arrival.


Here are eight things she can do to prepare for the big day. And don't forget to check out what to pack and what to expect after your surgery.

1. Spinal, then catheter.

Prior to surgery, patients are catheterized to eliminate the need to get up and go to the bathroom during the first 24 hours of recovery. Having a catheter inserted is a routine procedure, but it's still not a very comfortable one.

Be sure to ask your doctor and nurses to give you your spinal (or epidural) prior to inserting the catheter to eliminate any discomfort.*

*As always, you should never ask for or take medication without first consulting your doctor.

2. Prepare to wait.

Just because you are scheduled for the operating room at a specific time doesn't mean you will actually enter at that time. Emergency C-sections — women who have been in labor and must have their babies removed immediately, or those who enter the hospital with an emergency — take precedence over scheduled procedures.

Bring cards, magazines, or movies to keep you occupied in the event that you are delayed.

3. Ask for anti-nausea medicine.

After pain medication is administered, many women experience an almost immediate wave of nausea. Patients are allowed to request anti-nausea medication, and doing so prior to the epidural will prevent the uncomfortable feeling.*

*As always, you should never ask for or take medication without first consulting your doctor.

4. Schedule early.

Schedule your procedure for as early in the day as possible. Most doctors prohibit patients from eating for eight hours prior to surgery, so having an early appointment will reduce hunger pains throughout the day.

Having a morning procedure will also reduce the anxiety that builds up as the day wears on, and it will increase your chances of being taken on time.

5. Wax (or shave) yourself.

We're not talking about a full-on Brazilian bikini wax prior to surgery (but feel free if that is your thing), but shaving or waxing the top one to two inches of hair on your pubic bone prior to arriving at the hospital will eliminate the need for the nurses to do so with their disposable razors.

6. Clear out your bowels.

Clearing out your bowels, either by enema or through taking a laxative prior to the surgery, will make recovery (and your first bowel movement) much easier after the procedure.

7. Get talking.

The last thing you probably want to do while laying on the table is to start an intimate conversation with your spouse. But talking to the people in the room will help reduce the tension and can mask the sounds you hear behind the curtain.

8. Pack toiletries that can be used in bed.

Stocking your toiletry bag with face cloths and toothbrushes that can be used without water will eliminate the need to call the nurse for help before you close your eyes for the night.

This article was originally published at PopSugar. Reprinted with permission from the author.