Both my biological children were born vaginally. I had anticipated that would probably be the case when I carried a baby for another couple, too, but I was wrong. Baby A was breech and we elected for a planned cesarean, even though there are instances where breech babies can and are born safely without a c-section.
However, even though I felt it was the best and correct choice, I was so nervous! The unknown is a scary place. I took to Google searches and my favorite mom and surrogate support groups for help. I was mostly overthinking the whole ordeal, I think, but I did learn a few things about preparing for a c-section that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Take a Stool SoftenerThe most common advice that I received was to take a stool softener and to take it sooner rather than later. Now, by “sooner” we’re talking a day or two before your scheduled c-section. You should also receive something in the hospital post-op—I was given Miralax—but, if not, then go ahead and request something.
Now, I want to emphasize a stool softener not a laxative.
The stool softener is to help assist in an easy post partum poop, which can be unpleasant regardless of your delivery type. However, the meds used during a c-section and the recovery overall can leave you more prone to constipation. Being proactive helps a ton!
Get Some Fiber Rich SnacksI opted to load up on fiber rich snacks and even bought some fiber gummy vitamins to take. Fiber is great for pooping and having yummy snacks is great for your soul when you’re at the hospital with a less-than-stellar food selection. See previous point (above) about pooping. Look for snacks with 4 grams or more of fiber.
Shave or Be ShavedYou’ll want to shave your lower abdomen area, above your vulva, unless you don’t mind the medical staff doing it for you pre-op. I know you probably can’t see that area at this point in your pregnancy, so feel free to enlist a friend to help. Or just do it blind. That’s what I did. This is where your incision will be, so it needs to be hair free.
Have a Belly Binder AvailableAsk your midwife or OB and wherever you’ll be delivering if a belly binder (also called an abdominal binder) will be available to you. I called my OB's office and they told me that belly binders weren’t provided by the hospital where I’d be delivering, but they actually were provided. Most hospitals do provide them, but you can also buy your own, if you prefer. Trust me. You want one.
Pack Comfy & Appropriate ClothingReally think about the clothes you’re packing. Your incision is going to be very low on your abdomen, just above your vulva. I ended up buying some silk, high rise underwear and didn’t pack any bottoms that would sit right on my incision site. Some mid to high waist leggings are perfect.
After my c-section is when I fell in love with wearing a robe, which I still do all the time. Get a robe. They’re amazing, wearable blankets.
Was this post helpful to you? If so, you might also benefit from my C-Section Hospital Bag Checklist for Moms.