Beautiful Caesarean

Let’s change the narrative on c-sections. Firstly, lets start calling a c-section an ‘abdominal birth’. Because a c-section IS STILL A BIRTH. 

Whether your abdominal birth is planned or not there are many ways you can make your birth beautiful and have a smooth recovery.

Treat abdominal birth the same as you would a vaginal birth, keep calm and your oxytocin as high as possible. 

What to expect 

If you are having a planned abdominal birth then they will give you your baby’s birthday and you can plan around it. Whether this is childcare, animal care or purely making sure that you have your bag packed and your after care prepped and in place. If gives you a huge amount of control. 

When you arrive at the hospital they will take you to a bed and get you in your gown and compression socks so that you are ready when they call you. This is when the nerves can really start to kick in. Try and remember some positive affirmations and practice mindful breathing. Just as you would with a vaginal birth. 

The midwives or nurses will often come round with a list of what to expect and tell you when you are due to go in. 

Abdominal births are usually fairly swift so hopefully you wont be waiting too long, I always advice people to take a book or a card game or an ipad with your favourite shows ready to pass the time if the wait is a bit longer than expected. Unplanned abdominal births can always come in and obviously need to take priority. 

The nurse will come and get you when it’s your turn and walk you to the theatre. The theatre will all be prepped and the team will talk you through everything that is about to happen. 

I wont list everything on here as I am, obviously, not a medical professional.

What I will say is there are several things you can do and ask for in order to make sure your experience is as natural as it can possibly be:

You can request to listen to music, beautiful calm music, music that reminds you of a wonderful time, or music that you love to dance around your kitchen to. It’s your choice, and you won’t forget the song your baby is born to. 

You can make sure that the medical team put any wires placed so that your chest is clear and ready for skin to skin as soon as your baby is born. 

They can lower the curtain so you can see your baby arrive into this world, just as you would with a vaginal birth.

You can request delayed cord clamping, you can request immediate skin to skin, you can hold that baby for as long as you want to. The midwives will want to weigh her, but you can put this off. You can get your golden hour. This can also help with establishing breastfeeding. Many people say that your milk can take a little longer to come in if you have an abdominal birth, and this can sometimes be the case because your body takes a little more time to realise it has given birth. However immediate and uninterrupted skin to skin can really help with this process. 

Although your abdominal birth is taking place in a very clinical environment, it doesn’t have to be frightening, it doesn’t have to be awful. It can be utterly beautiful and an experience you will never forget. 


High waisted knickers and soft high waisted trousers will be your new best friend. Making sure there is nothing rubbing or resting on your incision means that your abdominal scaring can heal and you won’t be in any unnecessary discomfort. Couple the high waisted giant knickers with your compression socks and you’ll never feel sexier! You will be given compression socks by your hospital, they will be placed on you before your birth and you will usually need to wear them for up to ten days post op. 

Place Ice packs over your incision as often as you can, any time you are resting keep an ice pack on your wound to keep the swelling down. 

Arnica tablets, alongside your pain medication, can mean that bruising goes down quickly. Once the bruising has gone down, your incision will feel easier to touch and therefore aftercare becomes easier. The sooner the bruising goes down, the easier movement becomes and this means you can move onto gentle walks and it becomes easier to pick up your baby by yourself and get your baby into different feeding positions without being in too much discomfort. 

There are an abundance of beautiful and natural oils and creams on the market that can help bring down scaring and sooth the incision. Try and test these out on a different area of skin before using them on your incision to make sure that they don’t react with your skin. 

It is vital that you rest as much as you can in the first week or two post abdominal birth. There can be days when you feel really good but try to remember not to overdo it on these days, it can really set your recovery back. 

Once you have started to feel a bit stronger then short walks around the house, around the garden, or just down the road can be amazing. Keep the walks short! Little and often is fantastic for getting the blood flowing without over stretching yourself. After a couple of weeks you can start to do a little more and slowly build yourself up. 

Keeping yourself nourished is imperative, as your body is trying to fix and heal you should give it as much help as possible. 

The recovery can feel daunting, but it doesn’t need to be a slog. Make sure you have the right help in place, your partner, family or a doula can be absolutely invaluable while you focus on healing your body and bonding with your baby. 

Birth is birth. An abdominal birth is NOT the easy option, and it isn’t something you should ever feel like you have to say with shame. You gave birth. You got a beautiful baby and just like with any birth, preparation, education and the right help can mean you have a wonderful experience. A beautiful birth story you will be telling with pride for years to come. 


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