For most moms the second C-Section procedure and recovery will be much easier than the first time around.
But even though that’s typically true, it still helps to prepare for your surgery and your recovery. Every little thing you can do to prepare will make your c-section birth more enjoyable and your recovery that much easier.
To help you plan your second C-Section, here are a a few things to think about and also ask your doctor about.
- Will your c-section incision be in the same place?
- Are there new risks with having a second c-section?
- Will having another C-Section leave me with a bigger scar?
- How should you prepare for your second C-Section
Let’s have a look at what you can expect with your Second C-Section
Will your c-section incision be in the same place?
If your last C-section incision was the ‘bikini cut’ or low horizontal cut, it is generally routine that the second C-Section incision will be directly over the previous incision. It’s not likely that if your last C-Section was a vertical cut that you’ll have another vertical cut. Most Vertical incisions are a result of emergency C-Sections, so unless there is another high risk emergency your next incision should be the a ‘bikini cut’.
Will recovery be easier the second time around?
Generally speaking ‘Yes’ a second C-section is easier. That’s mainly because having been through it once before you know what to expect and you’re just a lot more at ease. Also the date and time when having a second C-section is usually pre-planned. You won’t be as nervous about contractions, or getting to the hospital at inconvenient times. Most planned C-Sections happen during the hours of 9-5 M-F.
What makes your second C-Section even easier is good home preparation. If you have older children this can make your C-Section recovery at home difficult. So plan for childcare if you can. It will not only help with your recovery but for bonding with baby as well.
Are there new risks with having a second c-section?
Having a C-Section is major abdominal surgery and with any surgery there are risks. Anesthesia risks, risk of infection, excessive bleeding, etc. However with having a second C-Section the single biggest risk is scar tissue and adhesions. Not all women experience complications with adhesions but it’s important to be aware of them.
Discuss this with your doctor before surgery about the ways to prevent C-Section adhesions including a product your doctor can use called Seprafilm. Your doctor should be aware of this type of adhesion prevention, if not it may be something he should consider.
Will having another C-Section leave me with a bigger scar?
Generally not. I’ve had two C-Sections with the incision in the exact same place and my scar is hardly visible today. However there are things that can influence how well your scar heals. For example incision infections can affect how well you heal and how big your scar will be.
One thing that has helped women significantly with reducing the size of their scar is to use silicon. The Silicon incision scar treatment has to date been the most effective treatment in reducing the look and size of incision scars.
How to prepare for your second C-Section
Start by preparing your home for you. When having a baby we love to prepare our homes for our baby, but we forget that we need to prepare for ourselves as well.
It’s tough recovering from surgery and taking care of a new baby, so take care of yourself first and it will make taking care of your baby that much easier.
If your C-Section was unplanned that’s understandable, but if you know you will be having a second C-Section, give some thought to what you’ll need when you get home.
Get up and start walking as soon as it’s advised, which is about 12 hours from surgery. Honestly, walking is the best medicine. It’s tough at first, but you will notice that it is much easier to walk after your second C-Sectino than it was after your first.
You’ll notice that a lot of the anxieties you had the first time will be a lot less this time.
If you were in labor with your first C-Section, and you don’t experience labor with the second, that makes recovery easier as well. No labor before surgery makes a big difference in your energy level when trying to recover.
A Few Second C-Section Issues
As before, stay on top of your medications. There will be times you may not feel your pain medication is necessary, however you don’t want to get behind the pain curve.
Pain medication can cause constipation which is really uncomfortable when recovering after surgery, so ask your doctor for a stool softener before leaving the hospital.
One final note. If it’s been 8, 10 or 12 years since your last C-Section it may not seem easier, in fact it might seem more difficult. One reason for this is that you’re older. It’s like running a marathon. The first time is hard but it gets easier. But if you wait 10 years to run the next marathon, it won’t be so easy at all. Keep this in mind, know your limits and prepare adequately for them.
Focus on making things as easy as possible for yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Have you had more than one C-Section? Was your second easier than the first? Please share with us your experiences and how you prepared for your second C-Section.
Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici & Freedigitalphotos.net