When it comes to C-sections, moms have a lot of questions….and so did we! That’s why we asked OB/GYN Dr. Jay Goldberg to share some C-section insights with us….
When I speak to my patients, I always want them to understand a few things about C-sections before deciding to have elective surgery or finding themselves needing one for medical reasons. And while the latest guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend that moms and their doctors always plan for a vaginal delivery, as many as one-third of babies in the U.S. are born via C-section. So, having some knowledge will be empowering going into delivery day.
- Many women have their heart set on a vaginal delivery, but you must remember that in some situations, a C-section may be the safest way to deliver your baby. We’ve found that certain medical conditions such as breech position and multiple gestations, to name a few, may require a Cesarian delivery. I recommend discussing your birth plan with your doctor prior to delivery day, so that you’re on the same page and are prepared mentally and emotionally if a C-section is recommended.
- I always want women to remember that having one C-section does not mean that you cannot attempt a vaginal delivery with your next pregnancy. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, “60 to 80 percent of women who attempt a vaginal birth after a Cesarean section (VBAC) are successful.”
- And yes, while C-sections most often require an extra 1-2 nights in the hospital, try not to let this distress you – use that time to take care of yourself – rest, drink lots of water, and soon you’ll be home with baby!
- Recovery from a C-section may be slightly longer than a vaginal delivery, but not always. There are lots of factors involved, including your overall fitness level. Keep an eye on your incision area and let your doctor know if you see any signs of infection.
- Stronger pain medication may need to be prescribed for a short period of time for women who have had a C-section. This is to help ease your recovery and can help lessen the discomfort associated with the incision area. If you plan to breastfeed your baby, try not to worry – there are several pain medications that are safe immediately after delivery. Once your milk comes in, I recommend that you discuss pain meds and vitamins with your obstetrician and pediatrician.
- Finally, a new medical study by The International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics has found that using an “abdominal binder could be an effective, simple, non-pharmacological option to relieve pain and distress after a C-section.” I recommend checking out Belly Bandit’s Belly Wrap collection as well as their C-section recovery products to find a postpartum binder that works for you.
Jay M. Goldberg, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. As a founding member of the Cedars-Sinai Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology, he has been at the forefront of laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery. Dr. Goldberg has been awarded the Cedars-Sinai Obstetrician of the Year award and was recipient of the Golden Apple Award-given by the resident physicians he teaches.