The Fear of Undergoing a C-Section

Today's article contains everything you need to know about C-section so you can overcome any fear of undergoing it and better prepare yourself for childbirth.
The Fear of Undergoing a C-Section

Last update: 18 May, 2021

Fear of undergoing a C-section is common among pregnant women, especially for first-time mothers. Generally, this is due to prejudice and lack of information. However, you have to keep in mind that, in some cases, this surgical procedure could be the safest way to give birth, without putting the health of the mother or the baby at risk.

The C-section index

At present, estimates indicate that approximately 10 to 15 % of babies born are delivered by C-section. At least according to this information on the website of the World Health Organization.

In fact, C-section rates skyrocketed in most Western countries, mainly between the 1980s and 1990s. The causes were diverse, but the fear of the pain of undergoing normal childbirth was also among them.

Undergoing a C-section is a woman’s choice

Every woman has the right to choose the delivery that’s best for her, as long as she always does so under the guidance of her physician. However, it’s important to mention that C-section shouldn’t be approached as a routine procedure.

This is because it’s a surgical intervention developed for specific cases when normal childbirth poses a risk to the life of the mother-to-be and the baby. At least according to this information from the Consellería de Sanitat de la Generalitat Valenciana.

The body of a healthy woman is prepared to resist and recover from the process of natural vaginal childbirth. Therefore, they must overcome this fear. Thye must know they have nothing to worry about as long as they’re healthy.

A doctor may recommend a C-section if during the periodic check-ups of the pregnancy they find any condition that may be unfavorable for natural childbirth. Likewise, this procedure must be scheduled in advance in order to be completely successful.

How to overcome your fear of undergoing a C-section

A pregnant belly.

Humans are naturally fearful. We’re afraid of the things we don’t understand. For a pregnant woman who has never been in an operating room, a caesarean section presents a lot of uncertainties. It’s very understandable that she’s afraid and wants to avoid this experience.

The first thing we have to understand is that a caesarean birth, like all surgical procedures, requires preparation. This doesn’t just mean choosing a great professional to take care of the birth, but this is an essential part.

However, preparing for a caesarean birth also requires commitment for a to-be mother and everyone around her. It’s essential to provide a positive environment and the right conditions for the good health of mom and baby.

It’s also important to not add the weight of frustration to the caesarean. Many women feel sad or incapable because they cannot have a natural birth as they want. This negative mood can affect their preparation and increase their fear of the procedure.

When a doctor says you cannot have a natural birth, it’s to protect both your life and that of the baby. In these cases, a caesarean section is vital for guaranteeing a safe birth.

Perceiving the C-section better: before, during, and after

Knowledge is our best ally for fighting any fears. So, it’s necessary for the woman to take on a proactive attitude and seek information about this topic. She should also clear any doubts with her doctor. That way, she’ll better understand the topic.

It’s very important to clear up any doubts with your doctor. This will put to rest any false beliefs or myths that will keep you from having a calm and confident pregnancy.

1. Preparing for undergoing a C-section

A woman consulting a doctor.

Before going into the operating room, the expecting mother should take a walk around the hospital and prepare herself for the procedure. C-sections are due to emergencies in some cases but most of them require an appointment.

  • It’s recommended to fast between 7 and 8 hours before surgery
  • In addition, it’s also important not to drink any liquids 2 hours before the procedure
  • Try to distract yourself with something so that you don’t get unnecessarily stressed so keep a positive attitude

2. Undergoing a C-section

When you’re admitted to the operating room, the first part of the c-section is anesthesia. It’s applied to the lumbar area. Currently, they usually use spinal anesthesia which works quickly and puts the lower part of your body “to sleep.” This guarantees that the procedure is painless.

The birth itself tends to be very fast. The extraction of the baby tends to take between 10 and 15 minutes.

On the contrary, the longest part of the procedure is the stitching of the incision in the abdomen and the uterus of the woman. This part of the procedure can take up to 60 minutes.

3. Recovering from a C-section

A mother and child after undergoing a C-section.

Every birth requires time to recover. If everything goes as planned, the mother will remain in the hospital for 24-48 hours. Recovery will start in the same hospital and she will be kept under supervision for approximately 4 to 6 days.

However, the majority of her recovery will take place at home. So, it is very important to avoid any physical exertion, to stay in a positive environment and to maintain a healthy diet.

The fear of undergoing a C-section is common so it’s important to keep in mind that it isn’t as bad as you might think. In fact, it’s a recommended procedure in many cases, as it helps prevent problems for both mother and baby.

It’s all about informing yourself well, having a good attitude, maintaining good communication, and trusting both the obstetrician-gynecologist and the people closest to you when it comes to delivering a baby.

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