Once the operation is finished, you will be taken to the recovery area (University Hospitals Dorset) or back to your room (Dorset County Hospital), where you will be monitored for a short while to ensure that you are coping well. Your midwife will check your blood pressure, pulse and temperature regularly. They’ll also make sure that you are tolerating fluids.
As long as your baby is well, they will stay with you. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby is encouraged. Your team midwife will support you with your choice of feeding within an hour of your baby being born. Your midwife will also do an initial assessment of your baby, weigh them and give them vitamin K if you consent to this. If your baby is in the Neonatal Unit, your midwife can help you to express some colostrum that can be given to your baby once they are able to feed.
You will be prescribed regular pain relief. If you require more pain relief, please let the midwife know as there are various options. If you have a spinal anaesthetic, you will slowly regain the feeling in your lower part of your body. Speak to the midwife when you start to feel pain so that you can receive effective pain relief. If you have decided to breastfeed, it is still safe for you to do this after receiving pain relief – please discuss this with your midwife if you have any concerns.
You may experience some shoulder pain, which is caused by air that is trapped in your abdomen during the surgery. Moving around is the best way to improve this, even though it can be difficult. You can have medicine to help to relieve this.
You can eat or drink as soon as you are hungry or thirsty. When you are able to tolerate fluids and you are stable, your cannula will be removed. If it’s necessary to keep the cannula in, your midwife will explain this to you.
You will be supported to get out of bed and try a few steps a few hours after your caesarean. This can seem hard at the time but moving around early helps to reduce your risk of clots in your legs. Continuing to wear your support stockings for a week to reduce your risk of blood clots. You’ll also be advised to have regular injections of anti-coagulants into your tummy for 10 days. You will be shown how to administer the injection at home and provided with a supply on discharge from hospital – it’s a very small needle so nothing to worry about.
Your urinary catheter will usually be removed 12 hours after your baby is born, unless there are medical reasons that mean it will need to stay in for a bit longer. If so, this will be explained to you. Once your catheter is removed, the postnatal staff will ask you to measure your first wee to make sure that your bladder is working properly.
The midwife will check your dressing regularly, and it will be removed after 48 hours. You can shower with the dressing on. The midwife will also check your blood loss regularly.
In most cases, if your caesarean is uncomplicated you may be able to go home the next day. If you need to stay a bit longer, your midwife will explain this to you.