Let's be honest, no matter how many babygrows, Muslin squares, or luxury nappies from Bullabaloo you've lovingly laid out in the nursery, the thought of a C-section might make you feel like you’re navigating through a foggy mist of uncertainties. Well, fear not! We're here to illuminate that fog and equip you with a sparkling checklist that'll make your C-section preparation as easy as changing a nappy (well, almost!). So put down that cuppa, pop your feet up, and let's get ready together for this exciting day.
1. The Final Packing of Your Hospital Bag
Despite the plethora of "what to pack" lists, this one is specifically tailored for mums facing a C-section.
Several pairs of knickers that sit high on your waist. You'll thank us later when your scar isn't being irritated by your waistband.
At least 2-3 front-opening or loose nightdresses for easy breastfeeding.
The usual toiletries – don’t forget the lip balm!
Plenty of snacks. You might not feel like eating straight after surgery, but when you do, you'll want something more tempting than hospital food.
Check out this helpful checklist for a more comprehensive list. Now, don't overpack, or you’ll end up feeling like you’re moving house rather than having a baby!
2. A Gentle Workout
Yes, you heard us right! Gentle exercises can help reduce the risk of developing blood clots after surgery. But by 'workout' we don’t mean attempting a personal best in your living room.
Pelvic Tilts: Helps to strengthen your core muscles.
Arm Lifts: Good for your upper body and improves blood flow.
Leg Lifts: Works the leg muscles and also improves blood circulation.
And of course, always consult with your doctor or midwife beforehand. You can check out the NHS Fitness Studio for some suitable workouts.
3. A Mind-Soothing Relaxation Session
As much as we'd love to recommend a glass of Merlot and a soak in the tub, that's not exactly on the cards now, is it? But don’t worry, we've got your back!
Mindfulness Meditation: Headspace, a UK based app, has great resources to guide you.
Aromatherapy: Certain essential oils like lavender can be very relaxing.
Reading: Grab that book you’ve been meaning to get to.
4. Nosh on Some Nutritious Nibbles
Eating well before your surgery will keep your energy levels up. You'll be asked to fast for a certain period before your C-section, so make your last meal count!
What to Eat:
Complex carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or oats. They'll keep you full for longer.
Lean protein like chicken or tofu to help with healing after the surgery.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
And remember, no cheeky midnight snacks. Doctors orders!
5. Confirm Your Transportation and Childcare
The last thing you want is to be worrying about how you’ll get to the hospital or who’s looking after your other little monkeys.
Have These Sorted:
Taxi, friend, or family member ready for your hospital ride.
Reliable babysitting or childcare for any older siblings.
Remember, it's not uncool to rehearse your route to the hospital. In fact, we applaud your rehearsal skills. You're one step ahead in the game!
6. Last Minute Admin
No, we're not talking about cleaning your oven or sorting your sock drawer. This is a last-minute opportunity to ensure your documents are in order.
Ensure You Have:
Your hospital notes and birth plan.
Your NHS number. If you’re not sure what it is, you can find it online.
A list of important contact numbers: your maternity unit, a backup babysitter, and your mother-in-law (optional).
7. Get Some Sleep
This may feel like trying to find a unicorn in your garden, especially with the baby playing a relentless game of 5-a-side football in your womb. But do try your best to get some shut-eye.
Keep your room cool.
Block out light and noise as much as possible.
Use the Calm app, a UK-based relaxation app, to help drift you off to the land of nod.
And if all else fails, at least rest and put your feet up. Your body will thank you for it!
There you have it, your comprehensive guide for the night before your C-section. Now, go forth and conquer that checklist like the warrior mum you are! And remember, whether you’re a seasoned mum or a first-timer, it's okay to feel nervous. After all, you're about to meet the newest member of your family – how exciting is that?