DR NANDITA PALSHETKAR
Once a caesarean; always a caesarean
It’s a common belief that if you have one caesarean delivery, you have to have caesarean sections in your future pregnancies. This is not true. Having a surgical delivery does not mean, as it once did, that you’ll have your future children by caesarean section as well. In fact, about 70 per cent of women who try a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) succeed.
Whether to do a C-section or not in the future pregnancies will depend on the indication of first C-section and the status of the current pregnancy. For example, if it was a recurring indication like a contracted pelvis, then definitely you need a surgery again. However, if it was for some indication like foetal distress, then vaginal delivery is possible. However, the labour will have to be monitored strictly.
Mother-child bonding is less after a C-section
This is absolutely false. There is no difference in maternal child bonding after C-section. In fact caesareans are now done under regional anaesthesia, in which the mother is awake during the procedure, she can immediately start bonding with the baby.
No breast feeding after C-section.
It’s a common belief that one should not breast feed after C-section as there is a fear of the stitches opening up. This is however not true, and a mother can breast feed her baby immediately after the surgery.
C-section babies are healthier than babies delivered vaginally.
This is again not true. Babies born vaginally are as healthy as babies delivered after C-section.
No exercises after C-section.
Most women believe that they cannot and should not exercise because they have undergone surgery. This is not true. Gentle exercise such as walking, pelvic floor or abdominal exercises are actually beneficial and will help in recovery. However, after a caesarean allow a minimum of six weeks for the incision to heal before beginning a strenuous exercise programme.
C-sections are always associated with backache.
This is not true. Some women may have backache for few days after C-section. This is usually due to the injection given in the lower back for spinal anaesthesia. This can be avoided by drinking lots of water and avoiding use of a pillow for first few days post surgery.
Dietary restrictions after C-section.
Most women advise a variety of dietary restriction like avoiding milk, ghee, rice during the post-operative period as according to them this can impair healing of scar. This, however, is just a myth and the patient can resume her normal diet within a day or two after caesarean.
The writer is a Gynaecologist and Infertility specialist based in Mumbai