Image retrieved from lpgmedical.com.
Written by Karina Jackson, MSc OT, PMH-C
Cesarean sections (C-sections) are among the most common surgical procedures performed on women of child-bearing age. Canada’s C-section rate has increased dramatically in the past two decades. The national C-section rate has increased from 17% of all births in 1995 to nearly 31% in 2020. And yet, prenatal education classes are commonly associated with preparing expectant parents for vaginal childbirth. However, as the rates of C-section births continue to rise, it’s crucial to recognize the value of specialized prenatal classes that focus on preparing parents for a C-section.
The classes offered at Nuvo Physio provide essential knowledge, support, and empowerment, ensuring that parents are well-informed and prepared for this possibility. In this blog post, we will explore why C-section prenatal classes are important, how they benefit expectant mothers and their partners, as well as the topics covered within each session.
Understanding the C-Section Procedure
C-section births involve surgical intervention to deliver the baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. C-section prenatal classes provide comprehensive information about the procedure, including the reasons for a C-section, what to expect during the surgery, and questions to ask the birthing team prior to your surgery date. Understanding the process helps alleviate anxiety and allows parents to make informed decisions and actively participate in their birth experience.
Emotional Preparation and Coping Strategies
Expectant mothers who undergo a planned or unplanned C-section may experience a range of emotions, including disappointment, fear, or anxiety. C-section prenatal classes create a supportive environment where parents can openly discuss their emotions and concerns. These classes offer coping strategies, relaxation techniques, emotional support, and community resources, ensuring that parents feel empowered, prepared, and emotionally equipped for childbirth.
Postpartum Recovery and Care
C-sections typically involve a longer recovery period compared to vaginal births. C-section preparatory classes provide information about postoperative care, including pain management, wound care, breastfeeding positions, mobility after surgery, mental health strategies, healthy eating and drinking recommendations, scar management, and more. Understanding the recovery process helps parents anticipate the challenges they may face and make necessary arrangements for their postpartum care, facilitating a smoother transition into parenthood.
Pelvic Floor Health and C-Section Births
While pelvic floor dysfunction is commonly associated with vaginal births, there is a lack of awareness and understanding that it can also be a consequence of C-section births. This lack of association can have implications for postpartum care and the overall well-being of individuals who have undergone C-sections. It is important to bridge the gap between C-section births and pelvic floor dysfunction to ensure comprehensive postpartum care. These classes provide education and valuable insights on pelvic floor function, empowering new parents with the knowledge and resources they need to initiate the connection and restoration of their inner core systems during the perinatal period.
Knowledge of Birth Preferences and Advocacy
Even with a planned C-section, parents may have specific preferences regarding aspects of the birth experience. Preparing for a C-section birth encourages parents to proactively consider their preferences within a surgical setting. Through these sessions, expectant parents become aware of their options, rights and are empowered to advocate for their birth preferences with confidence and clarity.
While vaginal birth is the desired outcome for most expectant parents, it’s important to acknowledge the rising rates of C-sections and the need for specialized prenatal education. At Nuvo Physio, three interactive C-section prenatal sessions are offered in-person and cover various topics designed to nurture confidence and empower expectant parents.
Session 1: C-section education and preparation
The first session will cover essential information about C-section, techniques for bed transfers, toileting, and getting into the car, the use of helpful equipment, belly binding practices, breastfeeding after c-section, as well as important questions to ask your birthing team.
Session 2: C-section recovery and rehabilitation
The second session focuses on pain management and fatigue, techniques for splinting and supported coughing, wound care strategies, early mobilization, considerations for bending over, breastfeeding guidance after c-section, as well as scar management techniques.
Session 3: Postpartum well-being and support
The third session addresses important topics including proper eating and hydration, injury prevention measures, maternal mental health support, pelvic health considerations, and breathing practices with a focus on core restoration.
Nuvo Physio’s occupational therapist is available by phone or email for additional questions otherwise please contact our admin directly to schedule your appointment by telephone.