A lot of birthing classes often talk in detail about natural births, breathing techniques, and things to help ease labor pain with or without medication. But rarely do birth classes show in detail what a C-section does to your body.
A cesarean section (CS) is considered major surgery and involves strict post-recovery routine. Many women know that doctors will make an incision on the abdomen to get the baby out. But there's a lot more to it. Having CS means cutting through layers of skin and moving muscles and organs aside to get to your baby and gently pull him out.
Certified labor doula and childbirth educator Laura Speece of the Natural Abundance Health & Birthing, a resource for new parents and professionals in the U.S., shared on YouTube an excellent video on the "anatomy a C-Section." Don't worry the video doesn't have graphic content and nowhere near videos that show an actual natural vaginal birth, which can shock both men and women. Watch below.
There are three types of CS incisions, and Speece used a bikini cut to present a useful and informational tool to show what a C-section entails.
Based on Speece's video, a doctor cuts through a pregnant woman's skin, the underlying fat layer, and then the fascia, a tough fibrous layer. It's tough because it's made of connective tissue that attaches, stabilizes, encloses and separates muscles and other internal organs underneath the skin.
Doctors then divide your ab muscles or gently pushes them aside. Next, even if you get a bikini-cut incision, the peritoneum, the thin, transparent layer of connective tissues that line the abdominal cavity, is cut vertically. Like the fascia, the peritoneum is a layer that supports, separates, and connects internal organs in your abdomen.
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Underneath the peritoneum, the doctors will gently move your bladder down to get to your uterus. After making an incision in your womb, your doctor will just prick your amniotic sac to burst it open and get to your baby and gently pull him out. Whew!
"[A C-section] is really a serious abdominal surgery which is why the recovery can take so long, and there can be complications because there's a lot more to it than a lot of people think," Speece said in the video. Just imagine the layers that were affected and that need to heal after the doctors close your wound.
A lot of factors affect if a pregnant woman will need a C-section. Make sure you give yourself time to heal from your CS wound because you don't want to get an infection. If you and your baby end up needing one, wear it with honor. A belly birth is as good as any other type of childbirth.