Tuesday, August 30, 2011

10+ Things No One Tells You About C-sections - From The Bump

And for our C-Section Mama's:

1. There will still be hands on your coochie

Surprised? Bump Lori (our creative director!) gave it to us straight: "After C-section #2, a nurse came into my room in the middle of the night and gave me what I now refer to as a vaginal car wash. I was NOT expecting that!” It's true: even though it isn't baby's exit route, your vagina will still be involved in your C-section and recovery. Basically, the “vaginal car wash” will come sometime after delivery (and more than once, if needed), and just involves a little rinse-down with a peri bottle and a pat down with a dry cloth -- the point is to clean up any blood that will be leaking out after the surgery. (More on that later.) Also, be prepared for a nurse to insert a catheter before surgery (but usually after you've received anesthesia, so you won’t feel a thing).

2. You’ll probably get the shakes

If you have a spinal, you'll probably spend some time involuntarily vibrating all over (though some find it’s just their legs that spasm). "It's a strange sensation for some patients as it is involuntary shaking, but it's nothing excessive -- just a light shiver -- and perfectly normal!" says Dr. Carolyn Eskridge, an OB with Eastover Ob/Gyn in Charlotte, NC. But don't worry: "It subsides quickly, as the spinal usually wears off after a few hours," assures Dr. Eskridge.

3. You might feel a little tugging

The good news is you’ll be totally numbed from your belly down during surgery (and for a couple of hours afterward), so your cesarean won't hurt a bit. But some moms do claim to feel a little pushing and tugging sensation as baby is eased out of their abdomen (especially if the wee one is crammed up near their rib cage).

4. You will probably be freezing during delivery

We’ve heard from tons of mamas who complain about being ice cold during their C-sections -- and many tend to blame it on the cool temps in the OR. But while ORs are definitely kept cooler for other surgeries (to maintain sterility, prevent humidity formation and combat bacterial colonization), Dr. Eskridge says docs actually raise the temperature in the room for C-sections in order to accommodate the new arrival. Still, between being numbed from the waist down and lying still for 30 minutes half-naked, it’s no wonder moms tend to catch a chill. But at least there’s some good news: you can often request warm blankets to be placed on you to combat some of the chilliness.

5. You’ll get a bonus "leg massage"

After surgery your docs will bring in contraptions called sequential compression devices (SCDs), which work to improve your circulation and prevent blood clots. They may even slip them on when you’re asleep and numb after surgery -- so if you wake up to find them on you, don’t be alarmed. They kind of look like space boots and they may seem a little weird at first (since they inflate and deflate repeatedly), but the sooner your blood gets pumping all around, the sooner your docs will take them away.

6. Stool softeners = your new best friend

Pooping can be a major problem post C-section, since it's tough to push when your abdomen is tender and sore. Taking stool softeners after delivery will ease you back into pooping again -- and make you a pretty happy camper in the process. Just remember to drink lots of water, and walk around as soon as you can, to keep your bowels awake. And to ease your mind: No, youwon’t bust your stitches pooping -- it just doesn't happen.

7. Coughing and sneezing will hurt

“I came home and had a coughing fit one afternoon, and OMG it hurt like the dickens!” says BOGOhokie06. Dr. Eskridge, who had two C-sections of her own, had the same experience and has some advice: “Splinting (holding a pillow against the abdomen over the incision) is very helpful in preventing pain with cough/sneeze/laughing.” Keep a pillow handy in all rooms of the house, and when you’re riding in a car. Belly bands or other compression garments can also help support your abs, since applying pressure to your muscles after they’ve been cut will help combat the pain that comes from muscle contractions. How long can you expect this to last? Dr. Eskridge says most mamas find the pain will be the worst the week after delivery but will gradually get better over the course of a few weeks after that.

8. Exercise is everything

We’re not suggesting you get up and do a round of jumping jacks, but just getting up and hobbling around as soon as humanly possible is a good idea. (Well, after your doc says it’s okay.) “Once the spinal wears off and movement is back in the lower extremities, then it is safe to walk around,” says Dr. Eskridge. “Plus, it gets the bowels working again and can prevent a lot of gas pain!” It also helps prevent blood clots. So get off your butt.

9. There will be blood

"I was surprised about the postpartum bleeding," says Bumpie bchenier. "I guess I figured since the baby didn't come out from there, I wouldn't bleed (boy, was I wrong)." You won’t have as much postpartum bleeding as with a vaginal delivery (since the vaginal cavity is wiped clean at the time of your surgery), but bleeding will still happen. After all, your uterine wall has to heal itself after the placenta has been detached, and your blood vessels are responding to the dip in hormone levels. Plus, that thick lining that grew to support your baby throughout your pregnancy will need to shed itself in the weeks after your delivery. Don’t worry though -- any bleeding should be light and only last about six weeks, max.

10. That scar might freak you out (for a little while, anyway)

Some moms admit they didn’t realize just how prominent their scar would be at first. “I felt totally disfigured,” says Bump Lori of her C-section scar. “But over time, it faded and flattened a lot, and now I actually love it. It's my mommy battle scar!” Don’t fret over it too much -- just expect that while you may be weirded out at the beginning, the newness of it will fade in time. Want to help it fade faster? Dr. Eskridge suggests trying scar-fading ointments like Mederma -- but only after you’ve let it heal for six weeks (applying anything sooner may cause an infection).

11. You may have gas pains -- in your shoulders

Yep, you read that right. You may get some wicked gas pain in your shoulders after delivery. When your bowels become sluggish after surgery, the resulting gas pain can press on the diaphragm, and that pain can extend to the shoulders. To combat this, your nurse will offer you anti-gas meds and encourage you to walk around as soon as possible. But that’s not the only cause of postsurgical shoulder pain. Dr. Eskridge says that sometimes mamas feel this way as a result of "referred pain" -- pain that’s actually being caused in another part of the body (in this case, your uterus), but felt somewhere else, because of the way your nerves react. Yes, it can be rough, but the pain should subside in a day or so.

Crotch Care 101 - From The Bump

Another article from The Bump, that you may find helpful:


Your due date is coming on quick. You have burp cloths. You have safety Q-tips. You have 12 brands of diaper rash cream and three newborn-sized bathrobes with matching slippers. There's no question you're prepared for baby's arrival... but are you ready for all that other stuff that happens after delivery? (You know, to your vagina. And perineum. And rectum.)

Alright, let's just say it: If you give birth vaginally, you're going to need some serious TLC down there. But have no fear: We checked in with tons of new moms, and a few of our doctor friends including Dr. Susan Bliss, OB/GYN at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, to bring you an insider's guide to postpartum body care. (You’re welcome.)


The condition of your no-longer-very-private parts -- your vagina, perineum, and rectum -- after childbirth depends a lot on your particular birth experience. (Duh.) So if you push out an 11-pounder and tear badly, you're going to have a tougher recovery than if baby is smaller and your perineum stays intact. But genetics can play a part too. (Just be prepared for the fact that an investigation into family history may involve your mom discussing her own hoo-ha.)


Expect lots of bleeding and some general soreness. Wondering how much blood to be prepared for? Dr. Bliss says postpartum bleeding can be compared to a heavy period and may last for a few weeks -- which is why super-absorbent maxi pads (yes, like the kind you wore in junior high) will become your new best friend.

So here's the deal: No matter how long you pushed for, expect some swelling. You can also expect small contractions and occasional gushes of blood, especially when you breastfeed. But don't let this freak you out. "This is a good thing," says Dr. Bliss. It's your uterus shrinking back to its normal size. In addition, you may have some trouble pooping, and you’ll probably spring a few leaks (pee and gas to complement the oozing of milk, sweat, and tears farther north). So be on guard.

If you have any stitches from tearing, expect them to first be sore and then a little itchy. Most stitches reabsorb in about three weeks. Later, you’ll have some scar tissue, but chances are you will probably never notice.


Steal Things

You'll definitely want to cop some freebies from your postpartum recovery room before checking out of the hospital. "Get as many of the hospital pads as possible," urges Bumpie Princessn6. "They're better than anything you can get in the store." Consider stocking up on the hospital's mesh panties too. (Don't be shy -- ask your nurse for extras.) No, they're not sexy, but when you're bleeding for weeks on end, disposable panties rock. And don't forget your peri bottle (a squirt bottle for rinsing). It will keep you feeling clean and also help any stinging that may happen when your pee hits your stitches.

Pack the Ice

"The nurses at the hospital brought me newborn diapers that they had packed with ice. It helped a lot!" says Bumpie Kat28655. According to Dr. Bliss, ice is awesome for swelling prevention in the first 24 hours. Lay off the ice after that, though. Some women mistakenly attempt to treat their swollen labia with cold packs, but it won't help. "The labia is swollen because of excess fluid," says Dr. Bliss. “Ice packs will not help that swelling." So if your labia are swollen, don't worry: They will deflate within a few days.

Soak Your Bum

"I really strongly believe in sitz baths," says Dr. Bliss. "Take one every time you pee or poop for the first week and several times a day for the next week. Be diligent. Set aside those 15 minutes it takes to sit there with your bottom in water."

Witch Hazel It Up

This herbal remedy can bring sweet relief for painful, itchy stitches, and nerve-wracking hemorrhoids. "I've been rolling up those witch hazel pads and sticking them between my [butt] cheeks," says Bumpie taprehoda. "It gives me hours of relief." You can also line your pad with them for maximum coverage. Try spraying on some Dermoplast spray first, and you'll be comfortably numb for a while.

Do Your Kegels

Strengthening your pelvic floor by doing Kegel exercises is a must, according to Dr. Bliss. "This helps maintain urinary continence and function of your anal sphincter." Sounds pretty important to us!


"Don't be scared -- just do it," says Dr. Bliss about pooping after giving birth. "Like I tell my four-year-old, if you hold it in, it just gets bigger." And if you need help, get help. "Mommas, take the stool softener that the hospital offers!" urges Bumpie jwoods6056.

Invest in Some Lube

No, your vagina will never be exactly the same after a vaginal delivery. (There. We said it.) Sex is on the horizon, though. Good sex, even. Still, it will take some time for things to feel totally "normal" again after delivering baby. When you’re ready for sex (and you've held off for the recommended six weeks), go for it. Just don't forget the Astroglide! Here's why: You're low on estrogen after delivery (and while you're breastfeeding), causing a thinning of your "vaginal mucosa" (or vaginal membrane), which can lead to dryness. Altogether, this can make sex, well, hurt. That's why investing in some lube will be a lifesaver.

8 Surprising Things That Happen After Labor - From The Bump

I thought this was interesting. Taken from The Bump:


Sure, you know the drill -- you’ve read about it a thousand times and watched it on A Baby Story. Your doctor tells you to push, and you do -- a lot -- then your new (slightly slimy) baby is hoisted into your arms. But then what? We’ve got the next chapter of the birth experience -- stuff even your best mom-friends haven’t spilled. Warning: Some of it’s a little, um, gross. But it will totally be worth it when you're holding your baby.

You’ll Get the Shakes
Don’t be surprised if you feel really jittery right after the birth. “Most women will experience full-body shaking after delivery,” says Dr. Michele Hakakha, M.D., FACOG, an OB/GYN in Beverly Hills, California, and author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy. This is normal, and probably has nothing to do with being cold. Rather, “the shakes occur from the immediate hormonal shifts that occur after delivery.” They might also be a reaction to the anesthesia or an endorphin release. Don’t worry; they’ll go away within a few minutes or, at most, a few hours.

Stitches Down There Are Likely
You’ve probably heard that episiotomies aren’t a routine procedure, but the truth is, even if the doc doesn’t make an incision, you might need some stitches (sorry!), since minor vaginal tearing is pretty common, especially for first-time mamas. The good news is, if you opted for an epidural, you probably won’t feel the tear or incision (or the stitches for that matter). But if you have unmedicated childbirth, your OB or midwife will give you a shot to numb the area first. (Yes, we said a shot. Down there.) “There’s no sugar-coating the fact that this hurts,” Hakakha says.

Your Baby Might Not Be Interested in Breastfeeding
You’ve probably heard that it’s important to breastfeed as soon as possible after birth to start a nursing relationship early. That’s true, but don’t be surprised if baby isn’t interested in feeding right away. “Most babies usually don’t want to eat for 15 to 30 minutes after delivery,” Hakakha says. So don’t push her to nurse if she doesn’t seem into it, but still hold her close. “During this time, skin to skin contact is very important to help initiate bonding for both baby and mom,” says Hakakha. “So take this time to look at her, smell her and feel her.”

You’ll Feel Like a Punching Bag
You think people loved touching your pregnant belly? Wait till the doctors and nurses get their hands on your postpartum pooch. “After delivery, the uterus has to shrink from the size of a large watermelon down to the size of a cantaloupe,” says Yvonne Bohn, MD, coauthor of The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. Oxytocin helps this process by causing uterine contractions -- nope, you’re not done with those -- but your doctor or midwife might also try to help it along a bit. “They’ll massage your uterus to help it contract down,” Bohn says. “And your nurse will press on your belly and massage it every 15 minutes for the first two hours after delivery. This can be very painful, especially if you didn’t have an epidural.”

There Will Be Blood
You already know that labor is a messy endeavor, but did you know this? “Within the first 10 minutes after delivery, you lose more blood than would fill a pint-sized container of ice cream -- and in some cases more,” says Hakakha. In the days postpartum, it’s normal to experience large amounts of bleeding after you’ve been sitting or lying for a while, as well as a gush that can happen while breastfeeding. It’s also normal to pass some large clots in the 24 hours after delivery, Hakakha says. (But if you’re passing clots that are bigger than an apricot, or passing them every hour, let your doc know.) You’ll continue to bleed -- at a decreasing rate, similar to a period -- for about four to six weeks after delivery.

Your, Um, Lady Parts Can Swell
Not surprisingly, vaginal deliveries do a number on your nether region. But you might be shocked at how much you can swell as you heal down there -- especially if you pushed for a long time. “This can be alarming -- the labia can triple in size,” says Hakakha, who notes that it’s much more common in first-time moms than those having their second or third babies. Take it from us: Ice packs are your friend. They’ll help numb any discomfort and bring the swelling (which is temporary) down.

You Might Be Stuck in Bed
Having a c-section? Get comfy in your bed, because you’ll have to stay there for at least 12 to 24 hours. Why? “The spinal/epidural makes your legs too weak to walk,” Bohn says. Luckily, you’ll be surrounded by nurses -- and probably some loved ones -- who will help you care for your new baby while you’re bedridden.

You’ll Sweat
No doubt, you perspired while pushing out your baby, but you can also find yourself sweating quite a bit during the first few weeks post-baby, says Hakakha. “And by sweating I mean tremendous night sweats,” she adds. That’s because your body’s estrogen level will drop massively -- and the change in hormones will mess with your body’s temperature regulation. Don’t worry: Things will get back to normal within a month or two.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lucie's List: A Survival Guide For New Moms

Someone linked this website on the TB, and I thought it had some useful information in it. Therefore, I'm posting it here, so we can always refer back to it! :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

When Will Your LO Arrive??

Here is a link to a thread that was done back in May. Everyone put their due dates, and then guessed as to when their LO would actually arrive. It'd be fun to check back and see how accurate our guesses were. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

September Sweet Peas FB Group

From the Bump:

A great idea came out today that some of us may want to connect through Facebook as well as the Bump. It's more personal, and I think it's a great idea.

I've set up a FB group called "September Sweet Peas - 2011" so either search for that or follow this link!


I'm noticing it's asking me to approve people when they want to join the group. I thought I had made the group open so this wouldnt happen. I'll try to get that fixed, and in the meantime, I'll accept people as soon as I can. I'm on often - even at work (shh) so it shouldnt take me too long to respond if I do have to approve requests!

Looking forward to chatting with you all on Fb as well!

Tarah (twinkle_toez69)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Onesie Exchange: Using Elfster for Secret Q&As

If you open your email from Elfster with your draw, click on "See your draw"

You're brought to the name of your Sept. Momma .. if she has a wishlist or any information, you will see this in the center of the page.

If she has added her mailing address, you will see it in the left hand column. If she has not, you can use "Secret Q&A" to ask her to either update this.

If she has not listed her bumpie name, you can ask this in a Secret Q&A as well so that you know who to "look for" on the board!

There is a tab for "Secret Q&A" where you can scroll down and free-text a question to her -- use this to find out more about your Sept.Momma and what she might like for her LittleOne .. some question ideas:

- Are you team pink? blue? green?

- What is your nursery theme?

- Sept. is the beginning of football season -- do you and DH cheer for any teams in particular?

- Is there anything you definitely DO NOT need or want?

Also, often when I have participated in exchanges in the past - participants will create polls or other like posts on the board with groups of questions like these, hoping that their bumpie will participate and everyone will get a few additional ideas..

Have fun, all!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weeks 15-20 Video On Baby's Growth

Hey momma's. Here's the link to the video for baby's growth and development for weeks 15-20. Enjoy!

Onesie Exchange Information

Thank you Pharmernicole for putting this together for us! The following is from her original post on The Bump:

"It wouldn't necessarily need to be onesies, I suppose, but it's a starting point :) We could say that there should be at least one onesie for the sake of consistency?

How it works: Whoever elects to participate signs up (via this link). Deadline to sign up = April 18th (I figured tax day will be over...) After the signup deadline, Elfster will send you a message with the name of the person who you drew, and you can send them anonymous messages via Elfster ("Are you having a girl or a boy?" .. "Does DH have a favorite NFL/College football team?" etc..) or create polls on the Sept 2011 Mom board that participants can answer.

As the gift-giver, you pull together a personalized gift package for your momma-to-be, and mail it by the exchange date (five weeks: June 1st 2011) Once you receive your package, take a photo and post to the board to share with everyone and thank your Bumpie!

1. In your Elfster account, be sure to include your mailing address so your 'secret santa' knows where to send your surprise. I have the exchange set up so your address is only visible to the person who is your 'secret santa'

2. Within Elfster you can create a "gift list" including things that you and DH like, nursery themes, registry information, etc.

3. We'll set a $25 limit. I tend to go over a bit, but that's because I can't resist the little stuff.. :)

4. It's up to you (gift giver) if you'd like to reveal yourself within your package or wait until it is posted on the board.

5. Be sure on Elfster to include your 'bumpie' name so your 'secret santa' knows who to watch for posting on the board - i.e. mine is Nicole (pharmernicole) Olson.

Any questions?? Let me know.. Excited?!?!!? I am.."