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How to prepare for a c section

Updated: Apr 30

“A good mother is not defined by how her baby was born. Instead, it is by the love and sacrifice she shows for her children.”


Hello my loves. My name is Emma Croughan and I am a midwife, x2 C section mummy and hypnobirthing teacher! I created Birth&Body after realising that women need more information, more support and more preparation before giving birth. Throughout my career as both a midwife and a hypnobirthing teacher I have supported women who are planning or not planning a caesarean section. We train for a marathon, we prepare for moving house and we rest when we are injured therefore why should we not do the same for birthing our baby?


As mums to be, the more understanding we have of what happens to our bodies and why, the less we fear. In hypnobirthing, there are tools and techniques that can be implemented if you’re planning a C Section or if our birth results in a C section. Below I have hints, tips and ways to prepare for your upcoming Caesarean Section and your recovery as both a mum and midwife.


-Positive Affirmations

Creating a positive mindset is beneficial in so many ways. Hormonal balance, reducing blood pressure, lowers stress levels and creates a positive atmosphere and preparation for your birth experience. Using positive affirmations in places that we can see, read and repeat allow our mind to embed these into our unconscious mind.


·       I am in the right place and I am doing the right thing

·       This is my birth story and I am proud of it

·       I accept the choices my body and my baby needs

·       We are well supported and cared for by our trusted team

·       I enjoy a calm and relaxed caesarean birth

·       This is the best birth for my baby and me

·       Birth is amazing however it happens


-Breathing Techniques

As a mum who had 2 caesarean sections myself I understand how daunting it can be. It’s a new environment, new people, an operation, you’re going to meet your baby, you’ve not slept because you’re anxious, you’ve packed and unpacked your hospital bag and you’ve went over everything in your head a million times.

One way I tried to keep myself calm was by using breathing techniques. I knew that this would be within my control and that I could use these at different times I felt my anxiety increasing.

Calm Breathing, In for 4 out for 7, repeat.


-Positive C section stories

Look for the positives! Expose yourself to experiences that you can manifest for your own.

Here is the link to my blog where you can read about my positive caesarean section experience with my second baby Alba.


-The morning of your Caesarean Section

You should receive the date and time of when you should attend the hospital in advance. No doubt you’ll be on countdown until the big day arrives. Top tip: Have the isofix and car seat in the car ready and your hospital bags waiting at the door. That way it is a simple get up and go morning!

Double check your hospital policy with regards to fasting before the procedure. Some may allow you to have some light breakfast whereas some prefer you to be fasted from midnight.

Take a moment, when you return, you’ll be bringing home your baby and your house will be a little more full and so will your heart.



-Your Caesarean Section Birth plan

Every single mum to be, no matter how her baby is born, is entitled to a birth plan, birth choices and for her options to be heard. Consider: do you wish to see your baby being born with the sterile drape lowered, do you wish your birth partner to announce the gender if you don’t already know, do you wish to have skin to skin with your baby, do you wish your partner to have skin to skin, do you wish pictures to be taken, there are so many possibilities and choices! Make sure that your birthing partner is aware of your choices for your birth plan so that they can advocate for you if needed.


-The Procedure

Your Caesarean Section should take around 60 minutes (often longer if this is not your first section). You will receive a spinal anaesthetic, a cannula in your hand and a blood pressure cuff to make sure all of your observations are stable.

You will never be alone and there will be always an anaesthetist next to you, your birth partner will be present and there will be the theatre team supporting you every step of the way explaining every step. Once baby is born they will not be separated from you unless they require any support from the neonatal team (baby doctors). You will then be transferred to recovery where you will spend a few hours before moving to the postnatal ward where you will be discharged to go home after 24 hours.


-Postnatal Recovery

As a midwife I have seen so many post caesarean section mums over doing it. As a postnatal caesarean section new mum, I over done it. I didn’t practice what I preached. It’s important to know that you have had major abdominal surgery. Your body requires rest, hydration and time. Ensure that you are comfortable. Take pain relief as required and make sure you’re resting. There is physically nothing better to do than sit and cuddle your newborn. That is the most important thing you should be doing.

People who come to visit you should expect nothing. They should be making their own tea, bringing you food or offering to do dishes and hoovering. Most importantly they should be washing their hands.


Each hospital has their own policies regarding removing your wound dressing. Most are between 5-14 days. Once your wound dressing is off it I crucial to keep your wound clean and dry and visit your local maternity hospital or GP if you have any concerns. There is someone available 24/7 so please do not wait if you have any worries. Your community midwife will monitor your wound when she visits so you can ask questions too!



“I am as gentle on myself as I am on my baby”


Mum advice:

·       Don’t be too hard on yourself, you’ve just given birth

·       There are no time schedules or time frames.

·       You can say no to visitors. You are healing.

·       Enjoy this time as a new family

·       Rest

·       You cannot spoil your baby



One of the courses I offer as part of Birth&Body is the “Calm Caesarean Section Course”.

The course includes…

·       Leading up to the day

·       The day of your Caesarean Section

·       The recovery process

·       Ways to aid your own recovery

·       Your caesarean birth choices

·       A tailored birth plan (YES! - You can still have a birth plan)

·       Birth hormones and positive affirmations

·       Birth plan template, guide and hospital bag checklist


This course can be performed via zoom therefore you do not need to be local to learn and feel confident regarding your birth!


You will receive a calm caesarean section client workbook, a birth plan template and guide and other recourses and samples to aid your recovery.


This course includes x2 2 hour sessions at a total of £190.


There are free resources available on my website so please take a look and feel free to message me if you have any questions!



Emma x

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