C-sections are becoming increasingly common in the US, often for medical reasons, but sometimes because the mother-to-be simply can’t face the idea of going through a painful delivery, the so-called “too posh to push” syndrome. Figures from the UK show that women undergoing private healthcare are more likely to have a C-section birth and are much more likely to have made the decision themselves.
In the US, the number of C-sections have increased dramatically in the last few years. In 1997, there were 208 C-sections per 100,000 births, a figure that rose to 329 C-sections per 100,000 births in 2009, before declining slightly as medics expressed concerns about the impact of surgical births on the health of both mothers and babies.
Several celebs have had C-sections when it came to giving birth to their kids, and while many required emergency surgery after being in labor for hours, others like Victoria Beckham and Christina Aguilera planned to have the surgical delivery option from day one. Jennifer Lopez had a C-section when she gave birth to twins Max and Emme, and while she has been open about the experience, there are still lots of secrets that she expects her doctors to keep! Here are 16 of them.
15 She Might Have Had Breathing Difficulties
What many women don’t expect from a C-section is to experience difficulty breathing, and there is every chance that J-Lo encountered the same problem when she gave birth to her twins. Although a C-section only involves a local anesthetic from the waist down, what many women don’t realize is how important even the waist area is in breathing. Although J-Lo would never have been in any danger during her C-section, it would have been an unpleasant and perhaps scary experience for the singer to experience breathing difficulties, and all while she was worrying about the health of her babies!
She Was Freezing
Once J-Lo’s C-section procedure was over and done with, she would have been wheeled into a post-operative care room. As the anesthetic and pain medication started to leave her body, the chances are that she would have started to feel very cold, almost to the point of shaking and shivering. This is common after any procedure involving local or general anesthetic, and J-Lo would have had the same post-operative experience as any new mom recovering from a C-section. Of course, those thin hospital gowns and sterile rooms don’t help when patients are feeling the cold.
14 She Felt Fatigued
A lot of women feel exhausted after their C-sections, especially those who have been training for hours in the delivery room! J-Lo had a prearranged C-section when it came to delivering her twins, so surely, she would have felt fresh on a daily when the procedure was over? Not quite, as even women who have opted for a C-section will end up feeling tired after the procedure is over since surgery of any kind puts a strain on the body. J-Lo, like many women, probably found herself just wanting to get some shuteye after her twins were delivered no matter how excited she was to meet her babies.
13 Her Stomach Felt Like A Tug Of War When Doctors Pulled Out The Twins
J-Lo will have been very grateful that she was numb from the waist down when it came to her C-section. However, just because she didn’t feel any pain doesn’t mean that she didn’t feel some unusual and unpleasant sensations. Like every woman undergoing a C-section, J-Lo would have been aware of how much effort the doctors had to put in to actually pulling the baby through the incision. It might seem to be an easy option for the women herself, but the doctors still have to use some elbow grease to deliver babies via C-section.
12 She Freaked Out
What many women, even those like J-Lo who have planned all along to have a C-section, often don’t realize is just how weird the whole procedure is. After all, J-Lo will have had half of her body numbed in order to undergo a C-section, losing all control of her legs, feet, and even her toes. Add into the mix the concern that any woman feels getting ready to give birth to one, let alone two babies (will my babies be born safe and healthy?) and you can understand why the whole experience would have been an emotional roller coaster for J-Lo from start to finish.
11 She Had To Develop A Good Rapport With Her Anesthesiologist
Because women only have a local anesthetic during a C-section, they are awake for the whole procedure. Dad will often sit next to the mom-to-be so that she has a familiar face to talk to, but the other person who stays at the head until the end of the surgery is the anesthesiologist. J-Lo probably found his expert knowledge a great source of support, and many women actually find themselves developing quite a rapport with their anesthesiologist. Imagine turning up to work to find yourself giving some moral support to J-Lo while she gives birth to twins! That's one lucky anesthesiologist.
10 She Worried About Bonding With Her Twins After The C-Section
J-Lo has spoken very openly about her baby blues and particularly feeling worried that she wasn’t bonding properly with her babies as she recovered from surgery. Many women undergoing C-sections worry about bonding, especially in the moments immediately following the delivery. TV and movies have shown us that babies born the “normal” way are handed to their moms straight away, but J-Lo would have been among C-section mothers who might have had questions about what happens to their babies. In fact, babies born by C-section are handed to their parents just as quickly to enable the bonding process to begin.
9 She Was Hungry After The Procedure
It can be common for people undergoing surgery to lay off food and drink in the hours before the procedure, but women who have their babies delivered by C-section should probably steer clear of having anything to eat or drink for a good while after their little bundle of joy has arrived. Only her doctors know if J-Lo followed their advice. If she ignored the guidelines and decided to have a little snack, she expected to see it all again—the cocktail of local anesthesia and painkillers makes your stomach a little sensitive, and adding food to the mix will only lead to nausea.
8 She Couldn’t Stay In Bed
Although C-sections are special for the parents waiting for their baby to arrive, for the nursing staff, it is like any other surgical procedure, and there are strict rules when it comes to making sure that the patient recovers as quickly as possible. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it is true that women are encouraged to get out of bed and walk around as soon as they are able to, as this helps recovery. The worst thing you can do is spend all your time lying in bed. Even celebs like J-Lo don’t get to ignore the doctors’ rules when it comes to the best way to recover!
7 She Wasn’t Keen On All Post C-Section Medication
C-sections are painful procedures, and your stomach will be sore for a long time after the surgery. Most women are happy to take all the painkillers offered to them, but J-Lo has admitted that after the birth of her twins, she wasn’t keen on taking the strong meds that she was offered, preferring instead to try and fight through the pain in order to stay awake and focused for her new babies. For many women, pain control is a hugely important part of recovering from a C-section, or birth in general. There is no wrong or right answer in this situation though, only what feels comfortable for you.
6 Nurses Had To Clean Her
Everyone has heard the tales of how messy it can get when you’re giving birth, and J-Lo probably thought that she was going to miss out on that when she had her twins delivered by C-section. What many women don’t realize is that C-sections are just as bloody and messy as normal births are, even after the wound has been stitched back up. All the internal trauma leaves your insides rather battered, bruised, and bleeding. And worst of all, J-Lo probably was in no fit state to clean herself up, leaving her to rely on a nurse to wash her unmentionables! That's right, celebrities have to go through that, too!
5 Her Wound Kept Itching
Recovery from a C-section can take weeks, but even then, the trauma isn’t over for many women. As we all know, wounds tend to itch when they are starting to heal. Well, imagine having a wound several inches across your tummy, which itches like crazy but is still tender to the touch. The docs are so focused on the woman’s health that they don’t really tend to warn you about the madness-inducing itching. No doubt J-Lo would have invested in the best creams and lotions money can buy to ease her suffering, but mere mortals can settle for Vitamin E cream.
4 The Slightest Move After The CS Was Agonizing
Rest and recuperation is very important when you are recovering from any surgery, and a C-section is no different. Of course, while J-Lo can afford an army of nannies to take care of her newborns, most moms just have to get up and get on with it! However, like most moms recovering from a C-section, J-Lo will have soon found out that lying in bed is not all it’s cracked up to be, as even the tiniest shift in position is agony. So, unless J-Lo laid entirely still the whole time she was recovering, she probably soon began to regret that no painkillers rule.
3 Her Limbs Swelled After The C-Section Procedure
Another side effect of the surgery that J-Lo might not have been warned about is just how much her limbs would swell up after the procedure was over and done with. For someone who makes a living from her looks (and her dancing moves), it must have been a shock to look in the mirror and see puffy ankles and swollen hands! However, this is perfectly normal after C-sections–after any surgery, in fact–and is simply a natural built-up fluid which gradually disappears over a few days. In fact, the more you can get out of bed and walk around, the better!
2 She Was Strapped On The Operation Table
Think of being strapped to hospital beds, and you tend to think of insane asylums in the movies. However, what many moms don’t realize is that they will be strapped to the table while their C-section is taking place. Let’s hope J-Lo had a good doctor, who explained the procedure thoroughly, though. Otherwise, she would have been in for a bit of a shock when she was wheeled into the operating theater! The straps are actually for the mom-to-be's own safety. Women are sedated during the surgery, and the last thing doctors want is flailing arms getting in their way while they’re trying to deliver a baby.
1 She Had A Guilty Conscience For Undergoing A C-Section
J-Lo has spoken honestly about her own fears about bonding with her babies and her experience of mild postpartum depression, and she is far from alone when it comes to C-section moms. Many fear that by not giving birth to their children “naturally,” they are somehow missing out on an important part of the birthing and bonding experience, when there is no evidence at all to suggest that this is the case. Babies born by C-section are just as happy and healthy as those delivered by the other exit, and as I’m sure J-Lo is busy finding out, it has no impact on their bond with their mothers.