Having twins is quite a challenge, and having a cesarean is a bit intimidating – when you combine the two, it can seem doubly daunting! But there’s plenty you can do to prepare, and also lots of things that can help you in your recovery.
C-Section Twins: What to Expect
Plenty of twins are born by cesarean section. If your c-section is planned, you will arrive at the hospital on the chosen day just like you would for any other planned surgery. You’ll be given a special anaesthetic that numbs the lower part of your body but allows you to stay awake for the birth. A screen will be set up across your middle so you won’t be able to see anything what’s happening, but the doctors and nurses will keep you in the loop. Although you’ll be numbed, you might be able to feel some pulling.
Most c-sections don’t take that long, even with twins – the most time-consuming bits of the procedure are before and after the babies come out, so an extra baby doesn’t add more than a few minutes of extra time. Your surgery might take less than an hour, or it might take a couple of hours, but probably not much more. Once your first baby is born, a nurse will probably hand it to your partner while the second baby is on its way. You’ll get to see and hold both babies for a minute before the team finish the surgery.
C-Section with Twins Recovery
After your c-section, you and your babies will probably spend a few days in hospital before heading home. You’ll have a certain amount of pain after the surgery, so make sure you take advantage of any painkillers that are offered, even if you’re feeling all right at that moment. The staff will offer them to you at regular intervals, so you won’t need to keep track of it yourself.
You can eat or drink as soon as you feel ready, and in fact it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water right after, but you might have a catheter in place for at least the first few hours after the surgery. It’s also a good idea to start walking around a little bit as soon as the doctor says you can, but don’t overdo it. Make sure you’ve brought some comfortable but supportive clothing to wear during your stay.
Don’t feel stressed if you need lots of rest. If the staff offer to take your baby away for a bit so you can sleep, let them. You’ll have tons of time to bond when you get home, and making a good start on your recovery will help a lot later on.
1. What can you do after a C-Section?
Once you’re home from the hospital, you should be able to safely hold and carry one of your babies at a time, but make sure you get lots of help and support, and make sure that your partner understands that you are recovering from major surgery and will need them to take care of the things you can’t manage. If you have family and friends who can help out, see if you can have an extra adult around whenever your partner’s not there for the first several weeks – while you’re figuring out your new routine, having one adult per baby can be really helpful, even if all they do is hold one for a few minutes while you change the other.
It’s also a good idea to do some very gentle activity, like a short daily walk. This can help reduce the risk of blood clots. Only do as much as you feel comfortable with.
2. How Soon Can You Drive After a C-Section?
Driving after cesarean surgery is doubly important when you have twins – there’s twice as much stuff to carry around, twice as many medical appointments to get to, and double the need for things to be straightforward and convenient. It can feel frustrating having to wait, but you shouldn’t drive again until you feel comfortable and ready. For lots of new mums, this takes around six weeks, but don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or midwife for advice if you’re not sure.
3. How Soon Can You Exercise After a C-Section?
It depends on the type of exercise, your general health, and the speed of your recovery. You should check with your doctor before you get back to doing anything strenuous – including in the bedroom – but you’ll generally want to wait at least several weeks before doing anything more than carrying your babies, small amounts of very light housework, and the occasional walk.