1. A Caesarean section is major surgery

You’ll be given anesthesia to numb you during delivery, which can take some time to wear off. Possible complications of the procedure include infection or loss of excess blood.

2. It’s best to wait, if you can

If you choose to schedule a C-section, talk to your doctor about waiting until you’ve reached 39 weeks.

3. You can take meds to manage the pain during recovery

Ask your doctor about what you can take to ease your discomfort. Discuss options that are safe for the baby if you choose to breastfeed.

4. You might experience things you only thought happened after vaginal deliveries

Even though your baby didn’t pass through the birth canal, you may still have postpartum vaginal bleeding from the detachment of the placenta from your uterus. You may also experience constipation since your bowels might be disturbed during surgery. Fiber-rich foods, water and stool softeners are all good ways to get things moving again.

5. It’s important to take it easy after the delivery

Even though you’ll have more time to recover in the hospital than if you’d had a vaginal delivery, you still need to avoid moving around too much or lifting anything heavier than your baby when you’re home. Try to rest as much as you can.

6. You should tend to your incision daily

Avoid scrubbing that area in the shower. Call your doctor immediately if you notice signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, leaking discharge, a fever higher than 100.4, or increasing pain around your incision. You can use scar-reducing creams about six weeks after delivery.

7. You’re more likely to have a C-section with future pregnancies

Although it’s possible to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (known as a VBAC), it’s common to deliver by C-section again to avoid your scar reopening.