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by Gemma Pesce

C Section Awareness – Gemma's Story

The first cut is the deepest, or so the saying goes. However I have had two caesarean sections and the second was the hardest recovery.

April is International caesarean Awareness Month, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share my birth stories and top recovery tips.

My first son Riley was born by emergency C Section at 36 weeks after my waters broke at 35 weeks. I have no photos of the moment Riley was born and I was asleep for most of the day so only got to hold him later that evening. Everything about the birth felt rushed and I lost out on those first few precious hours with my son. We were then in hospital for 10 days in neonatal and it was hard being on my own with a new baby and recovering from a major operation.

With my second son Myles I had some pregnancy complications and given my fears from my first labour I decided to opt for an Elective C Section. My consultant supported my decision and I was booked in at 39 weeks. I packed my hospital bag and arrived excitedly knowing I would see my son in a few hours. As soon as I arrived I changed into a gown and all the staff came to introduce themselves and put me at ease.


Not going to lie, it’s not how I remembered from my first section, it was worse. I think because I didn’t have any pain relief I was fully aware of what was going on around me and I knew what was going to happen. But I had my husband there holding my hand and I had a music playlist, an acoustic version of ‘you are my sunshine’ by Jasmine Thompson was playing the moment he was born. It took 10 minutes from the first cut to Myles being born, how amazing is that and I got a video of him making his appearance.


So bearing in mind I had major surgery at 2.30pm, I was sent home at 9am the next day. I had to walk to the car and I was in agony, my midwife visited me and sent me to bed as I was quite sick from the medication and I didn’t look well at all. Just sitting on the sofa and getting into bed was painful, but I was lucky I had my husband at home to do everything for me and the boys. Being at home I wanted to do stuff so my recovery probably took longer because I would do the odd thing and I was walking up and down the stairs. I would say it took 5 weeks for me to fully recover from the surgery, I don’t think my mum pouch (the overhang left by the cut) will ever recover but it reminds me of my precious boys I brought into this world.

My top tips for a C Section Recovery are:

  1. Take all the help offered, get as much rest as possible
  2. Wear big knickers – Bridget Jones Style
  3. Keep your scar clean and dry, don’t shower too often as you can develop a sweat rash
  4. Keep hydrated – lucozade was my go to drink (obvs yorkshire tea too)
  5. Stay positive – remember it’s a major operation and you need to allow your body to recover.

Thank you for reading, head over to my Instagram page to see a video of the moment Myles was born 

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