Managing Anxiety About C-Section

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Depending on how women’s pregnancies progress, they may need to have a C-section. They can be planned, unplanned, or an emergency. But what all three have in common is that they can cause anxiety for the women that they are going to happen to.

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For some, the longer that they have to prepare for the C-section happening, the more anxiety they develop, something that is not healthy for pregnant women or their babies.

And this is why finding ways to manage anxiety about a C-section is so necessary, regardless if women have weeks or a shorter time to come to terms with the fact their babies will be born via C-section.


Because a C-section is major surgery, it makes sense that there would be some trepidation about the procedure before it happens. But there is a difference between having a bit of worry and full-blown anxiety.

Those who have worries can understand and address why they are worried and put those fears aside. Anxiety, on the other hand, according to Henry Ford Health is a long-lasting concern that impairs the ability to be able to normally function.

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That is why discussing the anxiety and getting to the root cause is so important before the time comes to have a C-section.

RELATED: What To Expect & How To Prepare Yourself For A C-Section

Here is how to manage anxiety about a C-section.

Talk To Doctor About Fears

The first thing that mothers-to-be should do is speak with their healthcare professionals about any anxiety they have surrounding their C-section, according to NorthShore University HealthSystem. This may be in the weeks leading up to the procedure or just before if it happens to be an emergency C-section.

Doctors should be able to tell pregnant women about why the procedure needs to be done, the risks associated with doing it, the risks associated with not having a C-section, what to expect with the procedure, and what recovery may be like.

When doctors are able to do this, women are likely to feel more comfortable about having a C-section, and their anxieties may be reduced, causing those expecting to be as mentally and physically healthy as possible before their C-section occurs.

Do Research

To help bring down the amount of anxiety being experienced by a C-section, pregnant women should do their research so that they know the ins and outs of the procedure.

That way, any questions that arise about the knowledge they gain can be addressed before the C-section happens. And instead of a C-section being a mystery of a surgery, there is knowledge about what happens with the prep, the procedure, and recovery of the C-section.

Obviously, this is not possible for moms having an emergency C-section. But that does not mean that questions cannot be asked ahead of time to have some base knowledge so that there is nothing to fear.

Try To Find The Source Of Anxiety

When dealing with the anxiety that has been brought on by having a C-section, women will want to get to the root cause so that the anxiety can be dealt with before the time for the C-section comes.

According to Healthlineways to find the source of anxiety include:

  • Writing in a journal
  • Speaking with a therapist
  • Be honest with the feelings and determine if they are being brought up by past issues

When pregnant women determine the root of their anxiety surrounding a C-section, they can work through it and hopefully get to a place before the procedure takes place where they are comfortable with the C-section happening.

Be Prepared For Recovery

Sometimes it is not the procedure itself but the recovery that is causing those expecting to have anxiety about the C-section. And an easy way to combat that is to be prepared for recovery.

According to WebMDways to be prepared for C-section recovery include:

  • Knowing the normal side effects of surgery
  • Know what common complications are from surgery
  • Know what the restrictions are during the six weeks of recovery
  • Prepare a place to sleep and for the baby to sleep, especially if there is more than one story to a home
  • Understand different breastfeeding positions
  • Have help in place and ready to go

When women take these steps to be prepared after a C-section, they are making it so that there is little to worry about once coming home. While there is no way to prepare for the unexpected, the more that can be prepared for the less anxiety there will be.

Know Who Will Be Helping At Home

Knowing who will be in the home as a support system in the days after a C-section occurs will go a long way to easing the anxiety that pregnant women have before their procedure.

Be it a spouse who is able to take paternity leave, a parent who can stay in the home to help, or even hired help such as a nurse or doula, having a support system in place is something that can reduce stress and ease anxiety for moms when it comes to having a C-section.

And when this happens, those expecting can just focus on the joy of their babies coming into the world being healthy and happy.

Keep The Eye On The Goal

At the end of the day, a C-section is still about bringing a baby into the world. This is something that women have been waiting nine long months to have happened.

As such, if pregnant women can keep their eye on the goal of meeting their babies when the procedure is over, it may help to alleviate any anxiety they are having about the time leading up to the C-section occurring, something that is healthy not only for them but their babies as well.

Source: Henry Ford Health, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Healthline, WebMD

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