As a nurse I have found that many women come in to the hospital expecting a vaginal birth and feel unprepared when they end up with a c-section. For obvious reasons (such as fear) they avoided education on this surgery because they felt it would never happen to them.
The average cesarean rate in the United States is 33% and sadly this rate is rising. Preparing for a healthy surgery and positively moving on after the experience is important for emotional and physical healing. The key to healing is a complete willingness to go through the procedure. But who is really prepared to let themselves be cut open? Who can “let go” that easily?
Obviously, people feel ambivalence or vulnerability when it comes to surgery. If you have had a c-section (or any surgery) in the past old memories may resurface, especially if you were not completely comfortable with the procedure. The body is able to store these memories in the tissues themselves. Emotions may arise later such as grief, loss, and depression. It is just as important to heal on the energetic level after a surgery as the physical level.
Even if you had a surgery years ago you can heal the area energetically. If you know you are having a c-section, have had one in the past, or want to be spiritually and emotionally prepared for one – here are some tips. This information is applicable to any surgery. The book, Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster: A Guide to Mind Body Techniques by Peggy Huddleston is packed full of information for healing after surgery and preparing for one. This guide has been implemented into hospitals all over the U.S. and is clinically proven to decrease pain, blood loss, and increase the recovery process. Benefits of the program include: feeling calmer, use of 25 to 50 percent less pain medication, strengthening the immune system, and saving money on medical bills.
The steps are simple (and sometimes obvious) yet no one I know has ever actually taken the time to spiritually prepare, which is disappointing. That is why this book is so important!
1. Relax to Feel Peaceful
Learn how to go into deep relaxation or meditation. This will help improve the immune system, central nervous system, and decrease anxiety.
Did you know that about 85% of medical problems are associated with stress or unresolved tension or emotional issues in the body! You can buy CDs on this or use my personal favorite type of mediation – Vipassana.
2. Visualize Your Healing
Visualize your ideal surgical outcome, find yourself filled with peace, surrounded by healing light, and in a calm environment.
3. Organize a support group
Do you have someone to go into surgery with you and support after through the recovery process? Lose the idea that you are superwoman and can do everything yourself, cause after surgery you will need to be able to receive from others.
4. Meet your Anesthesiologist
Establish yourself as a patient when you enter the hospital. Get to know them and their values. Even if you are not planning on having an epidural or a surgery the anesthesiologist should know your medical history and preferences.
5. Use Healing Statements
Here are four healing statements that the surgeon, anesthesiologist, or nurse should say before surgery (and no it is not odd to ask them to do this – do not get embarrassed). Research has shown that using healing statements reduces complications, healing time, and decreases pain! When your consciousness feels safe your body will too.
Before the operation:
- “Following the operation you will feel comfortable and you will heal very well.” (repeat 5 times)
Following the operation:
- “Your operation has gone very well.” (repeat 5 times)
- “Following the operation you will be hungry for _____ . You will be thirsty and urinate frequently.” (repeat 5 times)
- “Following this operation ______ (ask your surgeon to fill in a list of positive predications and outcomes).”
6. Use proper supplements to speed the healing process
Always check with your doctor on taking supplements or alternative remedies, especially if you are on medications. You can start taking most of these a week to a month before your surgery to boost your immune system and continue postoperatively. It is best to get as much as you can through natural food sources for absorption.
- Vitamin A to boost the immune system – recommended amount is 25,000 IU a day (unless pregnant).
- Vitamin C for collagen synthesis and wound healing – recommended amount is 2,000 mg per day.
- Bromelain helps prevent bruising and relieves swelling- recommended dose is 1,000 mg per day.
- Vitamin E oil can be applied to the incision area after the surgical dressing is removed to reduce scarring postoperatively (check with your doctor for contradictions).
- Homeopathy such as Arnica Montana 30 X (3-4 pellets twice daily) for swelling and pain. -Chinese Herbal Medicine! Find a local practitioner.
7. Prepare a unique prayer for surgery
Come up with a list of items that are important for your healing process. This prayer can be repeated by and your family. Some ideas to pray for: a skilled surgery team, your body’s response, easy wake up, reduced nausea, smooth recovery, bowel movements, your spirit, release of surgery scars imprinted into the body and returning to regular functioning.