Whether you’re booked in for a caesarean or you just want to prepare yourself for what could be to come, it’s important to mentally gear yourself up for what delivery day may look like. The most important thing to remember is that a safe delivery with a healthy baby and mother are the end goals.

Here, we give you all the inside information on C-sections that you need to know so you know exactly what to expect.

1. Your ability to bond with your baby is the same as if you had a vaginal birth

GP Michelle Groves says you’ll still be able to feel that amazing connection with your baby, but you might need some additional help.

“After a C-section, the mother will have some pain in her lower abdomen, which can reduce mobility,” she explains.

“But the majority of new mums will be up and about within an hour of the C-section and the midwife will always be on hand to help with lifting the baby to help with nursing.”

Midwives will help you have skin to-skin contact with your baby, help with latching on and breastfeeding, as well as helping you to get up and moving appropriate for your recovery. If you have a spinal block, you can expect to be in bed for around 24 hours.

2. The post-caesarean recovery time in hospital is not as long as it used to be

Michelle says, “Generally, three to five days is the average length of stay after having a C-section.”

It was not uncommon for women 20 or 30 years ago to be bedridden for up to a week.

“We have advances in medical and surgical treatments to thank for reducing our spell in hospital,” she says.

3. There has been a rise in the trend of ‘maternal-assisted’ caesareans

This is when the mother helps to deliver the baby by lifting it out herself. If you want to do this, you’ll have to be sterilised and ‘scrub in’ like the surgeons, but it still carries a high risk of infection for your incision.

Let’s face it: getting involved in your own C-section is not for the faint-hearted.

If you get a chance to talk to your anaesthetist – which you will for a planned caesarean – ask if they can lower the screen so you can watch your baby being delivered.

4. Feeling very cold or shaking uncontrollably after a caesarean is harmless, and quite normal

Sharking after a C-section usually only lasts a couple of hours post-birth, but it can be scary if you’re not expecting it. It may be a result of the anaesthetic and it quite common. Don’t be afraid to ask the medical staff if you need reassurance.

5. You can breastfeed straightaway!

“Provided the baby comes out in good condition, he can be put on the mother’s breast pretty much as soon as he is delivered,” says obstetrician Dr Gino Pecoraro.

“Mum can cuddle and get the baby to nuzzle her breast and suck while the doctor is continuing with the surgery.”

Modern medicine is pretty cool, right?