New consumer survey reveals choice key to empowering Aussie mums to feel prepared for C-section delivery and post-op recovery  

May 27, 2021

 

Nearly half of mums who had undergone a C-section birth admitted to feeling unprepared for the procedure, unsure  of what to ask or how to have the conversation with their healthcare professional 

  • Recovery post-C-section of high importance to Aussie mums, yet many don’t discuss ahead of time: For the  majority (71%) of mums, post-C-section recovery was the most sought-after topic when doing their own  research in preparation for birth, yet more than a quarter (27%) said they didn’t know they could ask their  obstetrician about this topic.  
  • Gaps in knowledge and fear of judgement cause women to shy away from important conversations:  Although half (51%) of women said they were concerned about the remaining scar from a C-section, more  than a quarter admitted they didn’t raise it with their doctor, unaware that they could, and a further 14%  said they were concerned they would be judged for asking.  
  • Encouraging open dialogue on the procedure and recovery puts Aussie mums in the driver’s seat: The  majority (84%) of mums wished they had known more about the procedure and the recovery process, and  more than half (58%) would like to have a say in their wound closure. As a result, close to half (46%) said  they felt unprepared for their C-section.  

New research has revealed that C-section recovery and wound closure are key concerns for  expectant mums in Australia, yet many are not having these discussions with their obstetrician.  

A consumer survey commissioned by Johnson & Johnson Medical showed that for the majority (71%) of expectant  mums, post-C-section recovery is the most sought-after topic when doing their own research, followed by other  women’s experiences of C-section births (59%), complications, and side effects (56%), as well as scarring (44%).  

The survey also showed that the majority (84%) wished they had known more about the procedure and the  recovery process, and more than half (58%) would like to have a say in their wound closure. As a result, close to half  (46%) of women said they felt unprepared for their C-section.  

Reflecting on their experience, women believe that not having to manage dressing changes (33%) and worry about  their wound while it was healing would make the biggest difference to their recovery. Yet, there is a hesitancy  around discussing this with their obstetrician, with more than a quarter (27%) saying they didn’t know they could. 

Dr James Orford, obstetrician and gynaecologist said: “Preparing for birth can be daunting for expectant mothers, no matter your choice of delivery. Encouraging an open dialogue around what to expect and the choices available  will help empower women to feel more in control and prepared for the delivery of their baby and the recovery  journey.” 

Despite seeing an obstetrician, close to two-thirds (58%) of mums said they received most of their information  regarding C-section births from a variety of sources, including midwives (19%), as well as other healthcare  professionals (10%) and family (10%). 

For women considering a C-section, half (51%) said they were concerned about the remaining scar. More than a  quarter admitted they didn’t raise this with their doctor, unaware that they could, and a further 14% said they were  scared they would be judged for asking. 

“Even though many mums-to-be don’t always raise the topic of scarring with their obstetrician, we know it’s one of  the biggest concerns when it comes to C-section delivery – it’s the second-highest topic searched online following C section over the past five years.i

“This is why a discussion providing choice, clarity, and consideration around wound closure options and scarring should be encouraged for every woman. Technology and wound closure techniques have advanced significantly in  the last few years, and women now have a choice. Each wound closure technique, whether it be stitches, staples, or  glue, affects recovery, post-op care, and the size of the scar. That’s why it’s important for women to be a part of the  decision-making process,” said Dr Orford.