You鈥檙e all about natural childbirth. You鈥檝e read the books, the blogs and everything else you can get your hands on, and you鈥檙e totally prepared. But things don鈥檛 always go as planned 鈥 especially when we鈥檙e talking childbirth. Even the best-prepped mama-to-be can end up needing (or wanting) a C-section. It happens, and it鈥檚 going to be okay. Now鈥檚 the time to expand your childbirth-ed repertoire and learn a thing or two about Cesareans.

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1. Pics are allowed. At least, in most cases. If your C-section is planned or there aren鈥檛 other complications, your S.O. (or support person) can comfort you in the OR. That means you鈥檝e got your very own built-in paparazzi with you! Okay, so there are parts of a Cesarean that you may not want to capture forever. It is an operation, after all 鈥 you may not exactly want to livestream the birth on FB. But it鈥檚 entirely alright to have someone snap a few shots of junior immediately after birth.

2. You鈥檒l need recovery-room time. After leaving the OR, you鈥檒l be whisked away on a no-expenses-paid trip to鈥 the recovery room! It鈥檚 likely that you鈥檒l spend two to three hours there while the nursing staff keeps tabs on your vitals (such as blood pressure, breathing rate and pulse). Don鈥檛 worry about being away from your newborn. As long as everything went smoothly, your baby (and your support person) can hang with you in recovery. Keep in mind that if your baby needs further evaluation, they may need to spend some time away from you or in the NICU.

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3. A major meal might not happen right away. You spent 20 hours in labor, only to find out that you needed a C-section. As you labored along, dreams of quesadillas smothered in hot sauce and your honey鈥檚 famous homemade salsa danced through your head. But ice chips were it for you. Now that you鈥檝e had your C-section, you鈥檙e ready for a five-course meal. Hold on: Your doc may put you on a liquid-only diet (think Jell-O and soup broth) for the next day or so. Once you鈥檝e got the medical all clear, you鈥檒l finally be able to feast on that daydream meal.

4. You鈥檒l still need maxi pads. You already knew that vaginal delivery would leave you needing these super-absorbers, but during a C-section the baby comes out of your abdomen. This may (wrongly) lead you to believe that pads are now non-necessities. For the last nine months, you鈥檝e gotten to oh-so-gloriously skip your period, but now your uterus has to shrink and shed. It won鈥檛 matter where the baby comes out of: Your body will need to adjust. Expect this bleeding to continue for up to six weeks postpartum. (And you鈥檒l def need to use pads instead of tampons.)

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5. There鈥檚 a longer hospital stay. Give birth vaginally, and they鈥檒l street you within 48 hours (provided no postpartum problems creep up). C-sections typically require a longer hospital visit. You did have surgery, right? It鈥檚 likely that you鈥檒l need to stay in the hospital for at least 72 hours (that鈥檚 three days) after your baby is born.

6. C-sections are fairly common. Nearly a third of all deliveries in the US are C-sections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That鈥檚 well over a million Cesarean births each year, putting you in good company.

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7. You get to stay awake. Long gone are the Mad Men-esque days when Mom got knocked out and cut open and woke up to a brand-new baby. Unless there鈥檚 a medical reason for you to be put under, the anesthesiologist will just give you a spinal block, numbing your body from the waist down. This allows you to stay awake for the entire procedure. Don鈥檛 worry about the ick factor: The docs will drape a sheet in front of the incision area so that you don鈥檛 have to watch the not-so-pleasant parts.

8. You had a baby like a champ. There鈥檚 no reason to feel like you failed just because you didn鈥檛 push that baby out on your own. Even if that was the original plan, the important thing is that both you and your newborn are healthy 鈥 if a C-section is what allows this to happen, so be it. Whether your baby comes out of you vaginally or via a surgical incision, you鈥檙e still a mama. And that鈥檚 what you need to be proud of!

What鈥檚 your biggest C-section worry? Share it with us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)