Did they make you lay flat after spinal?

After my previous c/s, the nurse in recovery told me that because of the spinal, i had to lay flat for 8 hours or i would likely get a spinal headache.  

 Was this your experience?  I am concerned about the next one b/c it greatly interfered with getting a good start at breastfeeding.  I was basically unable to really give it a good try until after those 8 hours because breasteeding flat on your back is almost impossible for a ftm.  I tried rolling on my side to b/f so i was still flat but it hurt too much.  We had a huge uphill battle establishing a breastfeeding relationship bc of this.

 Were you allowed to put the head of the bed up part way within an hour or two of surgery?

Since googling, it seems to me that IF you get a spinal headache, THEN you have to lie flat to alleviate it.  At the same time, i originally had an epidural that clotted off before my emergency c/s, and when they went to re-do it, it took several tries over what seemed like a half an hour before thay gave up and just did a spinal.  Im thinking now, maybe the nurse then expected me to have a spinal headache since the anesthesiologist did such a bad job.  Maybe she was trying to save me the trouble of a headache without saying the guy did a bad job. 

 I am just hoping i'll be able to sit up a little so the baby and i have an easier start at nursing this time.   

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Re: Did they make you lay flat after spinal?

  • I didn't have to lie flat at all.
  • I had a spinal for my c section and only needed to recover for 2to3 hrs after. I was not lying flat either. My LO was rushed to the NICU after birth and because if his condition I was not able to breast feed until almost 24 hours later. This did not interfere with our ability to BF like I thought it would. I would still question the 8 hr flat on your back tho!
  • There must be a specific reason they had you do this as its not normal. you do not need to lay flat for hours after a normal c section. I assume something with your original epidural caused an issue? DH is an anesthesiologist and I've never heard of such a thing unless you've already been wet tapped which means you already have the spinal headache. I doubt you'll have this problem again but I would call up and go over it with them to find out what to expect.

  • They moved my bed up an inch every half hour or something like that. I have no idea the actual distance or time, but they did move me.
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  • They didn't make me lie flay at all, except during the c-section itself, of course :)
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  • This scares me too!  I had an epi in when they decided I needed an emergency C-section with DD and breast fed her in the recovery room. I wondered if I would get an epi or a spinal with my RCS. I came on here and asked about it and felt better with some of the responses I got. I would probably get a spinal, it wears off quickly I was told. I am hoping for good result this time around :)
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  • 3 spinals for 3 different csections with 3 different doctors and I never had to lay flat for 8 hours. Never even heard of this till now.
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  • Thanks everybody, I feel so relieved!  

     The nurse that told me that in recovery must have either been misinformed or, like I said, really expected me to get the headache because of all the failed attempts by the anesthesiologist (she was there in my surgery too, and saw it all).  She was really new to the job...not sure how much L&D experience she had, so maybe she just mixed up her info.


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  • I didn't lay flat.  I just had to stay in bed long enough for it to wear off.  Once I could feel my feet, I walked around the hospital floor.  (They want you to walk at least one round each day at my hospital.)  I don't remember a headache at all.
  • image HattieDornbush:
    I didn't have to lie flat at all.

    This.  The nurse put the head of my bed up as soon as I got into recovery.  Once I was situated, I breastfed DS.

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  • nola78nola78
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    I didn't have to lie flat either.  I was sitting up in recovery and then they moved me to a chair later that day.  I didn't have any issues with a spinal headache.
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  • WhitWedWhitWed
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    Nope. I was laid flat for surgery, but once I was in recovery I was upright and learning to breastfeed (this was less than an hour after surgery).  Even when sleeping, I had the option to tilt my bed upright and preferred it at an angle rather than flat.  I did not get a headache during any of my hospital stay.  I'm guessing that may be their personal hospital policy possibly due to an incident or complaint.
  • Agree fully. I've had 2 cesareans and have never heard of having to lay flat after surgery. I was breast feeding an hour after my first cesarean while in recovery.
  • Wow.  I hope that nurse I had has since gotten her information correct, for the sake of all the other mamas!
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  • When you puncture the epidural space you can leak spinal fluid which in turn causes a spinal headache. Laying flat for a period of time helps the hole heal. This is not uncommon. I have 12 years Radiology under my belt, so I speak with medical credentials. And I actaully have had a spinal headache......worst headache ever!!!
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  • Due to complications I had to have a csection on may 1st and because I lost so much blood before and during I had to stay laying in recovery for 10 hrs. I was pretty happy not to get that headache. I hear its terrible. And trust me, after this surgery you don't want to deal with something else too.
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