Recovering from a C-Section

November 12, 2012

Recovering from a C-Section

The C – section recovery takes place over a number of stages. The length of time you will be in recovery can vary from two to four hours. It depends on the type of anesthesia you were given – regional or general. If it was a general anesthesia you were given it may be you feel nauseous, wake from sleep often or return to sleep.

What to expect in the Recovery Room

To help with the C – section recovery process it is best to move about as quickly as possible.

Pain is expected after this surgery. The less pain you have the quicker your C – section recovery will be. After a regional anesthetic you may have received pain relief before the epidural catheter was removed and this can last for 24 hours. Some women are given a pump on their IV which allows pain relief to be released when the pump unlocks. Normally these pumps are used in the first 24 hours. Some of the medications may affect the breast milk. So talk to the medical team to find the best form of relief which will suit you and the baby.

Many women report the thought of taking their first walk after a s-section operation as being frightening. Some women have reported doing the following to help when walking.

  • When you start to walk ask for help.

  • Try not to look down. Keep looking straight at the object you are trying to reach, e.g. the bathroom or chair.

  • Stand up straight and try not to lean forward

  • Walk often even if it is only small steps.

  • Hold a pillow over your incision.

After surgery it is essential to start walking as soon as possible. This helps in the prevention of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). If you are not able to walk the medical staff may suggest you wear compressions boots to reduce the risk of DVT.

The Incision

Checking your incision is an important part of the C – section recovery process. On the first day it could be covered by gauze and have drains placed to remove any fluid which may be gathering. Staples and stitches will be noticeable as will bruises, irritation and redness of the skin. The stitches may dissolve or they may have to be removed after a couple of days. Because you have looked at the incision you will be able to let your doctor know if any changes occur which may result in an infection. ItÂ’s common to experience itching and numbness which should disappear within a couple of weeks.

C-Section Recovery Guide

Sleep and rest are extremely important after the birth of a baby. But when you consider the surgical operation it is even more important to sleep and rest when you can. Take the help offered from friends and family. Ask the hospital staff to keep visitors to the minimum.

Your Baby After a Cesarean

It may be your baby requires some special care. Should this be the case, ask for your bed or wheelchair to be taken to the nursery as soon as you are fit enough. There is no reason why you should not be able to hold your baby if the medical staff are happy with the progress of both of you.

Breastfeeding can be carried out after a cesarean. Placing the baby in position could prove awkward because of the incision. Speak with a specialized breast feeding nurse or lactation consultant to get tips on feeding.

Emotions after a Cesarean

Emotions will be running high for the first few days after the birth. Along with being a new mommy you may have feelings and emotions about the cesarean birth. Beforehand you may have worried something was not right with your baby or yourself. These feelings may have turned into relief. Disappointment may be an emotion you experience because the birth did not go the way you had planned. All of this is absolutely normal. All the questions you are seeking answers to may be found by speaking with your partner, the doctor, midwife and nurses. There is no right or wrong way to give birth to a baby. And whatever way the baby is born, cesarean or labor, emotional and physical support must be offered.


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