Childbirth, whether it is a C-section or a vaginal birth, is taxing on the body. The body needs time to recover. However, a Caesarean delivery or the C-section entails a longer recovery period. It also needs greater care as it is a surgical procedure.
This article dispenses valuable tips to speed up recovery after a C-section. It includes tips on in-hospital and at-home care. Read on to know more.
Once the epidural wears off, you will experience the discomfort. You will feel dazed and exhausted. You may also feel nauseated. The nausea will not last more than 48 hours. If you experience a lot of discomfort, you should inform your doctor. He will administer medications to reduce discomfort.
Pain is another issue. Patients may experience intense pain during the first 24-48 hours. Modern day epidurals are made to offer post-operation pain relief. In addition to this, you will be given systemic medication (pills, shots or IV) for post partum pain relief.
The incision is the most important aspect of recovery in a C-section. The cut is small and located just above the bikini line. It will look puffy and dark. The wound should be kept clean and dry. You can shower, but make sure you pat the wound dry. When coughing, sneezing or breathing, hold a pillow over the incision. It will support the stomach and reduce pain.
Healing will bring along an itching sensation in and around the incision area. Some women also experience numbness in the area for the first few days. It is normal as the superficial nerves have been cut. As the wound heals you should watch out for skin reddening, swelling, increased pain, drainage or fever. These are indications of an infection. Call your doctor immediately.
Post Partum Issues
Like every other woman who has just developed you will suffer post partum issues- vaginal bleeding, engorged breasts and mood swings.
The heaviness and discomfort in the breasts will be relieved as soon as you start breastfeeding your baby. The pain of the incision may make it uncomfortable to breastfeed initially. You should consult a lactation consultant or a nurse on proper latch techniques and best nursing positions for both you and your baby.
You will also experience heavy vaginal discharge. It is called Lochia. It is bright red in color an consists of blood, dead lining tissue discarded by the uterus, bacteria and other refuse material. The nurse will monitor the amount of vaginal discharge. The vaginal bleeding will continue a couple of weeks (almost 6) and reduce gradually. It will go from bright red to pink to yellow to white. Use sanitary napkins and not tampons.
The best tip to recover from a C-section is to start moving about as soon as possible. You should start moving around the next day after the surgery. This will prevent stiffness of the muscles. It improves blood circulation and prevents the chances of blood clots. Moving around will also help relieve the problem of gas and bloating after delivery. Walk short distances with the assistance of the nurse or a family member.
Unlike vaginal births, C-sections require a longer hospital stay. Women are usually discharged after 3-5 days. Thereafter, you will be put on prescription pain killers for at least a week.
Once home from the hospital, women need proper bed rest. You should wait at least 6 weeks to resume your daily activities. Avoid lifting anything heavy. Do not perform strenuous activities such as aerobic exercise, cycling, weight lifting and jogging. It exerts a lot of pressure on the abdominal muscles.
You will need extra help. Ask your parents or in-law if they could come over and stay with you for the first few weeks. If not possible hire paid help for the first few weeks.
You should schedule an appointment with your doctor in case of foul smelling discolored discharge, pain and burning sensation when urinating, feeling like using the bathroom often but passing only small amounts of dark colored urine.