Last updated on April 27th, 2021
Childbirth, whether it is a C-section or vaginal birth, is taxing on the body. The body needs time to recover. However, a Caesarean delivery or the C-section entails a more extended recovery period. It also requires more outstanding 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 discomfort. You will feel dazed and exhausted. You may also feel nauseated. Nausea will not last more than 48 hours. If you experience a lot of discomforts, you should inform your doctor. He will administer medications to reduce pain.
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 postpartum pain relief.
The incision is the most essential 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 expected 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.
Like every other woman who has just developed, you will suffer postpartum 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 the 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 and 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 for 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 more extended hospital stay. Women are usually discharged after 3-5 days. After that, 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 support 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.