Caesarean section or C-section is a surgical procedure to deliver a baby through a cut in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. C-section could be a planned surgery or sometimes an emergency procedure depending on your and your baby’s health. Whether you have had a planned or an emergency caesarean, the recovery time will be longer than a vaginal birth. As with any surgery, there are certain precautions that you need to take, and your doctor or nurse will discuss appropriate medical care with you.
However, here are some general precautions and tips that will help you after a c-section:
1. Get Plenty of rest as recommended by your doctor. However, remember that you still need to try and walk. Just walking to the bathroom may seem impossible at first but moving around is important for your c-section recovery. It will help in circulation and make it much less likely that you’ll develop blood clots. It will also make your bowels less sluggish and help with gas, bloating and constipation. You will be encouraged to do some simple ankle exercises in the bed initially.
2. Avoid strenuous exercise but do take gentle walks as often as you can. American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists ( ACOG) recommends to start post-natal exercise after around 6-8 weeks post c-section post doctor approval. However, walking should be started much earlier.
3. Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby. Ask for help from your family member.
4. Use good maternity pads because the bleeding from the uterus will be the same as if you’d had a vaginal birth.
5. Wear loose/cotton clothes and cotton underwear for comfort and better aeration.
6.Whenever you have to sneeze or cough, hold your abdomen to protect the incision site.
7. Find the most comfortable position for breastfeeding. Ask for help from the nurse or lactation consultant about different feeding positions.
8. Avoid sex until your doctor gives approval and you feel comfortable, which can sometimes take several weeks.
9. It’s also important to get to the bathroom to urinate regularly. A full bladder makes it harder for the uterus to stay contracted and can increases pressure on the wound.
10. Good nutrition is just as important in the months after you deliver as it was while you were pregnant. Eating a variety of foods, including high fiber diet to prevent constipation.
11.. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. You need extra fluids, around 12 glasses of water a day to boost your breast milk supply and to avoid constipation.
12. Just as you take care of your physical health, don’t forget about your emotional health. Having a baby can bring up feelings you never expected. If you feel exhausted, sad, or disappointed, don’t ignore it. Talk about your emotions with a friend, your husband, family members etc.
13. Finally, try not to compare yourself to your friend or someone who have had a C-section. Every woman’s experience with this surgery is different. Focus on your own and give your body the time it needs to get back to normal.
Remember -if you have any of the symptoms noted below, you should immediately contact your doctor:
• Fever of over 100.4° F
• Severe headache that begins right after birth and does not let up in intensity
• Sudden onset of pain in the abdominal area, such as tenderness to touch or burning sensation
• Foul odour from vaginal discharge
• Sudden onset of pain in the incision area that can include a pus discharge
• Swollen, red, painful area in the leg
• Burning urination or blood in the urine
• Appearance of rash or hives
• Extremely heavy bleeding or the passing of large clots
• Sore, red, painful area on the breasts that may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms
• Feelings of anxiety, panic, and/or depression
Disclaimer: The is only for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.