Recovery from childbirth is full of mood swings, tenderness in many parts of the body and extreme exhaustion. And, when the woman has also had to undergo a c-section to deliver the baby, she will have to go through the recovery of major surgery as well. Women who had a planned c-section may be prepared for the recovery process, but those who had expected a vaginal delivery may not fully understand what to expect after the birth.
A woman who has had a c-section delivery will stay in the hospital for three to five days depending on how well she is healing. She will be encouraged to get up walking as soon as possible to prevent blood clots that are a risk after surgery. Walking can also help to get rid of the gas that builds up after surgery and when lying in bed.
The abdomen will be sore and should be supported with something firm like a pillow when sitting up, sneezing, laughing or doing anything that requires using those muscles. A woman will be instructed not to lift anything heavier than her baby for up to six weeks while the incision heals.
When she goes home, she will likely be given a prescription for more pain killers to be taken for about a week until over the counter medications can be used. She will also need a stool softener to prevent constipation.
The incision will be tender for a few weeks, but will get a little better each day. She should monitor it to make sure there is no oozing or redness indicating possible infection. There will be vaginal discharge the same as in a vaginal delivery that can last up to six weeks.
The recovery from a cesarean section will take time, but each woman will be different in her healing. Taking time to rest and recover from major surgery is important to remember when caring for a new baby. Asking for help is vital – and following the doctor’s orders will ensure that the recovery goes smoothly.