C-section and Recovery – what you should know about cesarean section

C-section and Recovery

* Last Updated 24.03.2020

Cesarean delivery is a procedure in which a birth doctor delivers the baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus rather than through the vagina. Usually, C-sections occur when a vaginal birth is risky to mother or child health. But sometimes C-sections occur at the mother’s request without addressing a medical problem. The number of cesarean deliveries increased over the last decade.

During the C-section, the birth doctor, or obstetrician, cuts across the abdomen and womb while the mother is under anesthetic. Еpidural or spinal anesthesia is commonly used, but rare general anesthesia. When used epidural or spinal anesthesia, the lower half of the body will remain pain-free despite the mother not being fully unconscious, but sometimes they may experience a tugging or pulling sensation. You may feel nothing or may feel some pressure, but it shouldn’t be painful. Normally the cut is between 10 and 20 centimeters in length. The incision is very low and it is not going to show in your underwear. Also, it fades very nicely after time. When the baby is born, the doctor will remove the placenta and will stitch you up. And you should be able to hear and see your baby. The entire procedure should take about 45 minutes to an hour but is major surgery, so you shouldn’t take it lightly.

 

C-section and Recovery – what you should know about cesarean section

 

C-section can be planned or emergency

If you have planned C-section you will know the date and will not even go into labor. With the emergency C-section few of the details are different – mostly the speed and anesthesia. Usually, during a planned C-section the doctor can deliver the baby in 10-15 minutes. But during an emergency C-section this may take 2-4 minutes, because the speed may be necessary in some cases. And depends on the situation, but general anesthesia is often used in emergency C-sections.

Causes of planned cesarean may be:

– If the mother had a c-section in the past

– Multiple gestations, such as twins or triplets

– The baby isn’t in a head-down position

– Problems with the placenta

– Infection or another medical condition that may vaginal birth risky

– If the mother has complicating conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes

Some of the causes of an emergency cesarean section may be:

Not progressing labor

– The fetus experiences an emergency or severe health concern

– The baby is very large

– If the mother has a contagious virus that a vaginal birth would transmit to the baby

Cesarean section can also happen at the mother’s request. The reasons for that decision may be a fear of pain and anxiety about vaginal delivery or previous experience.

Risks of C-section

Some of the risks that C-section has for the mother are: blood loss, blood clots, wound infection and adverse reactions to anesthesia or medication. And risks to the baby include surgical injury and breathing difficulties.

 

Recovery after a C-section

Right after the surgery you will be moved to a recovery area. There the nurses will monitor your condition – blood pressure, heart rate, bleeding. They will support you in all you need. Also, it will help you to stand up some hours after the surgery. This is important for your body and faster recovery. At some point they will remove your catheter too. When you are stable, you will be moved to a hospital room, where you will spend the next days. For the first 3-4 days walking is difficult. You may need help in the first 2 days. It is possible to have constipation and back pain too. The incision will be painful at first, but it will get better very soon.

Your healthcare provider will recommend restricting physical activity on returning home. It is recommended for mothers to avoid exercises, lifting heavy objects, placing anything in the vagina or having sex in about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Usually when the bleeding stops you will start to return to normal routines. This is the same as vaginal delivery. In the beginning you don’t need much pressure on your abdomen, so be careful about what you wear. During my pregnancy I wore wedges for pregnant women – very comfortable. I also used them after birth.

The regular advice after C-section is to rest as much as possible, to not drive for about two weeks and to not lifting anything heavier than the baby. So, take it easy and take your time. Everyone is different and needs a different time to recover. Don’t push yourself, you will feel better soon. The full recovery after a C-section takes 4 to 8 weeks. And this is the time the body needs to recover from the surgery. But, they say that it takes a woman’s body 18 months to recover after pregnancy. And this is the time when the body restores all processes regardless of the way of birth.

In the first ten days after we got back from the hospital, we were mostly home. It was enough for me to get back up and go out for a short walk with the baby. About a month after childbirth, I was feeling good and going out for more time. Оn the advice of my homeopath, for a quicker recovery of the body after the cesarean section, I took an arnica montaina every day, one week before and one week after birth.
And I’m very satisfied with it, so I recommend it to you too. It can be used before and after any operation for quicker recovery.

 

guide for new moms printable checklists

Tips for faster recovery after c-section:

– Take time to sit with your baby

– Rest when you feel tired

– Drink plenty of water

– Eat well – it is good for you and your baby if you breastfeeding

– If you have troubles with breastfeeding and need help contact a breastfeeding consultant

Use a nursing pillow – very useful thing and will safe your back, neck, and hands

Use a pregnancy belt or tightening lingerie

Use cocoa and coconut oil to restore the skin – when the incision heats up after surgery, you can mix pure cocoa butter and pure coconut oil to smear for your belly and the area around the incision. It helps for faster skin recovery. I mix them in roughly equal proportions.

 

And remember, taking care of yourself after having a C-section is just as important as taking care of your baby. Allow yourself to take it easy and rest whenever possible. But if you have any concerns about your health call your doctor.

Related:

Storing Breast Milk – guidelines for the proper storage of breast milk

Breast pumps – what do we need to know and how to choose the best breast pump

Best Nipple Creams – how to deal with painful nipples during breastfeeding

 

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