What to Expect After a C-section (recovery)
It is important to remember that when you deliver a baby by C-section, it is considered major surgery. Your stay in the hospital will probably be about 3 days, depending on your reason for having the C-section. You may be in pain, but there are options you can take to control it.
Pain relief options
Your first pain relief will probably come in the form of an IV after your anesthesia wears off. Your IV will probably be removed within the first 24-48 hours and you will be encouraged to get up and go for a little walk with assistance. The walks will also help to prevent both constipation and blood clots. At this point, you will also be able to take a shower or sponge bath
After the IV is taken out, you will be given oral medications for pain. Your body will feel a normal fatigue because your it is using all of its energy to start to heal itself. While you are in the hospital, the amount of food you eat, how much you drink, and how active your bladder and bowels are, will all be monitored.
Risks to the mother after C-section
After your C-section, there are a few risks to think about and be monitored for.
These include the following:
- The lining of your uterus becoming infected and inflamed
- Losing too much blood after surgery
- Increased risk of bladder and kidney infection
- Constipation from the medication and/or surgery
- A fluid leak that goes around your spinal cord and into your back tissues, which will result in a headache
- Allergy reactions from the anesthesia
- Although rare, there may have to be an additional surgery to repair your bladder.
- There is also a chance you may develop blood clots in your pelvic area, legs, or lungs
Once you are home
- Have someone there that will be able to help you with your recovery
- Do not lift anything that is heavier than your baby. Rest, rest, rest
- Support your abdomen, especially when it comes to laughing, coughing, or sneezing
- Drink lots of liquids and empty your bladder often to reduce the risk of infection
- Be open with your partner about sex. Cuddle and hold each other, but abstain from sex for about 4-6 weeks
- Continue your hi-fiber diet to prevent getting constipated
You may feel post-partum depression. If you do start feeling overwhelmed, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. Ask for a visiting nurse or join a support group. Any one of these options are fine. The main thing is to talk to someone. You do not have to feel alone.
Just remember, you cannot do this recovery on your own. Find someone who can help you recover. And also, remember, that, because your C-section is a major surgery, it will take a little longer to recover. So it is necessary to be patient. Take the time to recover as your doctor allows. In the meantime, hold your new little angel and do some important bonding. Good luck.