Faster C-Section Recovery Tips
I have had 2 emergency c-sections and expecting my third (planned) in September!
Where to start with this post?
Well, let me start with this… I went into labour with my son in August 2016. It was a long labour a total of 16 hours, 3 of those spent pushing before they decided that he was not going to come naturally and so opted for an emergency c-section. I was in so much pain and extremely tired from pushing that I really did not care at that point how my son was delivered, I just wanted him out and in my arms! 10 months later I went into labour 3 weeks early with my daughter, my waters started leaking and due to the complications during my first labour they decided that an emergency c-section would be for the best, so there I went again!
My experiences of c-sections has been mostly good. I was pretty much back to my normal (maybe more tired) self within a week. So here is how I managed to get back to some normality within a week after my c-sections.
Everyone says rest when you can, and this is some good advice. However, too much rest after a c-section will not help you in the long run. I was eager to get up and about as soon as my spinal block had worn off in the hospital, I’m incapable of sitting still for too long! You’ve just had your stomach muscle cut through and a baby pulled out, and you still need to use these muscles, even though it hurts like hell, so that you don’t end up with muscle wastage. So yes I rested, but I did potter around the house when my newborn was settled.
No heavy lifting
I mean seriously don’t hover, or if you have older children don’t pick them up. Sure let them cuddle you but try not to pick them up. I picked my 10 month old son up after having my daughter to give him a hug and the corner of my scar popped open a little.
Over pushing yourself will lead to a longer recovery, just potter around the house and garden for the first week. Don’t worry about the housework, it can wait while you heal, and bond with your baby.
Getting out of bed and sitting up
This is fucking hard after a c-section, possibly the hardest thing to do after a c-section. You can’t sit straight up because it pulls like hell on your scar so getting out of bed is a major main in the arse and one hell of a struggle. So here’s my method for getting your arse out of bed after a c-section!
Roll onto your side SLOWLY, and I mean very slowly its gonna hurt and pull a bit, but if you go slow you won’t rip your scar. Now your on your side use your upper body to push yourself up, this will prevent injury and most of the pain in your abdomen. If your other half is available ask them to give you a gentle push up so that you don’t have to lift your full weight up.
Keeping your wound clean and dry
Ok, so after a c-section your wound is going to take 10-14 days to heal. I had problems with my scar healing after my daughter was born due to it trying to heal over scar tissue from having my son so my second c-section wound took a little longer to heal.
Now I trained as a nurse so the tips I’m giving you here to keep your wound clean and dry I would give to my patients in hospital.
Wash as normal just use a plain soap or shower gel nothing perfumed. I let my scar air dry so I lay down on the bed lift my belly slightly to let the air get to the scar for about 20 minutes or so, I used a fan to help it dry. Then in the evening I would lay down again lift my belly and let some air get to it. ALWAYS, if you notice any yellow or green discharge, a foul smell, redness and swelling contact your midwife as this is highly likely to be a sign of infection. The midwife should be checking your scar every time they come out, but don’t hesitate to call them out if your concerned about your wound.
My wound had healed within a week after the birth of my son. However with my daughter, because it had popped open a little at the edge, and also a stitch hadn’t quite dissolved properly it took almost 4 weeks to heal up properly. There were slight signs of infection after my second c-section but a course of antibiotics and regularly cleaning and airing the wound sorted that out.
After a c-section going t for a number 2 is bloody hard, you can’t push or strain properly. Constipation is a common problem and I experienced it after both of my children. I would recommend high fibre foods, I ate lots of cereal after my children were born, which seemed to help.
If you are still struggling to go after 5 days I would speak to your GP or midwife as they may be able to give you a stool softener which will make it easier to go.
You will thank me for this one. Although big ‘granny pants’ are in no way sexy they are however, practical after a c-section. You do not want to wear anything that is going to rub or irritate the c-section wound. ‘Granny pants’ or full briefs are great because they come over your scar and give your belly some support.
Using a Pillow for Support
I used a nursing pillow when I was holding or feeding my new born. It stopped any pulling on my belly and meant that I could sit comfortably and not worry about pulling my wound.
How long did it take you to recover from your c-section?
Are you having a c-section?