Having a cesarean delivery.
Most often referred to as a c-section. This is the form of delivery that was used with our youngest child. And it was not the first choice in delivery methods.
I had a c-section due to delivery complications and health complications with my child and myself. Therefore it was an emergency c-section.
During a c-section the baby is removed via an incision in the mothers abdominal area. Which is major surgery and requires recovery time.
After having a baby.
You want to get up move around, hold your child, feed your child and most Moms want to start getting back to normal. With a c-section your care and recovery is a bit longer.
You need to let your body adjust to the changes and heal properly. The average recovery time for a c-section is 4 to 6 weeks. This period can extend if you do not take proper care of yourself.
The first few days.
During the first few days after a c-section you will experience cramping and soreness at the incision site. This is your uterus shrinking and your body responding to the surgery.
You need to keep the bandages and incision site clean and dry. Each doctor will provide post operation instruction based on the type of bandages and surgery done.
Our doctor used a pressure bandage that was required to stay in place for 5 to 7 days. Picking things up and moving around was a bit tricky.
You see for 4-6 week after a c-section especially in the first few days you are not allowed to pick up anything that weighs more than your baby. Some moms experience feeding and holding issues due to discomfort.
You also need to watch for infection of the incision site. This may appear as redness, soreness, odor or discharge. All of these should be reported to your doctor.
During the first few weeks.
Try not to overdue. I know this is hard for a new mom but your health is important. Ensure you have a support team at home to help with heavy lifting, grocery shopping and general care.
As they say nap when baby naps. If you can nap when baby naps to help your body in healing. During your first few weeks you need to rest and recover.
5 Tips for c-section recovery:
1. Get lots of rest
Try to nap when baby naps. Ask your spouse to watch the child so you can rest. Don’t try to overdue. Your body needs the rest so you can heal.
2. Do not lift anything heavy
It is suggested not to lift anything over the weight of your newborn child after a c-section. This is due to surgery incisions and healing. Pulling or damaging the surgery area can prolong healing.
3. Ask for help
It takes a village to raise a child. Ask for help if you need it. It could be something as simple as child care so you can take a nap, or someone picking up the groceries or making dinner. Ask for help when you need it.
4. Get out and take a walk
Getting fresh air and small amounts of exercise will help your body heal. Do not overdue and ask your physician before starting an exercise routine. Try to get out and take baby for a walk everyday or every other day.
5. Manage your pain
A c-section is major surgery and will require pain management. Please speak to your doctor about your pain and how you will manage it.
Seeking help for long term issues.
Recovering from a c-section is emotional. Our bodies are trying to re-balance after child delivery and we may be emotional which is totally normal. Some days there may be tears, other days there may be stresses this is all normal.
If you are feeling down for an extended time. Or you can’t seem to shake the sadness contact your health care provider. Postpartum depression is real and symptoms include sadness, low energy and anxiety.
Please speak to your health care provider if you are experiencing postpartum depression symptoms. There is help. The health of you and your baby is key.