Did you just have a Cesarean delivery? First of all, big congratulations from us! Welcoming a baby is nothing short of pure joy, be it a vaginal delivery or a C-section delivery. However, you will surely have concerns and doubts regarding your C-section recovery time. Yes, caesarean-section recovery takes more time than a vaginal delivery, but it can be slightly easier if you know what to expect and how to handle it.
Unlike vaginal delivery, C-section recovery takes time. You need to give your body at least 6 weeks for the incision to heal, and for the abdomen to recover from the trauma. The doctor will advise bed rest on day 1 but after that, they will ask you to start moving. You need to start with short slow walks and gradually push your limits.
When you are in the hospital, the nursing staff will help you with everything but once you are back home, you need to rely on family or your partner to help you. Ensure you keep the incision site clean and dry a tall times. Your doctor will also ask you to wait a few days until you can have a full body bath.
During these 6 - 8 weeks, some are bound to have severe vaginal bleeding(more than your periods), which is very normal. You will also experience pain in and around the incision site off and on depending upon how regular you are with your medication and how well you keep yourself hydrated.
If you experience excessive bloating, avoid foods that can cause gas and opt for soft foods that are easier to digest. Passing your stool will not be painful with such foods.
You can start walking the very next day after your surgery. The doctor will ask you to start walking short distances once or twice a day to get your digestion back on track and then you will be back on your feet as a normal person.
As your body heals and the pain decreases when you move around, you can slowly try bending (between weeks 4 and 6). First, bend slowly up to a few inches and stand back up. When you straighten up, you will Stretch yourself to get up.
Remember to progress slowly and stop if the pain is unbearable. You can give it another day or two and try again. You are not in a race.
You need to first learn how to sit after the C-section. You cannot just slump down on the floor like before. Once you are comfortable bending and straightening up without help, you can attempt to sit on the floor. Go down slowly, holding on to something.
Just like how you lowered yourself slowly with support, getup slowly with support.
You can do all of the above in the timeline mentioned, only if you take good care of yourself and the sutured area. If the C-section aftercare is not good, you will take longer to recover and get back on your feet.
Yes, it is easier said than done but it is important to get good rest after a major surgery. You have a little one who will demand a lot of your attention and almost all of your time, but it is still important to get good quality rest for the initial few weeks at least.
Never hesitate to ask for help. They say it takes a village to raise a baby and this village will not show up unless you ask for it. You have gone through a major surgery and are physically not in the best shape to handle everything yourself; the C-section stitches pain can interfere with many of your activities. So, receive all the help you can.
It can be very frustrating but you need to restrict physical activity in the first few weeks. Avoid climbing the stairs unnecessarily and refrain from lifting anything heavier than your baby. Do not attempt to get up from the floor while holding the baby, as it will put unnecessary pressure on your abdomen.
Many women will be eager to get back to their physical routine or start exercising to get back into shape. You will need a good 8weeks before you can start any exercises. Check with your doctor and start exercising only after their approval.
You will be up at odd hours feeding your new born baby, and hungry! However, refrain from eating junk or processed food and opt for nutritious food instead. Ask your nutritionist to give you suggestions or even draw up a diet chart for you, even before and if require after you leave the hospital. Find stores that cater to such needs and invest in your nutrition and health.
It can be very tempting to skip your post-partum check-ups when you feel you are ok and you can’t just pack up the baby and go sit in the waiting room. Don’t miss your appointments. They are very important to you. Unless you are healthy and recover well, you cannot take good care of your baby.
Recovering from a C-section is not easy but is definitely doable if you follow instructions and be patient. Don’t be hard on yourself and lower expectations. Your body has been through a trauma and needs time to heal.