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Cesarean Section Recovery: Healing After Surgical Delivery

| January 1, 2019

Every new mom needs loving care, but a new mom recovering from a c-section needs extra help. For the first few days and weeks, the pain at the incision site can range from moderate to severe. It is recommended that new moms not hesitate to take pain medication when they need it for recovery. Depending on the level of your discomfort, the doctor might prescribe a pain reliever or advise you to take an Over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). In addition to pain medicine, you can use a heating pad to relieve discomfort at the surgical site.

Pain at the incision site can be especially sharp when coughing or laughing, or when using the abdominal muscles to sit or stand. Partners can help by taking over diaper changing for the first few weeks and by helping mom sit up in the middle of the night to nurse and arranging pillows for her to help elevate the baby to breast level. Pillows placed on the lower abdomen can also help ease pain in the incision site. A breastfeeding support pillow can also help. New parents should have breastfeeding resources ready- books, support groups, lactation consultant referrals – in case of breastfeeding difficulties. Nursing after a c-section can be initially more challenging, but there is no reason that mom and baby can’t overcome initial problems to form a mutually rewarding nursing relationship.

  • Gas pains for constipation are normal after the operation.
  • Gentle, slow walks around the apartment or house are useful for helping the passage of gas, but remember to take it easy.

New mothers recovering from a cesarean section need all the help they can get.

  • Hiring a postpartum doula is an option for couples who don’t have all the support they need from friends and family, or who specifically want someone very experienced in childbirth and newborn care.
  • A postpartum doula can also help a mother process her emotions concerning her birth experience. It is normal following a cesarean to feel a mix of joy, love, loss, and even anger: even though the health of mother and baby is of paramount importance, it is normal – and healthy – to mourn the loss of a birth that did not go to “plan”.

After a c-section there is an increased chance for possible infection. The doctor will remove the stitches or clips after about five days, unless the stitches are dissolvable. Once the dressing has been removed, clean and dry the wound carefully every day. It may be more comfortable to wear cotton high-waisted pants and loose clothes.

Mom may have been given a supply of a blood-thinning drug to reduce risk of blood clots. If so the nurse will show her how to inject herself. You may want to have help with the injections as it can cause anxiety for some new moms and the partner or family members can help too. Someone will need to be available to administer the injection at the same time each day, once a day, for about a week after the c-section. If there is a higher risk of blood clots, mom may need to have the injections for up to six weeks.

Getting in and out of bed can be difficult or uncomfortable while recovering from the c-section. Most people don’t have beds that you can raise and lower, as you do in hospital. It’s easier to get out of bed by rolling on to your side, dropping both legs over the side of the bed and then pushing up sideways into a seated position. Try to stand up as straight as possible.

  • Drink Tumeric Tonic – GOLDE makes a great golden milk powder – add almond milk. It will help with swelling and inflammation. Take daily
  • Rest and avoid strenuous activity, light walking and movement will help ease constipation and reduce blood clots

You’ll probably feel some soreness in the incision, and you may have bleeding or lochia for up to six weeks after the C-section. That’s normal. The following symptoms warrant a call to your doctor, because they could signal an infection:

  • pain around the site
  • redness, swelling, or oozing pus from the incision site
  • fever of more than 100.4°F (38°C)
  • bad-smelling discharge coming from vagina
  • heavy vaginal bleeding
  • redness or swelling in your leg
  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain
  • pain in breasts

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