C-section recovery tips to help new moms bounce back faster
Fact-checked by MFine | Last Updated : November 7th, 2019
Postpartum bleeding is normal. However, there are certain times where you need to ensure that you visit a doctor. Read more to find out why postpartum bleeding occurs and when you should consult a doctor.
After 9 months of waiting, your baby is finally here! Childbirth does take a toll on your body and if you had a Caesarean, whether planned or unplanned, the postpartum period can be quite challenging. Like all major surgeries, your body will need time to recover but with a newborn to take care of, you won’t be able to take it easy. Here are a few C-Section recovery tips to reduce the pain and feel like yourself again.
1. Don’t skip your medicationAfter a C-section, you will have pain for at least 2 weeks and it will take up to 6 weeks to feel normal again. Your doctor will have prescribed mild pain medication to help reduce your C-section recovery time and you must take them. Don’t listen to anyone who says that if you are breastfeeding your baby then you shouldn’t be taking any medication. Remember that your doctor knows best. Your abdominal incision is going to hurt and you owe yourself relief from pain.
2. Use an abdominal binderAs you start slowly moving about, you are going to find that you have a dull pain in your back. This is because your back has been under extra-strain because of the weight you have been carrying around in the front of your body. A C-section could put further stress on your abdominal muscles. One of the C-section recovery tips many doctors offer is to get an abdominal binder as part of the Caesarian aftercare. It provides much needed muscular support while your stitches are healing. However, use it only for the first 2 weeks. After that, your abdominal muscles need to start working on their own so that your body can bounce back naturally.
3. Drink lots of waterAlmost all moms who have had a C-section complain about severe gas pains. It feels nearly as painful as labour pains itself. The clenching pain can travel up to your shoulders since a distended stomach with gas can irritate the diaphragm. Constipation is also a reality after childbirth. Drinking lots of fluids and eating lots of fibre-rich food should be a part of Caesarian aftercare. One of the most effective C-section recovery tips would be best to stay away from red meat for some time as this can cause issues with digestion.
4. Take ProbioticsThe antibiotics that you had during your Caesarian and after will wipe out all the healthy bacteria in your stomach. A probiotic supplement will quickly help get the healthy flora to multiply again in your gut. Probiotics are generally safe to consume even when you are breastfeeding, but it’s always best to check with your doctor first.
5. Be aware of C-section healing complicationsWhile you are busy looking after the new baby, don’t lose sight of the fact that you need just as much Caesarian aftercare. Here are a few C-section healing complications that you should be on the watch out for. If you notice any, ensure you get a complete women’s health check.
- Moms who have had a C-section usually have heavier bleeding than natural birth mothers. This is usually normal and there are a number of reasons that can explain postpartum bleeding. However, if your pad soaks within 15 minutes, then you need to get medical advice.
- If you have a painful bulge around your scar, rule out the possibility of an incisional hernia.
- Sharp pains in your chest or any breathing difficulty
- Difficulty urinating or a burning sensation
- A hardened area in your breast (It may be a blocked milk duct).
- Pain in either of your legs or swelling in your legs. This may be because of blood clots.
- Foul smelling vaginal discharge.
6. Protect your incision scarWith Caesarean aftercare, protecting your sutures needs to be your first priority. Your incision scar will be tender for quite some time so follow these tips for care after a C-section. Use loose, high-waisted panties for a while, since you want them to come over your bikini-line incision. Any friction on your incision is going to be painful. If you wear dresses, then switch to them for some time rather than wearing pants. Laughing and coughing is also going to be painful for a while. Hold your abdomen to give it support anytime you need to sneeze or laugh. These C-section wound care tips can help your body bounce back faster.
7. Breastfeed with the right supportBreastfeeding your baby after a Caesarian can be painful. C-section recovery time can be long since your body needs all the time it can get to repair itself. You will have to choose the best breastfeeding positions for a C-section as the wrong position can place too much stress on your muscles. Sit in a straight-backed chair and never hunch over. Some moms like to take the weight of their stomach by holding their baby’s head in the palm of their hand and their little body supported along the arm. Some moms put a pillow on their belly and the baby lies on it while feeding.
8. Start walkingAvoid strenuous exercises and try not to climb stairs for a few weeks after surgery. Care after a C-section is vital as it will decide how fast you recover and prevent complications down the line. It will take you at least 8 weeks to get back to your regular routine but always check with your doctor before you hit the gym. However, taking gentle walks are one of the best C-section recovery tips and can be done as soon as a week after delivery. It will help you to prevent blood clots in your legs which can be one of the C-section healing complications that you must avoid at all costs.
9. Ease back into sexSurprisingly women who have given birth through a C-section can find having sex more painful than natural-birth mothers. This is again only because of those tender abdominal muscles. Scar tissue in the incision can cause muscle spasms and reduce mobility. Most women have healed by 6 to 8 weeks and can be ready for more intimate relations with their partner. However, if pain persists, you should get professional help from a trained women’s health physical therapist.
10. Watch out for postpartum depressionStudies show that women who have had a C-section are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression. It is perfectly alright to acknowledge that you need help if you are not feeling able to cope. Don’t suffer in silence; make yourself a priority so that you can be the mom your baby needs. Ensure that you talk to your doctor right away if you feel you are experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression. Caesarean aftercare is all important and needs time and patience to get you back to normal. With these C-section recovery tips, you will soon be on the road to recovery. With the mfine app, new mothers recovering from a C-section can get instant consultations with their doctor right from the comfort of their own home. You can also consult the city’s top paediatricians on mfine.
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