Since i have a little bit of time now, im going to share with you guys about the after care for your C-section wound.
If you are planning an elective C-section or might have just had an emergency C-section, take some time to read this.
What is a C-section?
A c-section, or cesarean section, is the delivery of a baby through a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. In certain circumstances, a c-section is scheduled in advance. In others, it’s done in response to an unforeseen complication.
What to expect after going through a C-section?
C-section patients typically stay in the hospital for two to four days before going home. But your recovery will be measured in weeks, not days, so you’ll need help taking care of yourself and your new baby. What’s more, if you have other children, they may be feeling needy after you’ve been away from them for a few days – to say nothing of the fact that you’re returning home with a new baby! Plan to get all the help you can.
If you plan to breastfeed, you can start in the recovery room right after surgery. Ask the nurse to show you how to nurse in the side-lying position or using the football hold, so there won’t be pressure on your incision.
Breastfeeding can be challenging in the days after a c-section because of the pain from a healing incision. Ask to see a lactation consultant as soon as possible to help you position your baby comfortably so you don’t end up with sore nipples. If the hospital doesn’t have a lactation consultant, ask for the nurse who’s the resident expert.
What are the first few days like recovering from a c-section?
You may feel numbness and soreness at the incision site, and the scar will be slightly raised, puffy, and darker than your natural skin tone. Your doctor will come by daily to see how you’re doing and check that the wound is healing properly.
Anything that puts pressure on the abdominal area will probably be painful at first, but you’ll feel a bit better day-by-day. Be sure to use your hands or a pillow to support your incision when you cough, sneeze, or laugh.
Your nurse will come by every few hours at first to check on you and help you. She’ll take your vital signs, feel your belly to make sure your uterus is firm, and assess the amount of vaginal bleeding. Like any woman who just delivered a baby, you’ll have a vaginal discharge called lochia, which consists of blood, bacteria, and sloughed-off tissue from the lining of your uterus. For the first few days, this discharge will be bright red.
Your nurse will also instruct you on how to cough or do deep breathing exercises to expand your lungs and clear them of any accumulated fluid, which is particularly important if you’ve had general anesthesia. This will reduce the risk of pneumonia.
If everything’s okay, your nurse will remove your IV and urinary catheter soon after surgery, usually within 12 hours.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to drink fluids – and start eating a light diet if you feel like it – within six to eight hours after your surgery. In some cases, though, your doctor may recommend waiting longer before eating.
You might have some gas pain and bloating during the first two days. Gas tends to build up because the intestines are sluggish after surgery. Getting up and moving around will help your digestive system get going again.
If you’re in great discomfort, the nurse may give you some over-the-counter medication that contains simethicone, a substance that allows gas bubbles to come together more easily, making the gas easier to expel. Simethicone is safe to take while breastfeeding.
You will be encouraged to get out of bed at least a couple of times the day after surgery – or even the day of surgery – to walk. (Do not, however, attempt to get up by yourself. The nurse should be at your side the first few times.) In the meantime, get the blood going in your legs by wiggling your feet, rotating your ankles, and moving and stretching your legs.
Just walking to the bathroom may seem impossible at first, but moving around is important for your recovery. It will help your circulation and make it much less likely that you’ll develop blood clots. What’s more, it will make your bowels less sluggish, which will help you feel a whole lot more comfortable a lot sooner.
For these reasons, you’ll be encouraged to walk each day. Try to take your walks a short time after you’ve taken pain medication, when you’re likely to feel more comfortable.
It’s also important to get to the bathroom to urinate regularly. A full bladder makes it harder for the uterus to stay contracted and increases pressure on the wound.
What’s recovery like when I leave the hospital after a c-section?
Expect to need help – and lots of it – once you get home. If nobody offers, ask for support from your partner, parents, in-laws, and friends. If you’re worried that you may not have enough support, hire paid help if you can afford it.
You’ll likely be given a prescription for more painkillers and a stool softener before you leave the hospital. You may need prescription painkillers for up to a week after surgery, gradually transitioning to over-the-counter pain relievers. (If you’re breastfeeding, don’t take aspirin or drugs containing acetylsalicylic acid.) I tried not to take painkillers because i was paranoid since im breastfeeding. But you should take them if you feel that you need it.
Drink plenty of fluids to help you avoid constipation. Your incision will likely feel better day-by-day, quite noticeably so after several days, though it may continue to be tender for several weeks.
Call your caregiver if you have signs of an infection, including:
– warmth, redness, swelling, or oozing at the incision site
– worsening pain or sudden onset of pain
– any fever (even if your incision looks fine)
– foul smelling vaginal discharge
– pain or burning when urinating, the urge to pee frequently when not a lot comes out, or urine that is dark and scanty or bloody
Your vaginal bleeding and discharge should be diminishing, though it may last up to six weeks. It should gradually turn from bright red to pink and then yellow-white. If menstrual-type bleeding continues past the first four days after delivery or comes back after slowing, call your healthcare provider.
You’ll also need to call your caregiver without delay if you have any signs of a blood clot, such as severe or persistent pain or tenderness and warmth in one area of your leg, or one leg that is more swollen than the other.
How active should I be after a c-section?
While it’s essential to get plenty of rest once you’re home, you also need to get up and walk around regularly. Walking promotes healing and helps prevent complications such as blood clots. I started walking around my ward on my second day and took strolls around the level of my ward on the third. Its very important to take the walk slowly and make sure to stop once you start feeling more than just uncomfortable.
Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it. Start slowly and increase your activity gradually. Since you’re recovering from major abdominal surgery, your belly will feel sore for some time. Take it easy and avoid heavy household work or lifting anything heavier than your baby for eight weeks.
In six to eight weeks, you’ll be able to start exercising moderately – but wait until your caregiver gives you the go-ahead. It may be several months or longer before you’re back to your former fit self.
You’ll be able to resume sexual intercourse in about six weeks – if you’re feeling comfortable enough and with your caregiver’s okay. Talk to your practitioner about what kind of contraception will work best for you now. You may be able to resume using the birth control method you used in the past, or you may have to make some changes. For example, if you used a diaphragm before, you’ll have to be fitted again because you may need a different size after being pregnant and giving birth.
(credit: some reference taken from babycenter.com)
Hope this helps some of you who are going in for an elective C-section or if you might have to go through an emergency C-section! 🙂