Having a C-section means you are not only recovering from childbirth, but also surgery. You should plan to add about one to two weeks of additional recovery time before you resume your normal activities.
Concerns You May Have
Being Separated from Your Baby
After your C-section, you will recover with your baby. We encourage skin-to-skin contact to promote early bonding and support you if you choose to breastfeed. Babies who have problems adjusting immediately after birth may be transferred to the transition nursery or to the Newborn and Infant Intensive Care Unit (NICU).The NICU is designed and equipped for sick or premature infants who need constant medical and nursing care or need to be closely watched.
Getting Out of Bed and Moving Around
If possible, raise the head of the bed, roll onto your side and lower your legs over the side of the bed before sitting up. Support your incision with your hand or a pillow as you move or cough. Stay seated on the side of the bed until you feel stable and stand up slowly.
Keeping Your Lungs Clear
It is important to cough and to take deep breaths after any surgery, including a C-section, to help clear your lungs. Coughing can cause your incision to hurt. Try placing a pillow over your belly and lean forward when coughing. Take deep breaths often throughout the day.
Gas pain is common after any type of abdominal surgery. You can help to move the gas along and lessen the pain by walking as soon as you are able. Gradually increase the distance you walk each time and ask for help when needed.
You may also find that certain positions help with gas. Lie on your left side with your legs bent and a pillow between your knees. A small towel rolled under your stomach may help prevent a pulling sensation on your stitches. Also try lying on your stomach, on a pillow, 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
Try to drink warm liquids to keep your bowels active. Drink and eat slowly and don't use a straw. Avoid carbonated drinks (soda) and gas-producing foods (beans, cabbage, and melon are some examples).
If these techniques do not help, talk to your doctor about consulting with the physical therapists at Woman's Center for Wellness for instruction on abdominal massage and exercises.