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A Caesarean Delivery is unlike a normal (vaginal) delivery and has a longer recovery period. It usually takes four to six weeks for a woman to recover after a C-section – and even then most moms suffer from backache for another 3 to 4 months or so.
A C-Section has become a common occurrence these days with every 1 in 3 delivery being done through this surgical procedure. However, we should remember that this is still considered a major surgery – which has its own set of precautions.
After the anesthesia wears off, you will feel pain and discomfort. The first doses of the pain medications will be given intravenously and then after a few days, they will be given orally. These medicines are safe while breastfeeding and will help you cope with the pain of having undergone a major surgery. So be sure to take them on time.
Having ample amount of rest and sleep will help you to get your strength back after the Caesarean Delivery. The most often repeated tip that you’ll hear is to sleep when your baby sleeps. While it is difficult to get sound sleep with a newborn, take as much rest as possible and leave the housework for other family members.
Co-sleeping with your baby especially in the first few weeks will make breastfeeding easier – so keep your newborn in a crib in your bedroom only.
Early ambulation is important after a C-Section. Air may be trapped inside the stomach that causes pain. To relieve this pain and discomfort, mothers should start walking within 24 hours of surgery. Sitting, standing and walking should be done within the next 24 hours as well. Until you don’t pass gas, your doctor won’t allow any food or water – nutrition will have to be given intravenously.
Fast recovery will be achieved after doing moderate physical activity, so while it is tempting to stay lying down – go ahead and take that morning walk.
Postpartum bleeding is called Lochia bleeding. Lochia bleeding needs to be monitored in the first few weeks after the delivery. The lochia color, consistency, and amount changes over time and usually stops after the traditional Indian 40 days “japa” or confinement period. In the rare case that bleeding doesn’t stop after 6 weeks – you should immediately consult a doctor.
Wash your hands whenever you inspect your wound or change the wound dressing. This is the best way to prevent infections. Also, keep an eye out for signs of infections such as an oozing green discharge or reddish skin around the wound area. If you feel any severe pain call your doctor immediately.
Secure your Obstetrician and Pediatrician contact numbers in case of emergency. Store them in your phone’s memory or scribble them down on your notes or pin them on your fridge. Give your OB a ring if you notice green oozing discharges and red flashes on your wound area, smelly vagina, pain when urinating, abdominal pains, severe headache and chest pain.
The first 6 weeks are completely for bedrest and all physical activities should be limited. Even after the sixth week, mothers are advised to refrain from overexertion. Many women experience backache for up to 6 months after the surgery.
During this time you should avoid lifting or moving heavy objects and bending down too often – as this will prevent the injury from healing completely.
After delivery, there is a virtual crash of hormones as your body begins to change and return to the pre-pregnancy stage. There is also a new hormone – oxytocin – which helps in breast milk production. So all these hormonal changes cause mood and emotional fluctuations.
Women become very emotional after delivery because of these hormonal changes.
You must keep an eye out if you feel you are becoming overly depressed and hopeless. This may be a sign of severe emotional imbalance and may lead to postpartum depression.
There are different types of baby holding techniques for breastfeeding – and some require you sitting for a long time – which increases back ache for moms. It is important to get familiarized with all of them and try it on your baby later on.
Many moms find that the lying down position is most suitable as it helps them to relax as well as feed the baby as long as required. You can also invest in a feeding pillow which can help to relieve the strain on your back.
Good nutrition is as important after the delivery as it was when you were pregnant. While breastfeeding, you are your baby’s source of nutrition – so you need all the more nutrition to help your body recover as well as produce breast milk.
Fiber-rich foods are important in women recovering from Cesarean delivery because they relieve constipation and gas formation. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber, so be sure to eat some everyday. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water as you need extra fluids to boost your breast milk supply and for a proper bowel movement.
While doctors advise absolute abstinence from sex for the first 6 weeks – you take as long as you need to get your strength back. Don’t feel pressured or in a rush to have coitus if you are not feeling up to it.
Talk to your partner about it and try other ways to build your bond. You can cuddle together, engage in foreplay or just cozy up and talk about how your day went.
Did you have a C-section or a normal delivery? How long did it take for you to begin feeling normal? Share below!!