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Recovering from a C-Section

Many women are not prepared for the recovery period following a cesarean delivery. A c-section is considered major surgery and you should expect to have a potentially difficult and lengthy recovery period. Some tips to help you during your recovery include:

  • Take things slow and don't rush yourself as your body needs adequate time to heal properly.

  • Allow family or friends to help you with chores and caring for the baby. Your energy will be an important commodity during this time. Keeping diapers, wipes, paper towels, bottles, pain medications, etc. within reach will go a long way in helping conserve your depleted energy. Avoid climbing stairs for at least the first week. If your room is upstairs, arrange the couch downstairs as your resting area.

  • Eat nutritious foods and be sure to eat plenty of high-fiber items. Your digestive system slows down post surgery and it's important not to become constipated.

  • Because your abdomen will be tender from your incision, your stomach muscles will be of very little use to you for the first couple of weeks following your operation. Try using several pillows to support your body when resting. Holding your baby may also be difficult. Resting your baby on a pillow on your tummy can help reduce the pressure on your incision.

  • Drink lots of water and urinate frequently.

  • Constantly check your incision. It's important to monitor and keep it clean to prevent infection. Call your doctor if you notice any inflammation, redness or discharge. Your doctor will advise you on how to keep the area clean.

Depending on the circumstances of your c-section, you may have conflicting emotions surrounding the event. Be sure to talk to others you trust about how you feel. Other moms who have experienced the same thing are often good resources. Additional resources may include your physician, midwife, or online community support groups such as the Caesarean Section message board on PregnancyWeekly. If you didn't plan to have a c-section, it's normal to feel angry, regretful or sad after going through this experience. The more you're able to identify your feelings and find others who empathize with your situation, the more you will be able to heal.

A c-section is major surgery and should not be taken for granted. Preparing for this intensive operation both physically and mentally may help you have a smoother post-birth transition. After all, this is one of the most rewarding times in life and you should be able to enjoy it.



Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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