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Recovery from a C Section

If you have a c section, or are planning to deliver your baby with a c section for medical reasons, you may be surprised at the amount of time needed to recover. I found this out with the birth of my fourth child a few weeks ago.

Congratulations Patricia from everyone at More4kids on the birth of your new son!

C Section Recovery by Patricia Hughes

If you have a c section, or are planning to deliver your baby with a c section for medical reasons, you may be surprised at the amount of time needed to recover. I found this out with the birth of my fourth child a few weeks ago. He was my first c section delivery. I went into labor eight days past my due date. After about 12 hours of labor, I was fully dilated. The problem in my case was that the baby’s head wouldn’t come down far enough to be born vaginally. No matter what we did, he just wouldn’t budge. Soon his heart rate began to drop and it was off to the operating room.  

The surgery went well and the baby was born healthy. I wasn’t in good shape at all. Being in the operating room with my arms strapped down was very scary. I was worried about the surgery. I was worried about the baby and the changes in his heart rate. Most of all, I was disappointed in the experience and upset at not holding him immediately after the birth. As I soon learned, a c section is major surgery and time is needed to heal. 

Recovery in the Hospital  

After the birth, you will be given pain medication. This will first be done through the epidural and then with injectable medications. These may have you feeling groggy, but you won’t be in pain. After the first day, you will be given pills to manage the pain. Take the pills when they are offered. When they begin to wear off, ask for more. Don’t try to brave the pain. Trust me, it only gets worse. It’s better to take the medication on schedule than to suffer through the pain.

The nurses will get you up and moving on the day after the surgery. You won’t want to get up, but do it anyway. Moving actually will help you heal. Use a pillow held against your abdomen when getting up. This helps support your abdomen and makes the pain less intense. 

You will experience pain from the incision as well as gas pains. Tell the nurse if these pains are bad or you aren’t passing the gas. They can give you medication to help. I was given chewable Mylicon tablets for gas pains. Constipation is another problem that many women experience after a c section. The nurses can give you medication to help with this problem as well. I was given Colace and told to drink lots of water. Even with these measures, it took me a week to get back to normal.
Recovery at Home 

When you are discharged from the hospital, you will be given a prescription for pain medication to take at home. Take the medication as prescribed to help with the pain. Remember you are still recovering from major surgery. Eventually, the pain will get better and you will do fine with over the counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen.

Take care of yourself after you get home with the [tag-tec]baby[/tag-tec]. You need to focus on healing and caring for your baby. Don’t worry about the housework or cooking. Rest when the baby sleeps. You will be losing sleep at night. Make up for this loss of sleep by napping with the baby during the day.

You will need help when you get home. Have your spouse take advantage of any leave or vacation time he has available to lend a hand with the baby. Your mother, sister or friend may be able to lend a hand as well. My husband was home for the first week and a half. Then he had to go back to work. Since I have three other [tag-ice]children[/tag-ice], I was definitely not ready to be on my own. My mother took a week’s vacation to be here to help with the older girls.

Your doctor will probably tell you that you won’t be able to drive for three or four weeks after the birth of your baby. This can be difficult, since you won’t be able to get around on your own. You will have to depend on someone else to do the shopping and run errands. My husband had to take over the grocery shopping after my c section. I had to learn to let go and trust him to get what we need, even when he didn’t buy the brand I usually buy. 

Emotional Recovery from a C Section 

Some women find they need to heal emotionally as well as physically after a c section. You may feel disappointed at not having a vaginal birth. Other women get upset at the longer recovery time that is needed after a c section. Don’t be too hard on yourself. The most important thing is that both you and the baby are healthy. How the baby got here isn’t what matters most, that he’s here and healthy is what matters.

Patricia Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four. Patricia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. She has written extensively on pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and breastfeeding. In addition, she has written about home décor and travel.

No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any form without the express permission of More4Kids Inc © 2006

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  • this is powerful information.
    i am actually going to have my second child mid April 2008.
    this information has equiped me to have more light on what more to expect

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