Most women usually prefer and try their hardest to give birth normally. Who can blame them, it is not only more economical but also allows for less healing time than a C-section.
Because a C-section is an invasive surgical procedure, the recovery that follows is much more complicated than after a vaginal birth. It requires special attention and a longer recovery period. But with the right information and discipline, you can recover faster so you can spend more time with your newborn.
What is C-Section
A Caesarean delivery or Caesarean section, more commonly known as a C-section, is when a child is delivered through a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus.
Sometimes, a C-section can be scheduled ahead of time by your Ob-Gyne. If so, you can research and prepare for it in advance.
However, complications that arise during labor can also cause the need for an unplanned or emergency C-section. An emergency C-section is when your baby is in danger. Otherwise, it’s an unplanned C-section.
Here are some of the reasons why your doctor might recommend a C-section:
● Scheduled or planned C-section
○ You have had one vertical uterine incision, more than one previous C-section deliveries, or other kinds of invasive uterine surgery as these increase the risk of uterine rupture in a vaginal delivery
○ You are having more than one baby (twins, triplets, etc.)
○ Your baby is expected to be large
○ Your baby is in a transverse or breech position
○ You have placenta previa, a condition when the placenta covers the cervix and nearing full-term
○ Obstructions like a fibroid
○ A malformation or abnormality like open neural tube defects in the baby that makes normal birth risky
○ You are HIV-positive with high viral load
● Unplanned C-section
○ Genital herpes during labor or when your water breaks
○ Cervical dilations stop and stimulation of contractions have not worked
● Emergency C-section
○ Baby’s heart rate drops so can’t, take continued labor or induction
○ Umbilical cord prolapse
○ Placental abruption or separation of the placenta from the uterine wall
○ Concern about uterine rupture
What Symptoms do you need to worry about after a C-section
Soreness or discomfort around your C section incision and a little bleeding or discharge for as long as six weeks after a C-section is considered normal. However, there are signs and symptoms that you should watch out for.
Here are some of these symptoms that require a doctor’s attention as they may indicate an infection.
● Pus, warmth, redness and swelling on or around the incision site
● Increasing or sudden pains around the site
● Fever higher than 100.4 ℉ or 38℃
● Foul smelling vaginal discharge
● Heavy vaginal bleeding after four days from a C-section
● Swollen legs or one leg is more swollen
● Difficulty to breathe
● Chest or breast pain
● Frequent urination or even urge incontinence but only little urine comes out
● Burning or pain during urination
● Dark, sparse, or bloody urine
Tips for a Safe and Fast Recovery from a C-section
The sooner you recover from a C-section delivery, the sooner you can be strong enough to bond with your baby. So, how do you have a speedy recovery? Here are a few tips to get you up and running in as little time as possible!
● Get a lot of rest. You probably have to stay in the hospital for a few days after delivery, and complications can require you to stay longer. Give your body and mind at least six weeks to fully recover.
● Try to sleep while your baby naps. Quick naps and few minutes of rest every now and then can really help you get through the day.
● Take care of your body while you heal. Although you may feel strong enough, it’s still better if you avoid walking around too much or lifting anything heavier than your baby. Also, hold your abdomen for support when you cough or sneeze.
● Avoid strenuous exercise. Do short, gentle walks instead.
● Refrain from sexual intercourse or using tampons unless your doctor gives you the go signal.
● Don’t ignore baby blues or feelings of disappointment, exhaustion, sadness, and specially urges to hurt yourself or your baby. Talk to your spouse, a friend, a counselor, or your doctor for your emotional and mental health.
● Get pain relief meds. Your doctor can prescribe a pain reliever and the dosage depending on the level of discomfort and whether or not you’re breastfeeding. You can also use a heating pad to relieve pain at the incision site.
● Eat healthy food. Especially if you breastfeed your baby, good nutrition is as important now as during pregnancy. This will also help you get stronger.
● Drink plenty of water and other fluids. This will help you avoid constipation, feel less tired, and boost your breastmilk supply.
● Eat as soon as you feel hungry and drink whenever you’re thirsty. Keep snacks near to keep you energized.
● Eat fiber-rich food and drink peppermint tea to relieve constipation and trapped gas.
● Take care of your wound and make sure it heals properly. Contact a midwife or doctor when you feel feverish or see any signs of infection.
● Wash, clean, and dry your wound everyday. Expose it to air, too, in order to make it heal faster. You can use gentle soap, as long as you rinse it thoroughly. Gently pat your wound dry, don’t rub it.
● Do not attempt to remove stitches or staples by yourself unless your doctor or midwife says you can.
● Wear loose clothes and underpants. There are also special pants with stretchy gauze to protect and comfortably wear on your wound.
● Walk around to promote healing and prevent blood clots, but don’t overdo it. Increase your activity gradually.
● Avoid comparing your healing process with those of a friend or a relative’s as everyone heals in different paces. Give yourself some time and patience.
Childbirth is a wonderful experience, and your recovery will depend on how much you know and try to take care of yourself. It might help to ask a relative, friend, spouse, or neighbor to help with your baby while you heal. This gives you valuable and much-needed time to be the best mom you can be.