As a nurse, I see many patients that have given birth via C-section. What most people have a difficult time with is the recovery process. You have a new baby that you need to take care of but you also have to take care of yourself. The time it takes to recover from a c-section varies from patient to patient but following a few simple steps once you leave the hospital will help aid you to recover from a c-section.
How to Recover From a C-Section
Keep the Incision Clean
You may be a healthy person but as you try to recover from a c-section it will take a while to get back on your feet. Although you cannot start a fully-fledged exercise program after birth, as your muscles are going to be sore and you risk ripping the incision open, it is important to the recovery process that you exercise on a daily basis.
You can do other things to get your body moving such as walking (which can help prevent blood clots) and leg lifts. I would not recommend any sit-ups unless you have already talked it over with your doctor.
Constipation can be very painful so you want to avoid any food that is going to give you gas. Eating foods that are high in fiber and the use of stool softeners such as Metamucil will help ease the pain of your bowel movements. You can eat healthy, exercise, and gradually lose weight after giving birth.
Comfortable Place To Sleep
Finding a place you can sleep comfortably as you recover from a c-section may be a challenging task. Using stairs may not be a very good idea so you may want to set up an area in the first floor of your house.
Make sure you have all the things you need in that room so you can quickly get to them: your glasses, the baby diapers, a book, notebook, the doctor’s number, the phone, pain medication, and anything else you think you will need so you don’t have to over exert yourself.
Make sure you have enough pillows available so you can prop yourself up. At times, you may feel some pain getting in and out of chairs or the bed. If no one is around to help, rolling out of the chair or bed is less painful.
Most Doctors do not want you taking a bath after the surgery. An alternative most women choose is taking a sponge bath. Your husband or a family member can help if you are too sore after surgery.
You may want to consider wearing loose fitting clothes that are easy to slip on and off so they won’t irritate the incision. Medical scrubs, your husband’s sweat pants, or maybe a loose fitting skirt would be appropriate and more comfortable than your jeans.
Following these simple steps will get you back on your feet in no time. Usually in around 6 to 8 weeks you can resume normal activity. If at any time during your recovery, you are experiencing harsh pain or have swelling or discharge from the incision, do not be afraid to call the doctor.
Have you ever had a c-section? What did you do to help you recover from a c-section?
About the author
Carrie has been working as a nurse for over 15 years. Her passion for nursing and helping people has led her back to school taking the accelerated rn to bsn degree. In her spare time, you can find her blogging about her experiences and her family at Tales from a Nursing Student.
Updated December 2013 by Kimberly