How to Recover from a C-Section


It can take 6 weeks or more to recover from a C-section. Check out the steps you need to take as you ease into your life as a new mom!

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.


recover from a c-section

How to Recover From a C-Section


Having a support system is very important when you are trying to recover from a c-section.  There are going to be many things that you will need help with, from taking care of the baby, to helping you get a bath, to cooking and cleaning and running errands. Make sure that your family or friends are available to help you. Some women even go as far as getting a live in nurse to help assist with the duties of taking care of the patient.

Keep the Incision Clean

 I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep the incision very clean as you recover from a c-section. This is vital if you want the scar to heal well and so that infection does not set in. Expect your scar to shrink and fade back to your natural skin color within about six to eight weeks but this varies in every patient and may take longer for some.


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.

recover from a c-section

Healthy Eating

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