Whether you have planned to have a cesarean delivery or want to be prepared in case it is necessary, it is good to understand the recovery after a C-section. As a future mom, you may have many questions, such as the discomfort level, how long the recovery process is, and the best way to take care of yourself and your baby after a C-section.
Care for Your Incision
Firstly, after a C-section, you must ensure your incision is handled. It may not be easy to do, especially with a newborn, but try to rest whenever possible and keep whatever you or the baby may need within arm’s reach. Do not lift anything heavier than your baby during the first two weeks. Also, be sure to check your incision constantly for signs of infection. If you suspect you may have an infection, contact your doctor immediately.
You will also want to find ways to manage the pain. For example, your doctor may recommend taking ibuprofen or other over-the-country pain relievers. Most of these pain relievers are safe for women who are breastfeeding. You may also want to seek pain management with a chiropractor once you feel comfortable leaving your home, although you will want to avoid getting your lower back adjusted for four to six weeks after your C-section.
Tend to Postpartum Signs and Symptoms
As you recover from your C-section, remember you are also recovering from your pregnancy. This means you need to know the various signs and symptoms you may experience, such as vaginal discharge. In addition, your uterus will begin shedding the superficial mucous membrane, which means you will have discharge made up of blood and the membrane a few weeks after birth.
You may also experience contractions and breast tenderness. Even after a C-section, you may experience what is known as afterpains during the first few days after and often resemble menstrual cramps. You will also experience your breasts becoming full, tender, and firm as they begin making milk.
During your pregnancy, your hormones were elevated, which increased the ratio of your hair growth, so after your baby is born, you will also experience some hair loss up to five months after. Your skin also may have some significant changes. Once your baby is born, it does not mean your stretch marks will disappear. However, they may fade from a reddish tint to silver.
Finally, you will experience many mood changes and may even deal with postpartum depression. If you are suffering from this, contacting your healthcare provider is best.
Go to Your Postpartum Checkup
One of the best things you can do as you recover from your C-section is to ensure you go to your postpartum checkup. Postpartum care is an ongoing process, and not just one visit after your baby is born. It is best to contact your doctor for the first three weeks after delivery. Afterward, ensure you visit your doctor six to twelve weeks after your C-section for a comprehensive postpartum evaluation.
Ensuring you recover properly after a C-section will keep you and your baby healthy.