Recovering after a c-section
It takes longer to recover from a caesarean birth than it does a vaginal delivery – usually around six weeks in total – so despite having a newborn to look after you do still need to make sure you have plenty of rest, and that you really take care of your post-op body!
At a glance
- It usually takes around six weeks to recover from a c-section
- Take things gently & slowly while recovering
- Use pillows to help you get comfortable while breastfeeding
Some mums are able to go home 24 hours after a c-section and have their after-care carried out at home, although generally, women spend two or three days in hospital. You should be up and out of bed fairly soon after the surgery though, and your dressing will be removed after a day.
Even though you will probably be feeling fine, do bear in mind you have had major abdominal surgery! You might find your tummy feels quite sore doing mundane things like walking up and down stairs, and getting in and out of your chair or bed – so take things gently and slowly.
Breastfeeding after a c-section
When you are breastfeeding your baby, you might find it useful to have a cushion on your lap, or have your partner position baby for you to avoid putting pressure on your tummy for the first few weeks. Lying down to breastfeed, with plenty of support from pillows might also help you stay comfortable, or holding your baby under your arm, rather than across you.
Looking after yourself
Your midwife will give you advice on looking after your stitches and scar to keep infection at bay, and your doctor can give you painkillers to take for as long as you need them if you are feeling discomfort.
If you drive, you might need to check for any restrictions on your insurance policy about your cover after a c-section – some mums wait for their six-week check before getting back behind the wheel, but the best advice is to only do so when you feel comfortable and safe.
The same goes with anything that puts a strain on your stomach – exercise, lifting, housework! Talk things through with your midwife or health visitor if you are unsure at any stage – and do things at your own pace.
Care to share? Speak to other mums who have had a c-section in the Bounty Community for tips on how they recovered.
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