Recovery is always tricky as everyone is different, but we have made an easy peasy guide to recovery after a C-section. However, if your recovery goes slightly off track, don't blame us, we did say everyone is different.
What Is a Caesarean Section?
A Caesarean Section, otherwise known as a C-Section, is the surgical way to deliver your baby. This is done under spinal anaesthetic and will mean you will still be awake but the feeling in the lower part of your body will be numb. Whilst you will not feel the procedure, you may still feel tugging and a lot of pressure whilst trying to deliver the baby. The surgeon will complete a 10-20 cm incision just below your bikini line in order to gain access to your baby. This surgical procedure will take around 40-50 minutes.
How Long Will I Be In Hospital?
After a major surgery, like a C-Section, you're looking at a hospital stay of anywhere up to 4 days. The time spent in hospital is all dependant on the health of both you and your baby, if all is well you'll be discharged sooner than this. Whilst in hospital you will be encouraged to be up and mobile as soon as possible, which sounds daunting after having major surgery (and very little sleep after having a newborn).
You will have a catheter in for at least 12 hours after the surgery and your wound will be dressed for at least 24 hours after also.
What To Expect After My C-Section?
It is not supposed to be general knowledge as to how to feel after having C-Section as everyone, and their recovery is different.
After your C-Section it can take several hours for your body to regain feeling due to the spinal block or epidural, which ever was administered before the surgery. You will be expected to get up and move as soon as possible, with assistance of course. This is to reduce your risk of blood clots as this is the main concern in the first 24 hours after surgery.
How Can I Speed Up Recovery?
Speeding up your recovery is never a good idea, you should take time for your body to heal correctly. But after having a newborn, we understand you will want to return to normal as soon as possible. This is why we have provided you with 10 easy tips (for someone who doesn't have things to do, a life or other kids to look after maybe) to speed up the recovery after a C-section.
With a newborn baby around, it's very easy for you to slip people's minds and for them to forget that you've just had major surgery and instead you'll find them cooing over the baby. But don't forget, they're a set of helping hands if you needed, just ask.
💤Rest is Best:
It is easier said than done, especially with a newborn, to rest. But seriously, call off that coffee date, rearrange and allow your body to heal without the added stress of everyone wanting to see the little one.
😢It's Okay Not To Be Okay:
Allow your emotions to be real. You'll find yourself going from laughing to crying, from your all time low to wondering what you were ever worried about. It's all aprt and parcel of recovery. Technically you're also recovering from pregnancy, labour and learning to be a mother so give yourself a break, you're doing great.
Make sure you're looking out for the signs of any infection, be sure to check for the following and contact your health care professional if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
- High temperature,
- Intense pain,
- Red streaks coming from/around the incision.
Try to remain active by taking short and slow walks daily, helping you stay fit whilst exercise and lifting weights is out of the window for a while. This can also help with reducing your chance of blood clots as your blood will be able to flow regularly round your body.
Ensure you utilise the pain killers given to you, don't be afraid to need medication. Your doctor will have prescribed medication which is safe to use during breast feeding so you will be fine and so will your baby.
🍼Breast VS Bottle:
Having a C-section can cause problems when it comes to breastfeeding but be sure to ask for help at the hospital or from a nurse if needed. They can look at different ways to help and sometimes it's easily fixed with a lovely breastfeeding cushion to support both you and baby.
💭Think, Think, Think:
Allow yourself to think. Think about the amazing accomplishment you've just encountered and how proud you should be. Let your brain have a rest and stop worrying. Everything might be new to you right now but a few weeks time and you'll know your baby and the guide to parenting like the back of your hand.
🗣️Shared = Halved:
They have always said a problem shared is a problem halved, and i do believe in this. You will notice once you speak, others come forward with similar stories and you can all help one another. Have a look for some mummy groups and share your story. Or just tell the postman when he drops a parcel off with you, anyone who'll listen.
You know your body, so you'll know if and when you should seek medical advice. If you notice something wrong, or not quite right, ask. Don't be scared about asking for help, it can be something or nothing but better to be safe than sorry.