6 Tips For Recovering After C-Section Surgery

A cesarean section, or c-section, is a surgical procedure that involves delivering a baby through an incision in the abdomen and uterus. While a c-section surgery is sometimes necessary for the safety of both mother and baby, the recovery process can be more challenging than that of a vaginal birth.

Recovering After C-Section Surgery

Recovering from c-section surgery requires patience, rest, and self-care. And although you may want to do absolutely everything in your power to ensure your new baby is happy and healthy, you must not neglect your own needs. Here at Kernodle OB/GYN, we have put together a list of tips to help you recover after c-section surgery. 

1. Listen To Your Doctor’s Instructions

One of the most important factors in recovering after a c-section surgery is listening to your doctor’s orders and recommendations. They will know better than anyone the necessary steps you can take, along with the activities you should steer clear of in order to have a successful recovery. Some things to avoid post-c-section surgery include sexual intercourse, taking baths, swimming in public pools or hot tubs, lifting anything heavier than your baby, or repeatedly using the stairs. 

2. Rest, Rest, And Rest

Most women who have had c-section surgery stay in the hospital for 2 to 4 days. Outside of the days spent in the hospital, your body will need approximately 6 to 8 weeks to fully heal. With that said, putting an emphasis on rest is of the utmost importance. Now, this may feel difficult with a newborn baby. One of the best things you can do is to sleep while your baby sleeps. If this does not seem to work for you, know it is always ok to ask for help from family and friends.

3. Pain Management Techniques

Because a c-section is considered major surgery, many women experience residual pain and discomfort in the following days. In some cases, your incision will remain tender for up to 3 weeks or more. Depending on your individual case, pain tolerance, and discomfort levels, your doctor may prescribe you a pain reliever or suggest an over-the-counter one. Some common OTC pain medications include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). 

4. Take Care Of Your Incision Wound

The scar left behind after a C-section incision is typically 1/8” wide and from 4 to 6 inches long. But don’t worry, your doctor will go through exactly how to care for your incision wound. This should include keeping the area dry and clean, washing your incision daily with warm, soapy water, and changing your bandage if it gets wet or dirty. 

5. Gradually Introduce Physical Activity

One of the most important things to remember when healing from c-section surgery is you must be patient. In the first few weeks post-op, you want to get as much rest as you can to allow your body to heal. And although each woman’s timeline is different, you should refrain from any strenuous physical activity and start easing back into exercise roughly six to eight weeks after c-section surgery. 

6. Attend Your Postpartum Checkups

Just as important as prenatal checkups are postpartum checkups. During these appointments, your doctor can assess your physical recovery, your mental health, how your baby is doing, and how you’re managing any pregnancy-related complications. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest that all women have contact with their obstetrician–gynecologists or other obstetric care providers within the first 3 weeks postpartum.  

Recovering after c-section surgery can sometimes feel like a lengthy process. However, you must remember to be patient with your body and give yourself time to heal fully. If you have more questions or concerns about c-section surgery, call us at (336) 538-2367 or visit our website to make an appointment.

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