Recovery After Cesarean – Part II

ACOG has not commented on the new guidelines so pap frequency discretion could be different with your AOA provider.

Getting Moving

After surgery, most patients are encouraged to get up and out of bed within six hours. Simply getting out of bed and taking that first step is the toughest part for many new moms, but it’s crucial to a quicker and healthy recovery. You will feel some pain and discomfort, and many C-Section patients feel anxiety about what’s going on inside of them as they begin to move around, but this is a huge milestone in your recovery process.

Typically you won’t be walking laps around the hospital six hours after surgery, but you are encouraged to simply get up and perhaps stand for a few moments. It’s not only scary and uncomfortable, but there are also some rules to remember when getting moving for the first time. Keep your focus, stare straight ahead, and have someone help you.

Coughing, sneezing and even breathing might be uncomfortable during those first few days after surgery. Your nurse will instruct you on how to do these things so as not to increase pain.

Get Walking

By day two, hopefully you are no longer attached to the catheter and are moving around a bit more. You will begin to eat and drink almost like normal again, and, probably with the help of a nurse and/or partner, you will begin to venture out into the halls.

Your nurses will want you to do more than venture into the halls, and soon will be telling you to take a few laps. While it might be the last thing that you’ll want to do, it’s very important that you get moving to help naturally improve circulation, limit your risk for blood clots and Deep Vein Thrombosis (where a blood clot forms deep within the tissues of the body, which can lead to greater complications in the heart, brain or lungs), and get your bowels moving again.

Take A Look

The second day is also a great time as any to take a look at your incision. It’s actually an important part of the recovery process, because you’ll need to keep note of any changes that might indicate an infection in later days. The incision area will probably notice intense itching and numbness, which is normal.

While your physician will monitor your incision site, it’s your responsibility to care for it and notice any changes over the upcoming days.

Home Recovery

Within 2-4 days, depending on your recovery speed and how many laps you’re taking around the hospital floors, you will be heading home. It’s at this point that you’ll feel that overwhelming fear creeping up once again, because not only will you need to take good care of yourself and your incision, you’ll have a new little one to take care of as well.

You’ll need as much help as you can get, so take advantage if anyone asks to lend a hand. You’ll also be given a prescription for any pain or discomfort. A full recovery could take up to eight weeks, so be sure to plan accordingly. You don’t want to rush back into your old routine. Take it easy, spend time with your new baby, and take care of yourself. You will be recovering both emotionally and physically, so be well aware of that fact and make sure that family members know as well.

Should you notice any redness, swelling, or oozing at the incision site call your OBGYN immediately. If you feel sharp pains or worsening pain, call immediately. If you have a fever, feel pain with urinating, or notice blood in your urine, call your OBGYN immediately.

Recovery After Cesarean – Part I

ACOG has not commented on the new guidelines so pap frequency discretion could be different with your AOA provider.

Everyone’s experience with labor is different, as is everyone’s experiences with a Cesarean. Whether it’s an emergency C-section with high stress, or a planned C-section with low anxiety, recovery is a whole different story. Some women can recover from a Cesarean within a matter of weeks, some a matter of months. And while everyone’s experience with C-section recovery is unique, there are a few things that you’ll need to be aware of when returning home with your new addition to the family.

Cesarean Recovery

You will have a million questions both before and after surgery; how is the post-partum pain, what will I be able to do, what are my restrictions, when can I hold my baby, how long with it take to recover?

Cesarean recovery involves a variety of steps; all monitored closely by your OBGYN and the hospital staff.

Initial Moments after C-Section

 In the initial moments after your Cesarean, you will be closely monitored in a post-op recovery room. Your OBGYN and the hospital staff will closely watch all of your vital signs for the next one to three hours depending on how much anesthesia you were given. The staff will keep an eye on your level of nausea, which could be a result of the anesthesia, your blood flow, any pains you might be feeling in your abdomen, and the firmness of your uterus.

As with a vaginal birth, you could still go through ‘the shakes,’ as they are called, feel extremely fatigued, groggy and nauseous. Much of the way that you will feel immediately after the surgery has to do with the anesthesia that was given.

If you were given morphine through your epidural, an itchy sensation is quite common and can be counter-treated with medicine.

Recovery Room

When you’re OBGYN feels you’ve recovered well, they will move you into the recovery room. You’ll probably notice that this room is a bit more ‘roomy’ and allows for more visitors. You will also notice that things are beginning to hit you first the first time. With C-Sections, once the affects of anesthesia wear off and you’re moved into the recovery room, it is quite common to feel a bit overwhelmed with everything that has just happened. Whether you were completely prepared and it was a planned Cesarean, or it was an emergency situation, when you move into the recovery room is usually when the gravity of the entire situation sets in.

This is the time when family and friends, and the sight of your newborn baby, are extremely important. It is also a very important time for your partner to step up and be by your side, reassuring you that all is well.

You will continue to be closely monitored by the nurses, and will most likely have your catheter, blood pressure monitors, and IVs with you in the recovery room for another day or two. You can expect to feel some pain and discomfort. It is important that you remain honest in discussing the amount of pain you’re in with your nurses so that they can prescribe the proper pain medication.

Jump to Part II