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How to Make Sure Your C-Section Recovery Goes Smoothly


C-section recovery can take a long time as the mother's body recovers from both the surgery and from childbirth itself. In many cases, if and for how long the mother was in labor before the c-section can have an impact on the speed of recovery. Other factors include any complications that occurred during the birth, the size of the baby, the overall health of the mother and how much help the mother has at home. 

Taking Care of Your Incision

One of the most important aspects of c-section recovery is to take care of the incision site. Every doctor will give specific instructions about how to care for the site. These generally require the mother to keep the area dry to prevent infection and to avoid scratching the site. If you have staples in your incision, they will eventually need to be removed by the doctor. If you have dissolvable stitches, simply avoid pulling on them and allow them to dissolve. If you have a skin adhesive holding the skin together, try to avoid pulling on the incision and have someone check it regularly to make sure that the incision site is flat.

Most women have trouble using their stomach muscles for the first week or two after the surgery. If this happens to you, it could be hard to check the incision yourself. It's helpful to have someone in your household look at the incision site every day to look for redness that can indicate infection. After a shower, you may need someone to pat the incision dry for you. Some women ask their partners to use a hair drier to dry the area after a shower. This will quickly dry the skin without causing the irritation to the incision that a towel can.

Getting Rest

Taking it easy for the first few weeks is an important part of your recovery period. Your doctor will tell you how long to avoid lifting and driving. These times may be anywhere from three to six weeks and perhaps longer if there are any complications with your recovery. The pain medication that you will take during the first week or two and the difficultly of using your abdominal muscles can make it difficult to do many physical activities during that time. Most doctors will also ask you not to lift anything other than the baby for a few weeks to avoid putting a strain on your abdominal muscles and on your incision. 

Though you may want to jump back into your life as quickly as possible, take this time to get as much rest as you can. Getting rest now will make your recovery faster and easier and will help you to avoid any unnecessary complications. Allow friends and relatives to help you take care of your daily activities if they offer to do so. Don't worry if your home isn't neat and clean or your thank you notes aren't written. Just concentrate on allowing your body to heal at its own pace, and you will be back to your old self in a few weeks.

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