A C-section is a major abdominal surgery so recovery will take a while. Experts say it takes about 2 years for total recovery and that is why women hoping to try for a vaginal birth after c-section or VBAC, are advised to wait 2 years after surgery before falling pregnant. Here are some tips to get you well on your way to recovery mommy.
- Be Active- Slow movements like wiggling your toes and rotating your ankles as soon as you come out of surgery is a great place to start. As soon as 24 hrs after surgery you should take walks to the bathroom. You will probably need the nurse’s assistance the first few times so don’t try to get up on your own. Slow movements though painful at first will actually help relieve the pain and decrease the chance of blood clots. It also gets the digestive system going again.
- Watch Your Diet- If you’re having or had an elective C-section your doctor may have advised you to eat semi-liquid food such as porridge, oats and soup from about 48 hours before the surgery is scheduled. These are easier for the intestines to digest thereby reducing post surgery gas which can be uncomfortable and hurt quite a bit. You can continue with these semi-liquid foods after surgery for the same reasons and also try to avoid constipation causing foods such as dairy products, potatoes and other carbs until after your first bowl movement. A stool softener will prescribed to you when you leave hospital (I took mine but the first bowel movement still hurt like crazy so help the process along by eating right.)
- Urinate Regularly- You’ll also be drinking a lot of water to avoid constipation so urinating regularly will ease the pressure of a full bladder on your wound.
- Prescribed Pain Medication- When you leave the hospital you will be given a prescription for a painkiller and after about a week you will be able to transition to an over-the-counter painkiller as the pain lessens. If you’re breastfeeding, don’t take aspirin or drugs containing acetylsalicylic acid.
- Take It Easy- You will need to get some extra hands to help you when you go home as you are advised not to lift anything heavier than your baby for 2 weeks. You are also not advised to drive until about 10 days after surgery. If you can avoid it for even longer that’s better. Stay away from heavy duty housework and avoid stair climbing as well.
- Watch For Signs Of Infection- warmth, redness, swelling, or oozing at the incision site, worsening pain or sudden onset of pain, any fever even if your incision looks fine, foul smelling vaginal discharge, pain or burning when urinating, the urge to pee frequently when not a lot comes out, or urine that is dark and scanty or bloody. Contact you doctor immediately if you notice any of these. Your vaginal bleeding and discharge should be diminishing, though it may last up to six weeks. It should gradually turn from bright red to pink and then yellow-white. If menstrual-type bleeding continues past the first four days after delivery or comes back after slowing, call your healthcare provider. You’ll also need to call your caregiver immediately if you have any signs of a blood clot such as severe or persistent pain or tenderness and warmth in one area of your leg, or one leg that is more swollen than the other.
- Fitness- It will be about 89 weeks before you can begin moderate exercise regime but get the go ahead from your caregiver. Don’t rush it. Continue with short walks in the mean time and you’ll be better in no time!
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