Why it’s okay to have a c-section
If you are pregnant, you may have thought about how you want your baby to come into the world. You may have weighed your options and probably settled for a natural or vaginal birth.
I did too. I didn’t want to hear about c-sections because my mind was made up about having a vaginal delivery with maybe an epidural. But as life would have it, things didn’t go as planned. I had an emergency c-section.
I battled with mom guilt and felt less as a woman. But what I realized afterwards is this, it doesn’t matter how your baby comes into the world. All that matters is they are received with love.
Although most families are not pleased with an impromptu decision to have a c-section, it’s has been proven to be the safest and quickest mode of delivery so long as the baby is concerned.
If you have already had a c-section, you can skip these sections about facts about c-sections and what happens right after surgery and focus on the recovery bit.
My recovery was very fast! In less than a week after surgery, the pain had subsided drastically and I was off pain medications. I was beginning to feel normal again. I was able to move around more frequently and get basic stuff done. But by all means, I avoided any strenuous activity.
My family aided my faster recovery process. Continue reading to find out more about c-sections and how I recovered quickly.
I’m not a doctor or medical professional. I am a mom who has recovered successfully from a caesarean section. Although this post has been medically reviewed, it is also based on my personal experience after a c-section. It should not replace advice by your doctor or care provider.
Facts about cesarean sections (C-Sections) ?
- A c-section is a surgical delivery of a baby.
- It is usually necessitated by factors that puts baby’s or mother’s life at risk or in danger.
- There are also women who prefer to have c-section as supposed to vaginal delivery.
- Comparative to vaginal delivery which can last several hours to days, a c-section can last minutes.
What happens right after the surgery?
You will not be allowed to take in anything in the first couple of hours. You may be given ice cubes or water to sip.
Most patients are able to take in light diets 24hours after surgery. Passing out gas after surgery is an indication that normal gut function has resumed.Your doctor will check for this before allowing you to have your usual meals.
The anesthesia and pain
The lower part of your body will feel numb so don’t panic. It should take approximately two-four hours for the anesthesia to wear off after surgery. As the anesthesia wears off, you will begin to feel pain . Pain from laughing, coughing or even sneezing. However, pain medication helps reduce the intensity tremendously.
Although the baby did not come out of your vagina, you will bleed after the surgery and approximately for six weeks or less. The vaginal bleeding after a surgery is known as the lochia. This bleeding sheds the lining of the womb after delivery of the baby.
Now, how do you recover quickly after a c-section?
You are encouraged to walk once your urinary catheter has been removed. I thought that was crazy because you’re in pain. But it’s not. Walking helps your body to heal and prevents blood clots. Nonetheless, don’t overdo it. Do make sure that even after you have been discharged you will move around consistently at home also.
You’re given quite a number of antibiotics before surgery. Drinking lots of water expands blood volume and encourages blood flow to vital organs including the kidneys. This helps to excrete by-products of medications as well as other toxins.
In other words, water flashes out these toxins from your body. Water also helps prevent constipation and aids breast milk production.
Eat fruits and veggies. These contain large amount of vitamins and nutrients that aid and promote healing of your surgical wound and body in general. I had my fruits in the morning before breakfast or in between meals when I was hungry.
High fiber content diet helps prevent constipation, loose pregnancy weight and also prevent excessive weight gain during lactation.
It’s particularly painful to poop after surgery if you’re constipating. In the absence of a sufficient fiber diet, stool softeners can be of tremendous benefits.
Do all these and your body will thank you.
Take Vitamin C
Although fruits contain vitamin c, essential for wound healing, the diet can be supplemented with oral vitamin c.
Take your medications at the prescribed times
I noticed that, whenever I missed the time at which I was supposed to take my medications, I’d be in pain. If you want to get better and faster, take your medications including pain killers at the right time.
The more stressed you are, the longer it will take for your body to heal. So rest without feeling guilty and avoid physically strenuous activities as much as possible.
Sex is not advisable anytime before six weeks postpartum. This period is required for your uterus to get back to the pre-pregnancy state. You may want to read this post to find out everything you need to know about postpartum sex after a c-section.
Avoid heavy lifting after a c-section
This includes a toddler or infant. Doing this may put a strain on your incision, open up your wound and land you right back in the hospital.
In the first few weeks if there’s anything you’d really need, it would be extra hands; so you don’t over work yourself and enable you get more rest.
Take care of your incision
Always ensuring the area is dry especially after a bath. You can pat it dry.This helps to prevent infection.
No matter how itchy your incision is, do not scratch it as this can introduce bacteria into the region, prolonging healing of the wound.
In addition, look out for signs of infection such as:
-Pus coming out of it
-If you have a fever
Please report to your doctor as soon as possible if you should see any sign of infection. There would be no need to apply an ointment to the region unless prescribed by your doctor. However, you can apply a scar cream after the wound closes.
It’s okay not to receive visitors in the first week
In the first few days, you will most likely be feeling sore. Until after the first week (or whenever you feel better), don’t be in a haste to receive visitors. Unless the guests are bringing dinner, helping with cleaning or babysitting so you can get some rest.
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Breastfeeding or intending to?
Just know breastfeeding can be difficult after a c-section. This is because, you’re exhausted and sleepy. In addition, the anesthesia would take a while to wear off making you immobile. Also, your breast milk would not come in quickly as it would have presuming you had a vaginal delivery.
Regardless, you need to communicate your intention to breastfeed to your doctor and nurses. Read this post to find out what I did until my breast milk came in without giving formula.
Despite your exhaustion, put your baby to breast or pump at every chance you get. Experiment with breastfeeding positions till you find one that works for you. A good nursing pillow like this helps you nurse in the cradle position. It also takes the pressure off your incision.
C-section underwear/ Postpartum girdle
I never wore a postpartum girdle as part of my recovery and I have some regrets. I am definitely getting this type or this which has so many great reviews and it’s excellent for shaping the postpartum body.
In summary, c-sections in comparison to vaginal birth has its pros and cons. Despite the slower recovery pace, it’s possible to recover quickly and have a normal life afterwards.
What stories have you heard that makes you dread a c-section? If you’ve had one, how did your recovery go or how’s it going? Please share your thoughts.