If you've recently had or are due to have a c-section you might be a little nervous (it's understandable). In this post we take a look at the recovery time for a c section and give you some amazing tips to help get you back on your feet quicker.
Preparation is key when you’re having a c-section.
As your doctor will have told you, following your c-section, you’ll be forced to rest up for a few weeks with no driving, no heavy lifting and as little time spent climbing stairs as possible.
This means that you need to get everything ready beforehand so once you and baby are home, you can concentrate on your recovery too.
Think about little things like buying leggings and underwear that sit high at your belly button rather than your hips (you’re going to need these) and bringing a duvet and pillow down so you can easily rest on the sofa while your newborn sleeps.
Below should help you understand what a typical post operation recovery timeline looks like, the NHS website also has a fantastic overview of what to expect.
24 hours: Doctors and nurses will encourage you to get out of bed and start moving round, this helps get the blood flowing, releases gas build up. You’ll also have the option to eat something light.
48 hours: At this point, you’ll be allowed to take a shower to freshen up. While you might struggle to poop, this is completely normal. There are a number of things you can do to help make a bowel movement, including…
72 hours: If you’ve undergone a c-section, you milk can take a lot longer to come in compared to a natural birth. Don’t worry though, if you’re breastfeeding, baby will be getting colostrum from you.
7 days: By now, you should be well on the mend but it’s still important that you take it easy. You’ll still be under doctors orders not to lift anything heavier than the weight of your baby.
1 month: After 4 weeks, you should be almost at 100% health. Your pain should be minimal and you should be okay to resume driving, working out and even sex.
It’s worth remembering however, only resume doing these things once you’ve had the okay from your General Practitioner.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that a C-section isn’t a major operation – it is.
As with any other major operation that you might have, your body has been through a trauma and needs time to heal.
This means that it’s important that you take things easy following your surgery.
Easier said than done when you’ve got a newborn!
You may have heard this one a few time:
Rest when baby rests
Thankfully, newborn babies sleep a lot during the first few months, which should hopefully give you plenty of oportnities to rest.
If you can rope in help from friends and family during this time to allow you to spend even more time with your feet up, it’ll do you the world of good.
A c-section leaves your body with a delicate wound after the surgery and it’s important that you do your utmost to avoid aggravating the incision site.
As we mentioned before, preparation is key (if you know you’re having a c-section) so keep as much as possible downstairs along with setting up a space where you can sleep.
Before taking any pills to help relieve your pain, ask your doctor for his advice, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
If you’d prefer not to take medicines such as Advil or Tylenol then both heat pads and hot water bottles applied to the surgical site can do wonders.
Along with getting plenty of rest, maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best ways that you can speed up a c-section recovery time, particularly if you’re breastfeeding.
For example, high-quality protein foods can aid in helping wounds heal while keeping your immune system strong.
Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds contain fiber while can help with any gastrinal distress and constipation experienced following a c-section.
Finally, vitamin C is needed by the body to make a protein called collagen, which is needed for healing surgical wounds.
So there you have it, hopefully now you have a much better understanding of the recovery time for a c section and with the four tips above, you’ll be back on your feet in no time at all.