A Caesarean is a routine hospital procedure, though it is still major surgery. Recovery from a caesarean can be uncomfortable, but with the right care, you could be keeping up with your little one in no time.
Look after yourself
Your baby’s health and development depend on your health and wellbeing – and this is never more true than in your baby’s first months of life.
A caesarean involves an incision through several layers of tissue in your lower abdomen. This core part of your body usually takes the brunt of much of your movement, twisting side to side and stretching and contracting in the slightest of movements. Therefore it’s essential that you…
Limit some movements…
Lift only things that weigh as much as your baby. Be careful with all the things you wouldn’t usually think twice about: getting out of bed, showering, reaching for items in the kitchen, preparing food and even laughing. Breastfeeding, too, can be impacted by caesarean recovery.
…but take up others
It’s also important to resume some amount of activity. With the advice of your pregnancy team or your doctor, you can start a light activity such as pelvic floor exercises or daily walks. As long as these activities don’t risk any damage to your wound, they will help your lower abdominal, and pelvic floor muscles recover from the pregnancy.
Driving and sex are two things that must wait until your wound has healed completely. Your doctor will advise you when it’s safe to do either, but only take them back up when you feel ready.
Be kind to yourself
Get as much rest as you can. Any downtime or sleep helps your recovery. Although baby-and-mum time is critical, seek the support of your family and friends for other around-the-house jobs or with food shopping and preparation. Because you can’t drive until your wound is healed, don’t hesitate to call on your support network.
Watch what you eat…
Drink plenty of fluids and opt for a high fibre diet of healthy and nutritious whole foods. This will reduce any need for exertive pushing when you go to the toilet.
…and what you wear
Wear only comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that gives easy access to your stitches. The ventilation will assist your wound to heal while also allowing you to monitor it, clean it and change any dressings as necessary.
Looking after the wound
Keep the wound dry and clean and change any dressings regularly. Hot water bottles or wheat bags can help relieve some of the pain but talk with your doctor about taking any painkillers, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Speak to your doctor if you see any signs such as:
- increasing abdominal or back pain
- prolonged complications with urination and bowel movements
- increasing vaginal blood loss or discharge
- sudden swelling in your lower legs
- infection in the wound itself