C-section recovery

My baby is one week old and I am starting to feel irritable because my scar is still hurting. How long before I am active again?

A huge amount of healing is achieved in the first week after a caesarian birth. However, you are not out of the woods yet in terms of rest and recuperation, and really need to be firm with yourself about taking it easy and really listening to your body. Doing this now is the best way to ensure that you heal properly and as quickly as possible.

An important point to keep in mind for the first few weeks is that you should do as little lifting as possible. Of course, you can’t avoid having to lift your baby. But practice using your arms instead of your stomach to support the lift. And if you need to pick something up from the floor, make sure that you bend those knees and don’t be tempted to lean over from the waist! This is a good reason that help around the house is useful for the first few weeks – it’s not easy to clean and vacuum without lifting movements. So accept any help that is offered. Try and afford domestic help, even if it is only in the beginning. If you get the help you need, not only will it aid in the healing process, but you will get more relaxed and enjoyable time with your baby.

You should have been given a pain killer when you left hospital, or at least told which types of pain killer your doctor approves of. Not all painkillers are suitable for mothers, especially if you are breastfeeding. You should only be experiencing mild levels of pain after a week, and only require pain relief sometimes (usually when you have overdone it!)

The area around your caesarian scar is very newly healed and so it is not surprising that periodic pain, or strange pulling sensations are normal. The area should not be red or inflamed, or have an unpleasant discharge. A constant pain around the scar is also not normal – these are all reasons to call the doctor. Some women do have a clear discharge from the area which is probably nothing to be worried about but worth discussing with your doctor so that it can be checked out.

As your healing continues the scar may start to itch, and can be helped by suitable cream from your doctor. Numbness in the area is normal and can persist for several months. As time passes the scar should get less lumpy and should change through purple and pink to pale pink.

Don’t start exercising until you are no longer in pain. Then start slowly and carefully to build up the abdominal muscles. Get into the habit of a short daily exercise routine, and the strength and tone in your muscles will return quickly. Although the need for Kegels exercises to tone the vaginal muscles is not as great as for those women who have had vaginal deliveries, they are exercises that are useful for every woman.

See also:

Caesarean – Description
Caesarean – Disappointment
Caesarean – Emergency
Caesarean – Implications of incision type
Caesarean – Partners
Caesarean – Feeling ashamed
Caesarean – Safety
Caesarean – Reason +27 (0)81 885 4683

*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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